Illustrating the need for the walk zone was a crash that occurred today at 2 p.m.
At 2 p.m., an 8-year-old boy was holding the door open for his mother to the Willamette Store, 1077 Willamette, after purchasing a soda. A bicyclist, Tyler Samuel Rhodes, age 29, was riding northbound on the sidewalk and struck the boy from behind, knocking him to the ground. Medics responded and evaluated the child’s injuries before releasing him to his mother. Rhodes’ bicycle’s brakes were non-functioning. Police found he is a Fugitive from Justice (state of Washington, warrants related to Meth).
Rhodes was subsequently arrested on the following charges: Fugitive from Justice, and Reckless Driving. He was cited for Possession of Methamphetamine, Less than Ounce of Marijuana, and violation of the walk zone - 5.400(1).
Walk Your Wheels – Signage Going Up in Downtown Area
Some new disk-type signage “Walk Your Wheels” are being installed in sidewalks in the downtown area. The new signage clarifies where people skateboarding and people biking must walk and not ride on the sidewalk in a designated area downtown. The walk zone protects people walking in the more congested area that extends within the area bounded by the eastern sidewalk along Lincoln Street between 8th and 13th Avenues, the northern sidewalk along 8th Avenue between Lincoln and Pearl Streets, on either side of Willamette Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, the eastern sidewalk along Pearl Street between 8th and 13th Avenues, on either side of Broadway between Pearl and High Streets, and on the northern sidewalk along 13th Avenue between Pearl and Lincoln Streets.
Previously, there was a boundary for people biking that differed from the boundaries for people skateboarding. The new zone makes it easier for people to know they’re in a walk zone Riding skateboards or bicycles on sidewalks inside the zone is a violation of Eugene Code 5.450(2), and violators are subject to a maximum $50 fine. Note: 5.450(2) is prohibition for people skateboarding and 5.400(1) is for people bicycling. It is illegal to ride a skateboard in the road anytime in Eugene except when crossing a street in a crosswalk or at a right angle. A skateboard by ORS definition is not a vehicle and therefore never allowed to be used in the roadway other than crossing at a right angle within the City of Eugene. Violators skating in the road would be subject to citations for being a pedestrian in the roadway or portions of the roadway restricted to vehicular traffic.
During their July 28 meeting, the Eugene City Council approved the new skateboard and bicycle downtown no-sidewalk riding zone that went into effect on Aug. 29, 2014. Since that time, police have been issuing warnings, and once warned, citations.
In the next several days, the disk signage will be installed on the sidewalks in the downtown area to alert people skateboarding and bicycling that they have entered the no-sidewalk-riding zone and must walk their bikes and carry their skateboards. Materials have also been produced to provide a map of the new zone and other helpful information about the new rules.
More details on the new laws can be found on the project website at www.eugene-or.gov/bikeskatelaws.