Santa Paula Times

Wheels rolling on city sidewalks,
Council asks for broader ordinance

March 03, 2000
Santa Paula City Council
Wheels are rolling as the City Council heard a tentative report on a growing problem - sidewalk cruising - that has caused them to ask that the city’s ordinance be changed at the Feb. 22 meeting. During public comment of the agenda item to address bicycle riders on city sidewalks, Richard Garcia, President of the Downtown Merchants Association and Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce said there have been numerous “bikers on the sidewalks. . .I’m glad it’s been brought up. Bike racks should be provided so bicycle riders have a place to park them.”Some bicycle riders might just be using the only mode of transportation they have, he added, but riding on sidewalks is “becoming a real nuisance in the downtown.”Vice Mayor Don Johnson said he had requested the item be placed on the agenda for discussion due to a “comment made by Police Chief Bob Gonzales that the city doesn’t have a proper ordinance to take care of it. . .my intention is to find out why not and take care of it. Mr. Garcia is right, there have been a lot of close calls,” of bicycle versus pedestrian, a troubling thought with the large senior citizen population in the city.Chief Gonzales said the next council meeting will feature an amendment to the city ordinance: “Right now it reads wheeled toys,” are banned from sidewalks, such as Roller blades and skateboards. “The addition that will be recommended will add ‘bicycle’ and a few words will really put some teeth in it.”
Such an ordinance will continue to exclude baby carriages and strollers, he added.Mayor Rick Cook noted that “small children also have pedal toys,” such as Big Wheels that also should be addressed when the ordinance is modified.