The Oxford Police Department (OPD) will begin strictly enforcing traffic rules for bicyclists, as uptown has become more crowded with the start of the school year.
“It’s really a safety issue,” Sgt. Jim Squance said. “No one is allowed to ride their bikes uptown on the sidewalks and there are signs posted. We’re going to start enforcing those bicycle ordinances.”
Squance said bicyclists who violate any bicycle ordinances could be issued a civil citation with a $60 fine or a uniform statewide citation, which carries a $180 fine.
“The sidewalks uptown in the business district are too crowded with pedestrians,” Squance said. “It’s an accident waiting to happen.”
The uptown business district includes the area between Campus and College avenues and Church and Walnut streets, including Uptown Park.
According to Squance, OPD is stressing that bicyclists abide by all the laws that motor vehicles follow, including stopping at stop signs and traffic lights and driving on the correct side of the road.
“At the beginning of the school year we get a number of complaints not only with bicyclists but pedestrians as well,” Squance said. “It happens because the weather is nice and there are a lot of new people in town.”
Squance said he has not received any reports of bicycle accidents, but that the year is still young.
“I personally have seen many bicyclists that are not conforming to the rules of traffic,” he said. “We have a lot of bikes in town, a lot of cars and a lot of pedestrians, so we’re trying to make it safe for everybody.”
Miami University junior Derrick Creque also recognizes that bicyclists using sidewalks could be a safety issue.
“I notice bikers more on campus than uptown,” he said. “I don’t personally think it’s a problem, but if they (OPD) see it as an issue, then they should address it.”