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Monday, March 25 , 2019, 2:02 pm | Fair 62º

 
 
 
 

Santa Maria Council Approves Ordinance Mandating Safety Gear at Bicycle Park

Riders using the newly installed track at Fletcher Park will be required to wear a helmet and other protection

Park rangers in Santa Maria soon will have a new tool for enforcing safety at the bicycle track at Fletcher Park.

The Santa Maria City Council on Tuesday night unanimously agreed to add a requirement that riders in the bicycle park must wear a helmet and other safety gear. 

“Basically what we’re trying to do with this ordinance is to provide a tool for safety at our recently installed bicycle training track,” said Alex Posada, director of the Recreation and Parks Department.

Approximately four months ago, the city installed the "pump track” in a corner of Fletcher Park on College Drive in Santa Maria. The addition came because bicyclists were improperly using the nearby skateboard ramps, causing conflicts.

The rules regarding safety helmets plus elbow and knee pads are already in place for skateboarders and scooter riders at the park facilities.

“We needed just a little bit of enforcement bite and that is the ordinance that you see before you,” Posada said. “For everyone’s safety we’re asking that the council adopt an ordinance that would require the use of  basic safety equipment — helmets and pads.”

Councilman Jack Boysen asked whether the lack of safety gear has been a significant problem.

“Normally, when I go past and see them, they’re usually compliant,” Boysen added.

Posada said younger riders typically comply with the law, but older teens and adults don’t use safety gear as regularly.

“I think it’s an excellent idea,” Councilman Bob Orach added.

Later this month, the City Council is scheduled to conduct a second reading of the ordinance and the new rule would be implemented 30 days after that.

Posada said the department will implement an education program before enforcing the rule regarding the safety gear for bicyclists at the pump track.

Not wearing the safety gear could bring a citation that would require a court appearance, Posada said in his staff report.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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