University of Utah considering ban on skateboarding, biking

Published: Friday, May 10 2013 11:20 a.m. MDT

Rick Shaffer skateboards on the ramp he built in his backyard. Sons Cooper, left, and Isaac watch. Health officials have lifted a ban on such ramps. Rick Shaffer, left, watches his son Cooper, 4, ride his bike on the skateboard and bike ramp in their backyard. Isaac, 9, waits his turn.

Stuart Johnson, Deseret Newsstuart Johnson, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — University of Utah police hope to put the brakes on reckless skateboarding and cycling with a new policy that would ban recreational riding on campus.

The proposed policy would limit the permitted uses of bikes, skateboards and scooters to transportation to and from campus-related activities by students and staff. The measure received preliminary approval this week from the university's Academic Senate.

Campus spokesman Keith Sterling said the policy will be re-evaluated next month by the university's Executive Council prior to any official action by the board of trustees.

"This is only a draft at this point," he said. "This is not final."

Sterling said the policy was written in response to several incidents in which members of the campus community were involved in collisions with reckless cyclists and skateboarders.

"There’s an issue of safety," he said, "and that’s really the core of this entire thing. There needs to be, we believe, a stronger policy of safety regarding our campus because there have been injuries."

Sterling said officials are still working through the exact wording of the policy, which in its current form would not permit rule-abiding members of the public to travel on or pass through campus by bike or skateboard.

"We need to be mindful of the safety concerns, because they are legitimate," he said. "At the same time, we need to be mindful that there are folks that abide by the laws and are safe that use our campus."

Email: benwood@deseretnews.com

Twitter: bjaminwood

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