Board tables bike ordinance

Advertisement

The Hayden Town Board on Thursday tabled an ordinance banning bicycles, skateboards, toy motorcycles and other vehicles on town sidewalks.

The board wants to rewrite the ordinance to prohibit the vehicles specifically on sidewalks along Jefferson Avenue between Spruce and Poplar Streets and on Walnut Street south of Jefferson Avenue.

"The idea wasn't to restrict all sidewalks, but the areas downtown where we've had some close calls recently with bicyclists, skateboarders and toy vehicles," Town Manager Russ Martin said Tuesday.

Because business doors open directly onto the sidewalk, allowing such vehicles on the sidewalk potentially puts pedestrians in the path of a bicyclist or skateboarder. Riders also risk hitting the doors, he said.

Several skateboarders and their parents attended the meeting to oppose the ordinance, arguing the downtown concrete sidewalks are some of the best places for skateboarders to improve their skills.

Town Board members noted that skateboards would be allowed on other sidewalks throughout town, including new 8-foot sidewalks near Hayden Valley Elementary School.

"They (board members) don't want to make it unreasonable," Martin said. "They want to maintain the safety of downtown for residents and visitors."

The impetus for the ordinance was to keep toy motorcycles or "pocket bikes" off the sidewalks because the state traffic code makes it illegal to ride the vehicles on public roads.

At the same time, the board also wanted to address the danger of bicycles, skateboards, inline skates and other transport on downtown sidewalks, particularly as school prepares to get out for the summer.

The town's proposed ordinance also restricts toboggans, sleds, coasters, scooters and skis on the downtown sidewalks.

Also Thursday, the board approved a revised town traffic code that incorporates changes -- including the street ban on toy vehicles -- made to the state code about a year ago.

The town also approved an ordinance clarifying the definition of toy vehicles as those with wheel diameter of 14 inches or smaller, including Go-Ped motorized scooters.

The final reading of the vehicles on sidewalks ordinance will come before the Town Board in June.

-- To reach Tamera Manzanares, call 871-4204 or e-mail tmanzanares@steamboatpilot.com.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.