Hooray! Sort of
The City Council last night dropped a plan to ban bikes, skateboards and other types of muscle-powered fun on public property, including all of the city’s parks and to allow park directors to cite scofflaws. The proposal, which grew out of plans to prohibit skateboarders and cyclists from flying down the six decks of the Civic Center Parking Structure, drew criticism across the blogosphere and from Alamedans who questioned why the council would prohibit kids from cycling and skating in some of the only safe places available to them. The council instead went with its original plan to prohibit skateboards and cyclists from riding on city property, with an exception for cyclists riding to lockers in the Civic Center Parking Structure. Scofflaws could be ticketed by police. “I think we went astray last time,” Councilmember Frank Matarrese said, in suggesting the council stick with Plan A on this one. Interestingly, the public debate over this stirred fresh questions about the use of motorized gizmos, like Segway scooters and wheelchairs, in bike lanes; the concerns could be addressed as part of the Transportation Commission’s bicycle master plan process, council members said. And on another interesting note, city staff – at Councilmember Doug DeHaan’s request – pointed out that bikes were banned in the city’s parks for nearly half a century, until the council lifted the prohibition in 1989. On a separate transportation-related note, the council approved fuel surcharges for the Island’s two ferry systems. Single, one-way tickets for the Alameda/Oakland ferry would go up 50 cents, to $6.50; tickets for the Harbor Bay ferry would go up 75 cents, to $6.75 for a one-way trip.