University delays new bike code

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University delays new bike code

Daily Illini File photo 

Daily Illini File photo 

Daily Illini File photo 

Daily Illini File photo 

By Daily Illini Staff Report

The updated University bike code will not be going into effect this spring as expected, but UIPD officials hope it will be up and running at the beginning of the fall semester.

Some of the drafted rules in the code include registering bikes with the University, banning pedestrians from bike lanes and giving pedestrians the right-of-way at crosswalks and intersections.

University Police Department Deputy Chief Skip Frost said that the delay is due to the code not quite being ready to go.

“We just put it out at the beginning of the year for public comment and now that we got a lot of that input back we realize that we’re probably just not going to have it done by the end of the semester,” Frost said. “When we roll this out we want to make sure that we have plenty of time to advertise it very heavily, have conversations with the community partners and make sure everybody is aware of the policy and any changes that might be forthcoming.”

He added that the code is going through legal counsel and they are in the process of figuring out the best option for University citations and how they are going to collect that money, as well as having an appeals board in place.

Frost said the main goal of the updated code is to improve bicycle travel safety on campus, for both bicyclists and pedestrians. He added that the biggest safety issue University Police deals with is bicyclists on University sidewalks that fail to yield to pedestrians.

“The bumps and bruises are bad enough, but when you start talking about broken bones and people getting injured in that regard – many of which we never even hear about because people don’t even report it,” he said. “But we know it’s happening and we know that there are numerous people complaining about it, and because of that, that’s one reason why we want to get the new code effectively up and running and try to make people aware of what the rules are.”

Though the new code is still in the works, Frost said that bicycle enforcement will continue as it always has, with referrals through the student judicial system and the Illinois code citations regarding bicycles on the street that do not abide by the law.

“As soon as the weather breaks, we know the bicycles become more and more prevalent,” he said.” We’ll be very tuned in to bicyclists that are on the street, not acting in accordance with the Illinois vehicle code. For those that are on the sidewalks where they conflict with pedestrians, we’ll be addressing their behavior as well.”