University Police Services cracked down on alternate means of transportation to campus . After sending out a warning to all students last week, they spent Thursday, Oct. 12, informing 42 cyclists and skateboarders on university policy but did not give out any tickets.
“We have observed skateboarders and cyclists travel through campus at speeds of 30 plus miles per hour, some bicycles even over 45 miles per hour,” said Assistant Chief Todd Renwick. “This is on sidewalks and internal campus roadways. That is just not safe, especially weaving in and out of pedestrians walking.”
Police Services has received numerous complaints from the university community about safety concerns in addition to observing unsafe riding habits. It has used this crackdown as a way to educate people about university policies.
Bicycles are required to be registered with the university annually and must display a university pass. Cyclists are required to follow the 15 miles per hour speed limit on university roadways. They must also stay at least 3 feet away from pedestrians and can’t use mobile devices or headphones while riding.
Skateboards are not allowed on roads used by motor vehicles, parking garages or ramps. The only time skateboards are permitted on roadways are when riding in a designated crosswalk. They also cannot ride on any railings or stairways. They are also required to abide by the 15 miles per hour speed limit and maintain a distance of 3 feet from pedestrians.
“We just want cyclists and skateboarders to slow down, stay on designated paths and dismount when on sidewalks,” Renwick said. “Pedestrians also need to pay attention, look up from their cell phones and concentrate on walking and be aware of their surroundings.”
Renwick also said that Police Services will continue to educate people about university policies beyond the day dedicated to it, stating that they are not targeting just cyclists and borders, but applying the same rules to drivers and pedestrians.
“We are continuing to do education on this topic as well as work with the UNR Sustainability Committee – Bicycle Working Group on campus to help address the issue. This is going to be a collaborative effort between police, cyclists, skateboarders and the university.”
The university was given a bronze level designation as a Bicycle Friendly University in 2015. There are bicycle repair and inflation stations around campus, and the Reno Bike Project offers workshops on campus about bicycle maintenance.
The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles encourages bicyclists to ride on the right side of the road as close to the curb as possible. They also ask cyclists to ride with lights and bright clothes on.
According to the DMV, 49 percent of all bicycle deaths occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. and 90 percent of bicycle-related deaths involve collisions with motor vehicles.
Madeline Purdue can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on twitter @madelinepurdue.