City Times Staff
City leaders on Monday will consider adding a new ordinance to the Stevens Point bylaws — one that governs abandoned bicycles.
The city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) first proposed the new ordinance last November, asking the city to consider adopting a new set of laws to allow for the tagging and removal of abandoned bicycles left unclaimed after 72 hours.
BPAC was first created by Mayor Mike Wiza last summer and is comprised of four city residents. The group’s mission involves betterment of an “integrated multi-modal transportation network”, according to a news release from the city. The committee will also assist in implementing a county-wide bicycle and pedestrian plan.
Tori Jennings, the committee chairwoman,in November said the proposed ordinance was aimed at bicycles left in public bike racks for an extended period of time. Under the proposal, which was modeled after a similar law in Madison, bicycles considered abandoned would be tagged with a warning notice, then removed by police 72 hours later if unclaimed.
“The rational is, the ordinance will provide a mechanism to deal with abandoned bicycles,” said Jennings. “This is especially important as more public bike racks are installed and more people are cycling.”
Jennings told the commission she’s emailed the police department several times- and provided them with photos- proving some bicycles had remained in various public racks, unused and covered in snow, during all of last winter. The bikes would then fall into disrepair and left abandoned, she said.
But the practicality of such an ordinance wasn’t clear to some, and Commissioner Anna Haines asked in November whether the city had the manpower or time to actually enforce such a law.
“It sounds good…three days to determine if something has been abandoned,” Haines said, “but who’s actually doing that? I can’t imagine the city is going to allocate time for someone to literally walk around everyday and determine if a bike was there or not.”
The plan commission meets at the Lincoln Center on Monday, March 7 at 6:00 PM. The public is welcome to attend.