Noting there is a time and place for everything, the City of Riverbank now includes skateboarding and bicycle riding in the downtown business district in that category.
Riverbank Police Services officers have begun enforcing a municipal Code section (133.03) that prohibits boarding and biking in the downtown business area’s public streets, sidewalks, parking lots and any other public property located in the Central Business District.
A recent notice in the city water/sewer bill’s newsletter points out that signs warning “No Skateboarding Or Bicycle Riding on Sidewalks” are posted on light standards at intersection corners, “and if not observed, riders can be fined.”
Officials say these “restrictions are imposed to ensure the safety of all in the downtown vicinity.” With a combination of board or bike riders, patrons walking into or out of businesses, cars, delivery trucks, etc., “the risk of possible accidents is almost inevitable.”
The city notes that there are plenty of city parks, along with the Donner Trail path in Crossroads, where bicycling is permissible. In addition, they note, the foot of Santa Fe Street, on First Street, is the site of Riverbank’s own Skate Park.
However, Santa Fe Street leads to the Skate Park, enticing skaters to ride down the sidewalk to get there. Some of those sidewalks, though, fall under the ordinance.
There have been several near-misses involving customers at Santa Fe businesses, resulting in complaints to the police department.
As recently as Tuesday, July 11, a city employee was nearly knocked down going from City Hall South back to her office in City Hall North, crossing Santa Fe Street. As it turned out, a deputy was driving the same direction, saw the near accident, and pulled over the offending skater at Second and Santa Fe streets.
The officer gave the ‘boarder a warning only, through offenders may not get off so easily in the future.