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City considers new bike and scooter ordinance

At the Nov. 21 Clemson City Council meeting, Clemson Police Chief Jorge Campos proposed a new bike and scooter ordinance.
Campos’ proposed guidelines would allow bicycles, scooters and skateboards on sidewalks outside of designated pedestrian zones, such as downtown. It would also allow scooters and similar devices to ride on streets with a speed limit of less than 25 mph.
Cyclists and scooter riders on sidewalks would need to yield to pedestrians and make an audible sound before passing others. 
The proposed ordinance would prohibit leaving scooters unattended on any public property, and ban Bird- and Lime-style scooter rentals. Furthermore, those operating bicycles or scooters in a reckless manner may be cited and subjected to a fine.
Violations of the proposed ordinance will result in a fine starting at $75, similar to a 20 mph over speeding ticket in South Carolina.
The current ordinance bans all bicycles from city sidewalks, and dates back to 1989, when pedestrians downtown found bikes on the sidewalk to be a nuisance. Although this law has been on the books, enforcement is relatively rare, according to Police Chief Jorge Santos, with the last use being in 2019.
This process was inspired by several things, including the coming construction of the first phase of the Green Crescent Trail, events such as Clemson Elementary’s “Walk and Roll to School Day” and Clemson University’s adjustment in their own scooter policy, which had largely rendered the old ordinance outdated.
In addition, the 1989 ordinance does not account for scooters or skate boards.
The City Council expressed general support for the measure, with many questions about the specifics of the proposal, such as writing a ban on riding on downtown sidewalks into the ordinance.
This is only a proposal and is still under debate and subject to change. Those interested or concerned should reach out to a Clemson City Council member or attend the City Council meeting next Monday, Dec. 5, at 6:30 p.m. at the Clemson City Hall.

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Corey Glenn, Asst. News Editor
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