University of Utah students can still use bicycles, scooters and skateboards to rush between classes, but they had better not hurry faster than 10 mph.
The U. Institutional Council adopted regulations earlier this week prohibiting operation of bicycles, skateboards and scooters faster than 10 mph on campus sidewalks. Speeding can reap a citation, although U. officials say they plan to stress education, rather than punishment, in the beginning.The regulations came after a year-long study by a campus committee, headed by Robert Schmid of the College of Law. The committee was formed after worried pedestrians complained that speeding bicyclists, scooter riders and skateboarders jeopardized their safety.
U. Provost James Clayton said because of the potential for accidents, the regulations are vital. He said the University of California-Irvine, which had finished deliberations on its regulations but hadn't adopted them, was forced to pay a $4.5 million out-of-court settlement when a pedestrian became a paraplegic after being hit by a bicycle.
The U., which is self-insured, would have to pay such claims before any of its other expenses, the provost said.
Schmid said the committee's initial suggestion was to restrict the 8-foot-wide campus walkways to pedestrians only, but members, after meeting with various campus groups, decided that pedestrians, bicyclists, scooter riders and skateboards can peacefully coexist, if reasonable caution is used.
The new regulations say reasonable caution includes giving pedestrians the right-of-way; setting the 10 mph speed limit; and limiting use of bicycles, scooters and skateboards to sidewalks.
Schmid said campus roads are state roads governed by traffic laws.
Because of the steep sidewalks, the campus is a favorite course for skateboarders who are not U. students.