Scottsdale considering new bicycle ordinances to ease traffic
July 30, 2018
By Eric Newman
Bicycle sharing companies have made it easier for Scottsdale tourists and residents alike to find and ride bicycles around the city, enjoying the outdoors and exploring what the community has to offer. However, with more bicycles on the street nearly every day, the city now must consider the impact of all the extra vehicles in the area.
In an attempt to help clear congested traffic, preserve the aesthetics of Scottsdale and keep bikes off private property, among other reasons, the City of Scottsdale considered proposed changes to the city’s bicycle ordinance at its meeting on June 21 at City Hall.
“We kind of closely watched over peak tourist season and wanted to see if the bicycle sharing companies would self-police themselves and make sure bikes were parked in appropriate areas,” assistant city manager Brent Stockwell said. “We thought it would be helpful to kind of think about what rules might be good to make sure that bicycle parking and riding is not a problem in our community.
Stockwell says that some of the changes include prohibited areas for parking bicycles and similar vehicles, conditions for impounding vehicles that violate these rules and a limit on how many bikes can be parked in certain areas.
“We’re trying to address the aesthetics issue by limiting them to five bikes per owner within 200 feet,” he said. “Within a mile-by-half-mile space we tracked, there would still be 38 kind appropriate parking spots for that. Five bikes per each of those 38 spots would be 190 bikes. And right now there are at least two sharing providers, so you can double that and that means there’s 380 bikes, and that should be plenty of space without cluttering the streets but still look better.”
The ordinance has not been fully set into motion yet, however, and Stockwell says feedback from the community on the different rules set by the ordinance is vital before the Transportation Committee’s August 16 meeting, in which the committee will vote on whether or not to recommend the finalized ordinance to the City Council.
“We’ve shared the concepts with the companies and the citizens. I think for the most part, they are pretty receptive. I think there are still some changes to this that sharing companies would like to see,” Stockwell said. “And part of the role of the council is to kind of balance that out, what the community expectations are versus what the companies would like to have in place and kind of figure out what works for everybody.”