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Cracking down on sidewalk cyclists (con't)

There already are signs on Ottawa Street advising cyclists, skate boarders and roller bladers not to use the sidewalk.

But the signage is “very small and hard to see,” Halberstadt, a member of the city’s cycling committee, said.

The councillor says city officials as well as the members of the city cycling committee will meet with BIA reps mid-April to propose the new signage.

Halberstadt says he thought the cost of signs could come out of the city’s public works budget.

But the councillor rejected criticism by the father of the injured child that the cycling committee has not asked police to enforce the cycling bylaw, which says persons riding bikes with wheels larger than 23.5 inches (a standard adult bike wheel is 26 inches) face a $100 fine for riding on sidewalks.

“That is definitely not true,” he said.

In fact, Halberstadt said, the cycling committee at one point did ask the police to enforce the law.

“We asked if they would do some enforcing. We got flack for it - some cyclists who said the bike committee shouldn’t be punitive against bicyclists.”

But, he said, the committee received a letter back from the police services board “basically indicating they weren’t going to be enforcing, that they were concentrating on education.”

Mark Linquist, the cycling committee chair, said the committee would love for police to enforce the bylaw.

“Enforce it,” he said adamantly, because it’s “irresponsible” for some cyclists to be using sidewalks and putting pedestrians at risk.

Linquist said he can understand, however, if police have a resource issue with not enough staff to crack down on cyclists who break the law.

He said the committee also wants to step up education about the rules of bike usage.

“But, equally, the easiest and best way to prevent this is to start ticketing people.”


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