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University of Utah scraps plan to ban skateboards, bikes

Published: Thursday, June 20 2013 11:41 a.m. MDT

The University of Utah has changed course on a proposed policy to ban recreational skateboarding and bike riding on campus. A new proposal would emphasize enforcement of existing rules and safety education.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — University of Utah officials have changed course on a proposed policy that would have banned recreational skateboarding and bicycling on campus.

On Monday, the school's Executive Committee approved a new proposal that would beef up enforcement of current campus safety policies and promote efforts to educate skateboarders and bicyclists on cautious riding.

"The intent is to enforce the rules of safety and make sure folks are abiding by them and education at the same time, more than we have in the past," campus spokesman Keith Sterling said.

The new policy will be reviewed by the university's Academic Senate prior to final approval, Sterling said.

Last month, preliminary approval was given to a proposal to limit permitted use of bikes, skateboards and scooters to transportation to and from campus-related activities by students and staff. According to Sterling, the ban on recreational riding was written in response to several incidents in which members of the campus community were involved in collisions with reckless cyclists and skateboarders.

That led to questions about how appropriate use of bikes and skateboards would be distinguished from inappropriate use, and whether the policy would bar otherwise rule-abiding members of the community from recreational riding on campus.

"We’re not going to distinguish between recreational riding and folks who are riding to go to work or folks who are on campus as students," Sterling said. "We want to make sure that everyone who rides a skateboard knows they need to yield to pedestrians."

Email: benwood@deseretnews.com, Twitter: bjaminwood

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