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Santa Maria Council May Mandate Safety Gear at Bicycle Park

Recreation and Parks Department is urging use of equipment similar to what skateboarders are required to have

Riders hitting a bicycle track at Fletcher Park in Santa Maria could soon be required to don protective gear, much like their skateboarding brethren.

The Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department on Tuesday will ask the City Council to implement a requirement for riders at the bicycle training track, or “pump track,” installed earlier this year at the park on College Drive. 

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall on the corner of Broadway and Cook Street.

“In order to ensure the safe and orderly use of the pump track, it is essential that bicycle riders wear protective helmets, elbow pads and knee pads when using the new bicycle park,” Recreation and Parks Director Alex Posada said in a staff report.

Park rangers would be responsible for enforcing the rule. 

“Violations will be dealt with depending on the frequency and severity of the violation,” Posada said. “Staff may elect to warn a first-time offender, or choose to issue an ‘infraction’ citation for persons with multiple violations. The latter would result in a court appearance for the violator.”

The city installed the bicycle ramp after cyclists repeatedly used the nearby skateboard, where safety gear is required.

“The unauthorized use by bicyclists in the skate park poses a safety risk to not only the bicycle riders but also the skaters that are using the skate ramps.

In addition to the facility at Fletcher, the law also would require safety gear at a city bicycle park with temporary ramps. 

“We expect the impact to be reduced violations of the skate ramp ordinance by persons misusing skate ramps, improved opportunities for the public to ride their bicycles for training and health purposes, and fewer injuries to bicyclists,” Posada said.

The new law would take effect later this year.

Presentations on the Santa Maria Economic Development Commission and the Santa Maria Visitors and Convention Bureau also are planned.

And council members are scheduled to conduct the second reading of an ordinance implementing rules regarding water conservation, such as banning water uses deemed wasteful by the state.

These include requiring people washing their cars to use a hose with a shut-off device and avoiding overwatering that leads to runoff into the sidewalk, street or off-site.

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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