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Bike Laws Downtown Do Exist | Crime

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Bike Laws Downtown Do Exist
Bike Laws Downtown Do Exist

You may have heard that Spokane Police are sending two of their finest to the streets... on bicycles. Officer Marie Rosenthal and Officer Deanna Schmidt will be riding from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday on the streets of downtown Spokane to enforce criminal and non-criminal violations and to respond to calls for service.

The warmer weather means the officers won't be the only bicyclists downtown. Others will be trying their hand at commuting. Perhaps they became a fan after Bike to Work Week or they're one of the many that live downtown that actually don't own a vehicle and use the bicycle as their primary form of transportation.

Officer Rosenthal offered some of her opinions about being a bicyclist in downtown Spokane:

"My biggest complaint is the lack of signage advising bicyclists of the rules of the road for downtown bicycling, and bicycling in Spokane in general," Officer Rosenthal said. She continued, "Another is the inconsistency of the bike lanes, meaning that on one road there may be a bike lane for a block, then it just stops. People don't really know how they can ride their bikes safely on the Spokane streets."

Every form of transportation from pedestrian, to bicyclist to motorists have their complaints about the other. Spokane Regional Health District just released a survey asking for input regarding some upcoming public service announcements for transportation safety. It involves all three types of transport.

"I hope to see increased and more visible signs so that everyone knows the bicycle rules. Most people tell us they did not know they had to wear a helmet, or that they can not ride their bike or skateboard on the downtown sidewalks. More bike lines would be great," Officer Rosenthal said.

She also explained that some of the biggest offenses by bicyclists in downtown Spokane are riding against traffic, not wearing a helmet, riding on the sidewalks in the downtown corridor, not obeying basic traffic laws and not using hand signals.

The City of Spokane states in their municipal code that no person may ride a bicycle or non-motorized vehicle upon any sidewalk or other pedestrian way within the retail zone of the congested district of the City. These codes were passed in November of 2008 and were made effective in 2009.

For more information about the city's codes regarding "rules of the road", you can read the codes on their website in Section 16A.61.787 which can also be found by searching "City of Spokane" + "Bike Laws".

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