Committee wants to ban bikes on breakwater

Skateboards would also be prohibited under plan intended to protect not only riders but pedestrians

A BICYCLIST rode on the Port Washington breakwater shortly after the east end was resurfaced last year. Press file photo
Ozaukee Press staff

Bikes, skateboard, hoverboards and other similar devices will be prohibited on the Port Washington breakwater this summer, if the city’s Traffic Safety Committee has its way.

The committee recommended on Monday that the city adopt an ordinance prohibiting such devices on the breakwater, citing the potential for injury.

The issue was brought up by Ald. Paul Neumyer, a member of the committee, who expressed concern about the safety of not only the bicycle riders but also the pedestrians they pass while riding on the breakwater.

It’s not uncommon for bicyclists, pedestrians and fishermen who set up seats along the breakwater to all share the relatively narrow surface, Neumyer said.

Ald. Deb Postl, chairman of the committee, concurred, saying “This is an accident waiting to happen. Somebody’s going to fall.”

Ald. John Sigwart, another committee member, noted that the coho are currently running near Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon.

“When they get here, it’s going to be a zoo,” he warned.

In response to concerns from aldermen, the city has installed a sign at the breakwater asking that bicyclists walk their bikes on the breakwater, Public Works Director Rob Vanden Noven, a member of the committee, said.

That hasn’t stopped people, Postl said.

She said she recently was walking in the area when she saw a couple people riding and stopped them.

“We said, ‘You’re not supposed to be riding your bikes on the breakwater.’ They said, ‘What?’ We asked, did you see the sign?’ They said, “What?’” Postl told the committee.

“Many people don’t read the sign.”

Postl suggested the city install bike racks at the breakwater so people can safely leave them at the entrance when they walk out to the lighthouse.

That, she added, would reinforce the message on the sign.

The committee asked Vanden Noven to see if the city has a law against riding bikes on the breakwater and, if not, to have the city attorney draw up an ordinance prohibiting such things as bikes, skateboards and hoverboards on the breakwater for the Common Council to consider.

Wheeled carts and wagons would be allowed, members said.


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