Bicyclists & Skateboarders - Wenatchee, Washington USA

Bicyclists & Skateboarders

Wenatchee, Washington USA

Bicyclist And Skateboarder On The Sidewalk, But
No Bicycle Or Skateboard Flyers Downtown Wenatchee.

Wenatchee, Washington ( Commentary Dick Woods )

Last week we welcomed the new Police Chief Tom Robbins
back to Wenatchee and his new position as Wenatchee Top Cop.

At the end of my commentary I had a tongue in cheek comment

Now lets see if he can keep the bicyclists and skateboarders off the streets
of Downtown Wenatchee. Well that prompted a listener to call within a couple
of minutes after it aired and asked if I really meant to say streets of Down town
Wenatchee. What I really meant to say was the sidewalks of Downtown Wenatchee.
If you think about it skateboarders shouldnt be on the streets and the sidewalks
are attached to the city streets. So I rationalized my way out of that fluke.

However the next call I got within 15 minutes after my comments aired was
from Sgt Mike Magnotti and he wondered if I could take a ride with him.
So by 8am last Thursday morning 45 minutes after my comments aired
I was picked up at Sign Pro in an unmarked police van, strapped in wearing
my seat belt of course, cruising the streets of Downtown Wenatchee.

As Sgt Magnotti was explaining to me why the police department couldnt
put bicycles and skateboards on a high priority, I was looking for the flyers
that I had donated from Sign Pro to the Downtown Association reminding
people that riding bicycles and skateboards was prohibited by a city ordinance.
So I was surprised when I didn’t see that many displayed in the store windows.

As I was looking and listening to Sgt Magnotti, he was explaining that the
downtown merchants should be doing a neighborhood watch much like
you do in your own residential neighborhood block watch.

I explained to Sgt Magnotti that I didn’t think merchants were going to
confront anyone on a bicycle or skateboard and tell them it was against
the law to ride on the sidewalks.

I told Sgt Magnotti that since the no bicycles or skateboards ordinance was
on the books, then it should be enforced. I understand that it is not a top
priority for the patrol officers. I suggested that perhaps the officers could
park their patrol cars once in awhile and make a walking loop of a city block.
He explained that he hoped to convince the new police chief, that they could
use 5 patrol officers on each shift so that it could happen. This could make a
more friendly, congenial atmosphere among the merchants and the patrol officers.

So perhaps the new chief will make some changes in the shift patrols.

I did speak to some merchants and they said they would not confront a
bicyclist or skateboarder on the sidewalk. However, one downtown merchant
said she would speak to them if she could catch them or if they ran into her.

We do need to work with our police officers and help them do their job.
So put the no bicycle or skateboard flyers in your windows. Talk to them
if the occasion arises, and give your input to the Wenatchee Downtown
ssociation and the Wenatchee Police Department.

-- Commentary, Dick Woods, Wenatchee, Wa.


Cashmere, Leavenworth Washington - 08/03/2000
Leavenworth and Cashmere skaters may soon have a place to
go to work off aggression from past skating violation tickets.

The same cities that cite the skaters are planning
community skateboard parks in the next couple of years.

"The objective is to keep kids in the skate park, instead of downtown,"
said Cashmere City Administrator Frank McWhirter. Cashmere is working
to cultivate parent interest and allocate funds for its planned skate park,
which would be built in an Aplets Way parking lot.

Leavenworth may receive some financial help building its skate park,
which was planned with skaters' participation. Next Thursday, City
Administrator Scott Hugill will be in Olympia presenting designs
for the park to an outdoor recreation committee that helps fund
projects like it.

Hugill will compete with 100 representatives from other public
and private agencies requesting funds from the youth athletic
facilities division of the Interagency Committee for Outdoor

IAC offers grants of up to $300,000 to agencies each year for
ecological and recreational improvements and developments.

McWhirter said skate parks are important in a community like Cashmere,
where skateboarding and rollerblading are forbidden in downtown areas.
Hugill said skating is also prohibited in Leavenworth's central commercial
zones, where such activities can endanger pedestrians, disrupt traffic and
threaten skaters' safety.

But downtown areas are naturally the most appealing sites for skaters,
offering obstacles, rails and ramps for the jumps, slides and tricks that
define their sport.

Skaters caught in Cashmere's no-skate zones are issued $50 citations,
"but enforcement's a problem," McWhirter said.

"It's hard to catch them (violators) because they move pretty fast," he said.
"Besides, what do you tell kids who have nowhere else to skate?"


** No More Free-Wheeling Downtown **

Wenatchee to crack down on bicycles,
in-line skaters and boarders on the sidewalk

Wenatchee , Washington -- 05/16/1997
Better watch your wheels.

Wenatchee police began cracking down Thursday on the illegal use
of in-line skates, skateboards and bicycles on downtown sidewalks.
That includes the parking lot and courtyard area of the Wenatchee Center,
where skateboarders in particular seem fond of launching their boards off
benches. And it includes alleys in the case of in-line skates and skateboards.

Cyclists face up to $250 fine for riding their bikes on sidewalks
in the central business district, which is bounded by Kittitas,
Fifth, Columbia and Chelan streets. That's because riding a
bike on downtown sidewalks is considered a traffic violation.

The fines are less for skateboarders and skaters
-- up to $50 -- but they face the additional penalty of
having their wheels confiscated until their fine is paid.

"They go down the street, get up some speed and then leap with their
boards on the benches, ride the whole length and drop off the
other side," said Police Chief Ken Badgley. "In the meantime,
the undercarriage gouges the bench, but they don't seem to worry
that the seats can't be used because they've been splintered."

The police "emphasized" enforcement of the city ordinance last spring
about this time, Badgley said, and both merchants and the Police Advisory
Board brought up the issue again earlier this month. One member of the
board related a story about an elderly woman who stepped out of a store
into the path of either a bike or a skateboard, Badgley said. The impact
spun her around and made her fall. She wasn't hurt, he said, but it gave
everyone a scare.

Another reason behind the heavier enforcement is to try to clean out
the small clutches of teens who tended to congregate downtown last year.
The groups intimidated and annoyed both business people and shoppers,
and the goal is to keep that from happening again this year, Badgley said.

The "emphasis" will probably last for several weeks,
said Capt. Rick Murray.

Cyclists, in-line skaters and even skateboarders aren't prohibited
from riding on other city sidewalks outside the downtown area,
and they are all free to use the Loop Trail, but skateboarders who
hoped for their own special park this summer will have to wait even

The Wenatchee Skate Park at Pioneer Park was supposed to be
finished this month, but the $45,000 project has been delayed
because the volunteers who are doing the excavation -- Pipkin
Construction and Morrill Asphalt -- have been too busy to do
the work this spring, he said. They hope to get started on Monday.

Another frustration came after volunteer Project Manager Dale O'Neal
spent three hours staking the excavation area last month, only to have
vandals pull up all the stakes.

Largent said he's afraid to set a new completion date for the project,
but hopes to see it finished before the end of the summer.

The Friends of the Wenatchee Skate Park are still taking donations
to complete the project, which will use about $20,000 of city funds.
For more information, call Largent at 664-3392.


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