Recently the city of Riverside passed a law reinstating 10.64.310 of the Riverside Municipal Code. I understand the basis on this law but the application of this law is a little bit tricky. I have written an email to the Mayor and my Councilman asking that this RMC code be rescinded. If you are interested in my petition please let me know. Here is what I sent to the Mayor and Council:
Dear Mayor Bailey and Councilman Soubirous,
I have been recently informed that the City of Riverside as of 4/1/14 has changed section 10 of the Riverside Municipal Code to reinstate RMC 10.64.310. This code states that no personal shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk. My son is 6 yrs. old. We recently bought him a bike and have been teaching him how to ride it properly. I live on Arlington Ave. As I am sure you know Arlington Ave. is a very busy street, there is no way I would ever let me 6 yr. old son ride on the street on Arlington Ave. The municipal code already prohibits riding a bike where signs are posted which means my son can’t just go learn in a parking lot or at a park (every park and parking lot I know has signs against that). Basically, if you are a child and if you don’t live on a quiet street or an apartment building (which is our case) the city has said you cannot ride a bike.
It was my understanding that our city was trying to be proactive to encourage people to bike, not discourage it. I feel as though this law will be used to stop children (especially teenagers) from riding their bicycles because they will be in fear of law enforcement stopping them. I know I am not going to send my son to school on a bike knowing that he might accidentally go on the sidewalk and get cited. I consider this very strange timing from the city considering next month is National Bicycle Month. Not to mention this law doesn’t properly take into account other forms of transportation. Not that I care, but how come Segways are allowed on sidewalks and not bicycles? I would also like to say that I do respect that there are certain places where bicycles should not be allowed but the RMC code had previously stated that you could not ride a bike in the downtown pedestrian area and where signs were posted. Also, certain etiquette needs to be followed, for example if a bicyclist and a pedestrian are near each other the bicyclist needs to yield or stop (which was already previously written in the RMC).
As a citizen of Riverside I am very concerned with the implications of the reinstatement of this law. I would also like to know if there is someway as a citizen to petition to reinstate the rules the way they were before. In the meantime I will be telling my friends about this new RMC code and warning them, so their children don’t get stopped.
Thank you for your time and consideration,