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Sidewalk Biking Illegal; Signs May be Posted Downtown

Cyclists on West Main Street on Wednesday, July 24, 2013. Credit: Matt Fredmonsky
Cyclists on West Main Street on Wednesday, July 24, 2013. Credit: Matt Fredmonsky

Kent may soon add signs to sidewalks downtown reminding bicycle riders that it’s illegal to ride your bike on the sidewalk.

Downtown business owner John Simon asked Kent City Council Wednesday to consider posting signs to remind people that it is in fact illegal to ride a bike on sidewalks in Kent.

“I don’t think a lot of people know that,” Simon said. “I think signs would really help before somebody does get injured.”

Simon runs a business at 300 N. Water St. in a building owned by Councilman John Kuhar, who agreed with the idea.

“I know when I step out of my building down there … we usually stick our head out a few inches first and look both ways,” Kuhar said.

Section 373.10 of Kent’s Codified Ordinances prohibits riding bicycles on sidewalks in business districts or on sidewalks where signs are posted prohibiting riding.

Councilwoman Heidi Shaffer, whose Ward 5 includes downtown, agreed with Kuhar and Simon and suggested signs might be posted near bike trail entrances.

“Because that may be part of the issue,” she said.

Council voted Wednesday to consider posting signs downtown about bicycling being prohibited on sidewalks. The issue and possible placement of signs will likely be handled by the city’s administration.

“That just sounds like a housekeeping thing to me,” Kent Mayor Jerry Fiala said.

The Omnipotent Sponge - Soak it up! August 01, 2013 at 10:34 AM
Kent is not big on Education. It is Kent, after all...
Laura Barrett Wynn August 01, 2013 at 03:28 PM
I have lived in Kent on and off for over 25 years and was educated by the Kent City Schools system which is "Excellent with Distinction," by the way! As the mother of a 15-month-old, we often stroll, walk and even bike to downtown businesses and area events/happenings. Having a little one in tow has only made me more cautious and aware of how much work Kent has to do on bike safety/education. What are those with bike trailers supposed to do now, in regards to the law?
The Omnipotent Sponge - Soak it up! August 01, 2013 at 03:42 PM
They ripped out the recycling bins rather than educating the public of their proper use. Kent likes to make new laws to randomly enforce. Education is not high on the list of priorities.
Frederick John Kluth August 01, 2013 at 05:39 PM
You may want to consider the motto on the current town trash bins. It is "Ex Obscuritate in Lucem" which is a Latin phrase. It means "From Ignorance to Learning". Indeed this is the challenge of Kent. Just because a college is in the town does not mean everyone is well educated.
Chris (Kit) Myers August 02, 2013 at 05:27 AM
1) Some of us walk our bikes on the downtown sidewalks just as we did way back in the 1940s. It's only a matter of a few blocks. Or do people have some sort of divine right to ride anywhere they want no matter the danger to others. 2) Do the bars recycle? Do the apartment complexes have recycling containers for tenants? Are the tenants of each apartment given the little green containers to set out by the street on a weekly basis? Are tenants charged in their water bill for recycling? In other words, is any recycling done at the apartment complexes or is this something that people living in houses pay for?

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