By Jesse Wright, Staff Writer
New Eastside residents at the September CAPS meeting complained of bikes and skateboard riders on city sidewalks.
“It seems as if there are more bicycles and skateboards on the sidewalk,” a resident said. “I’ve almost been run over a number of times. People may not be aware they’re not supposed to be on the sidewalk.”
Skateboards are banned on the sidewalk and streets and while bikes can be ridden on city streets, they’re prohibited from sidewalks. Police Sergeant Anthony Dombrowski said riders could be reported to 911 if they are caught in the act. Meanwhile, one man said cars and delivery trucks parked illegally in striped areas present a danger for pedestrians and cyclists.
Dombrowski suggested residents check out the city’s Vision Zero initiative. This is a broad plan to make the city’s streets safer for pedestrians and riders. The project is aimed to give better access to pedestrians and bicyclists.
“It is, I think, a worthwhile project,” Dombrowski said. “It’s why we have increased protected bike lanes because of vision zero. The goal is to have no fatalities, which is why they call it vision zero. But it takes time to build up the infrastructure.”
He said the city is improving it slowly and while the plan might frustrate some motorists, he said cars aren’t going to go away entirely.
Residents also complained about dangerous motorbike drivers. Dombrowski agreed they are a problem.
“The motorcycles are a real problem,” he said. “They’re worse than cars.”
Dombrowski said motorcycles can speed away from cars, meaning the drivers are hard to catch safely.
Overall, Dombrowski said crime is down in the neighborhood, although he was reluctant to call it a trend.
“The only way to get good data is to have a long trendline,” he said.
Dombrowski said most of the reported thefts are from visitors, not from residents.“For the residents, it’s extremely low,” he said.