Frederick police will increase enforcement of rules against bikes, skateboards, and similar vehicles in the city’s downtown area following an increase in complaints.

The city has seen noticeably more complaints about the issue since August, mostly about skateboards in several of the city’s parking garages, said Capt. Kirk Henneberry of the Frederick Police Department.

The garages have inclines, curbs, and other areas that can draw skaters, mostly young people who have started skating recently, Henneberry said.

“It’s just an attractive area for skateboarders,” he said, noting that the issue flares up every few years.

Vehicles such as bikes, skates, scooters, and skateboards are not allowed in the city’s historic district, although bikes are allowed in the Carroll Creek Linear Park except during Parks and Recreation events.

The city has two skate parks, at Hillcrest Park and Lucas Village Park.

Along with parking garages and the parks, a city ordinance bans vehicles such as bikes and skateboards on sidewalks within the city’s historic district, which stretches roughly from Jefferson to East streets, and from Mt. Olivet Cemetery north to 7th Street.

The ordinance allows a civil citation with a fine of up to $100 and confiscation of the vehicle.

The department doesn’t want to confiscate anyone’s property, but just wants to educate the public, Henneberry said.

The ordinance doesn’t allow juveniles to be cited, but officers would contact their parent or guardian and educate them about the law, Henneberry said.

Once the guardian is notified, any subsequent violations could result in the guardian being cited and the confiscation of the skateboard or other vehicle.

The department hasn’t issued any civil citations for violations this year, Henneberry said.

This story has been updated to clarify the parts of the city to which the ordinance applies, and the circumstances under which bikes are allowed in Carroll Creek Linear Park.

Follow Ryan Marshall on Twitter: @RMarshallFNP

Ryan Marshall is the transportation and growth and development reporter for the News-Post. He can be reached at rmarshall@newspost.com.

(9) comments

Jaco

The article says bikes are not allowed in the historic district. That’s ridiculous. Who is wrong: FNP, City or both?

Guy T. Ashton

I say about time. As a shop owner downtown the constant groups of skateboards- sometimes 6-10 at a time- travel up and down Market St. and worse still on the sidewalks when pedestrian traffic is pretty heavy. I've watched pedestrian and skateboarder stop short of running into each other. And believe it or not the constant flipping of boards and rolling over basement grates is extremely noisy. I have seen police cars with police inside the cars sit on Market St. during the weekends with skaters doing their thing right next to the police car and into traffic. There are signs posted all along Market St. that say no skateboards permitted in the downtown and no bikes allowed on the sidewalks. That's pretty clear. Either enforce the law or take the signs down. Is it going to take a skateboarder to get run over by a car or a shopper to be bulled over by a skateboarder for this to be taken seriously?

JustACitizen

With all of the issues facing us in Frederick, regionally, nationally, and globally, are skateboards really a grave concern? Market Street should remain free of bikes and skateboards and rollerblades, as pedestrian rights should prevail, but it's adults and not young people who appear to be the most flagrant violators from my experiences, and who are clearly not the targets of this action. Moreover, as a downtown resident, I see most young people on these "vehicles" wearing face masks, doing no harm, and causing no commotion. What about the trucks-- many from Frederick companies-- that travel on downtown streets forbidding them (observe the signs at many intersections leading from Market Street)? Not to mention in the early morning hours. Not to mention motorcycles without mufflers. Let's get a grip. We have a pandemic raging, a local economy on edge, a homeless population both annoying to many and also demonized. Some constant complainers need to pack up and move out to suburbs or the beaches of Florida (both of which have their own issues) and let's work together to address real topics of concern.

Jaco

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

lucky57

I am startled by the information that bicycles are not permitted in Baker Park. When you go to the City website, there is specific information about the paths in Baker Park that are available for biking. Which one is accurate?

JustACitizen

Just to add, many of these kids are using vehicles without fossil fuels (unlike the rest of us), are spending time outdoors— not only receiving some needed recreation and outdoor (non-screen!) time, but also giving their parents and other caregivers during this pandemic a break from their indoor presence— and simply behaving like kids. Let’s give our good kids a break, too.

Guy T. Ashton

No problem with that- they just need to do it in a safe place. The center of Market St. or on busy sidewalks is not a safe place.

JustACitizen

Agreed.

Jaco

Gosh, the City would get something wrong or send out misinformation and mixed messages??? City departments don’t communicate well with each other or do a good job periodically reviewing rules, policies and procedures.

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