Downtown bicycling ban resurfaces, then tabled again

A proposed bicycling ban on downtown sidewalks, which was tabled by Findlay Council in April, resurfaced again Tuesday.
Council voted 10-0 to lift the legislation from the table, but after some discussion, voted 10-0 to re-table it.
The proposed ordinance would ban everyone from riding a bicycle on Main Street sidewalks in an area bounded by Lincoln Street on the south, and the Blanchard River bridge to the north. Bicyclists would either have to take alleys, walk their bicycles in the downtown, or ride in the street.
Violation of the rule would be considered a minor misdemeanor and could carry up to a $150 fine.
City Law Director Donald Rasmussen said he would hope police would begin by issuing warnings until the public became accustomed to the rules.
Council has heard both support for the ban and opposition to the idea.
Supporters want bicyclists off busy downtown sidewalks, which now often include both pedestrians and sidewalk diners.
Opponents want to be able to ride their bicycles to shop, and worry about the mix of bicycles and motorists in the downtown.
On Tuesday, Councilman-At-Large Grant Russel asked that the legislation be amended to exempt three-wheeled bicycles, often used by people with handicaps. Russel made a motion to lift the ordinance from the table to allow for further discussion of the “dismount zone.”
Councilman Jim Niemeyer, R-6, suggested that skateboards and roller blades be included in the ban.
Had council approved the legislation on Tuesday, it would have become effective immediately, putting bicycles off the sidewalks and into the current mix of construction and heavy traffic.
Jeff Wobser, R-At-Large, said the proposal can be revisited once downtown construction is done. The issue of sidewalk dining could also be part of that discussion, he said.
Niemeyer said sidewalk dining is out of control.



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