LINCOLN, Neb. — Lincoln officials are considering letting bicycles, skateboards and scooters back on downtown sidewalks, as long as they’re ridden carefully.
Pedestrians still would have the right of way and the bicyclists wouldn’t be allowed to ride recklessly, City Attorney Jeff Kirkpatrick told the Lincoln Journal Star (http://bit.ly/2cpQ2n9 ). Those who do would be ticketed.
The City Council first banned bicycles from downtown sidewalks in 1960, Kirkpatrick told The Associated Press.
The proposed changes are aimed at providing consistency across the city, promoting biking and bringing city ordinances in line with a new state law that lets people ride their bikes in crosswalks through intersections and gives them the right of way if the signal allows crossing.
The local changes are being shared with bike groups and with people who live and work downtown and in surrounding areas. The proposal is expected to be presented at a later date to the City Council for a public hearing and vote.
Keith Larsen doesn’t like the proposal. He walks downtown almost daily and thinks the sidewalks should be reserved for people who shop and work and walk there. The city has already limited sidewalk space by letting restaurants have outdoor seating areas, which means bikes on sidewalks could make things more treacherous, Larsen said.
Prohibiting biking on downtown sidewalks will be a challenge when the bike-share program begins next year, said city Planning Director David Cary. The program will let people rent bikes from locations downtown and on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus.
Bikes on sidewalks are not dangerous by themselves, he said, but zooming bikes on sidewalks are.
“If you want to go that fast, you should be on the street,” Cary said.
Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com