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home : opinion : editorial
October 18, 2019

9/11/2019 3:15:00 PM
Boards and scooters

Last week, a University of Minnesota official issued a public statement essentially scolding scooter drivers on the University of Minnesota campus.
He just as easily could have been talking about the streets and sidewalks of Windom.
The spokesperson suggested that scooter drivers act like bike riders - drive on the street, stay in the bike lane, "follow the rules that bikes follow."
If only all of our local bicycle riders followed the rules. While many riders do a great job, a few renegades tend to make the entire lot look bad.
This is not a new problem. Bicycles, skateboards and scooters have been zig-zagging down city streets and sidewalks for decades.
One could probably pull an edition of the Citizen from the 1950s and find an editorial pleading with skateboarders to operate in a more safe and orderly manner. There are likely complaints about misbehaving bicyclists dating back to the 1920s.
However, this past summer the bicycle/scooter/skateboard problem seemed worse than usual.
On multiple occasions, we saw skateboards cruising down the middle of city streets. There were far too many reports of accidents and close calls caused by bicycle drivers running stop signs, or zipping down sidewalks.
Each year, our community offers a bicycle rodeo aimed at helping youngsters learn more about bicycle safety. As much as it feels like remedial classes are in order, what we truly need is much more parent involvement.
For instance, a good time to teach sons and daughters about bicycle safety is during a family bike ride. Maybe more youngsters should learn that riding a skateboard is a privilege, not a right.
We've stressed it in these pages many times over the years, but bicycles and skatebaords on city sidewalks remains a significant problem. When this occurs - particularly downtown - it is not hard to imagine a bike hitting a senior citizen who was exiting a local store. Of course, this can lead to broken hips or other life-altering injuries.
We realize it is late in the year for this topic. Nonetheless, bikes, skateboards and scooters are still out and about. There is plenty of time to build better habits.
    - Rahn Larson

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