Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Safety concerns prompted some new signage at another Wichita park. “No biking allowed” signs are up at a second park with the city placing blame on “racing cyclists.”
Wichita has miles of pathways where bicyclists are welcome and even encouraged to ride. But park sidewalks like those in College Hill aren't among them.
John and Carol Valusek say they frequently walk College Hill Park with their dog, Brinkley. John says the new signs are a good idea, even if we wishes they weren’t necessary.
"The problem is sometimes the people who are using bicycles really do over-do,” he said. “I've seen a number of times when young kids, small kids, have to jump out of the way."
"They do race through and they don't let you know when they're coming by you," Carol said.
The parks department put up the signs after receiving complaints of off-road bicyclists racing and nearly knocking over mothers with children. The city erected signs in Oak Park a couple of years ago for similar problems.
"I can understand when you're trying to walk, you don't want to get knocked down by a bicycle," said park user Jeannie Woodburn.
Parks and Recreation Director Doug Kupper says it’s always been state and local law with bicyclists required to follow the same rules as car drivers.
"It's actually illegal to ride a bicycle on a sidewalk," he said.
He says it wasn’t a problem until some abused it. Even 3-year-old Quinn Lyons knows not to run over people.
"I go fast. On this? Yeah. But do you run over people? No,” he said.
But some people wonder if the signs are really necessary.
"I think it's a little bit overkill to ban bicycles completely," says park user Julie Christrensson.
The city has parks with bicycle paths running through them. This just doesn't happen to be one of them.
There are some city parks, such as Riverside, Linwood and Dr. Dye parks, which have bike paths running through them. Chapin Park has off-road biking paths and a second one is being built at Air Capital Park.
For a map of city bike paths, follow the link provided.