Tag Archives: Sidewalk bicycling

Busted! No biking on downtown Northfield sidewalks

No biking stencil No biking stencil Griff Wigley, Northfield Police Officer,

Left: Yesterday afternoon NHS Executive Director and blogger Hayes Scriven messaged me a photo of the new ‘no biking’ stencils painted on sidewalks all over downtown this week.

Center: Queen of the Triumvirate Tracy Davis tweeted the photo of the stencil on the sidewalk in front of Rare Pair.

Right: I was riding my bike around downtown this morning taking photos for a blog post about all this when I got busted for, um, riding my bike on the sidewalk. Unlike last month’s citation, I didn’t swear.  See Ross, I’m learning.

Sidewalk bicycling: still a problem downtown

It’s time for my annual whine about those who ride bikes on the downtown sidewalks. (See the Sep. 2007 blog post w/ 32 comments and Sep. 2008 blog post w/ 26 comments). City Admin Joel Walinksi has an update in the April 17 Friday Memo:

To improve safety regarding sidewalk bike riders in the downtown, the community service officer will be dedicating more time to public education involving those bike riders that disregard the city ordinance. Additionally the Public Works/Engineering folks will also be looking at signage or stencils that (continued)

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What to do about illegal skateboarding and illegal bicycling downtown?

skateboarder-image prohibited-on-sidewalks IMG_4104
West side building and business owner Dean Kjerland emailed me a copy of what he sent to the City of Northfield today:

I am a long time advocate of The Key.  Unfortunately, some young people hang around a good thing and give it a bad name.  I have a good relationship with the Key, we are neighbors and maintain a positive dialog.  I have an art gallery near and live by The Key in my building which is another unique Northfield place and I get many ‘new to Northfield folks’ stopping in.  I am also very connected with the downtown.

I repeatedly hear comments about the ‘skateboarders’ who congregate in this area and create an environment which people would prefer to be someplace else from.  Since the City has decided that skateboarding is not acceptable on the public sidewalks and riverwalk area, I believe action should be taken to effectively enforce the Ordinance in effect.  This has been a problem for a long time.

I think it is unfair to blame The Key.  What I would like to see is a determined effort to keep this activity from continuing in the neighborhood.  It definitively effects me and my businesses.  I know it effects my neighbors.  And I agree that with limited budgets, it is stretching the resources of the Police Dept.  I believe we must have support from Mayor and the City Council and I am asking that all join in effecting change over here on the west side.

I would appreciate having this forwarded to Jim Pokorney, Kris Vohs, Mayor Lansing, Chief Taylor, Joel Walinski and Brian O’Connell.  This has gone on too long without amelioration.  I expect responses about specific action.  We are all in this together, if anyone disagrees, please, I would like to hear from them.  If anyone wants documented evidence, I would welcome either funds or the loan of equipment to do so…

Sincerely, Dean Kjerland

One year ago I blogged about the problem of people bicycling on downtown sidewalks. A robust discussion ensued but as far as I can tell, nothing has changed. College students and adults continue to be the biggest offenders.

We now have a new police chief. We have a new non-motorized transportation task force. We will soon have a new mayor. We have four council races this fall.

Maybe this is an opportunity for some of these folks to step up to the plate to help solve both problems: illegal bicycling and illegal skateboarding downtown.

Busted! Mother biker on downtown sidewalk

Elaine Nesbitt on bicycle I took this photo of Elaine Nesbit riding her bike in front of Tiny’s Hot Dogs/Dogs All Day this morning.

She agreed to be the poster child for a discussion about the Northfield City ordinance that makes riding bikes on downtown sidewalks a petty misdemeanor.

She claims that Division St. downtown isn’t safe for bike riding, kids especially. So does my wife. I’m not so sure.

So is this an act of civil disobedience? Do adult bikers get cited for violating this ordinance or is it mainly youth skateboarders? Should I have performed a citizen arrest and escorted her to the police?

The relevant ordinance language:

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