Bicyclists and skateboarders will be cleared off a stretch of downtown Longmont sidewalks under an ordinance unanimously passed in a preliminary vote Tuesday night by city council.
The ordinance creates a dismount zone on Main Street sidewalks between First and Longs Peak avenues, prohibiting riding a bicycle or other similar modes of transportation in the section of Main.
Electric bicycles, skateboards, motorized skateboards, scooters and electric scooters also are targeted under the ordinance. Violators face a fine of up to $300 but city staff members during Tuesday’s meeting said warnings and other citations would first be imposed before the maximum fine is issued.
Wheelchairs or other specialized motorized units needed by any physically disabled person will be exempt from penalties, according to city staff.
The dismount ordinance replaces a voluntary downtown dismount zone on Main Street between Third and Sixth avenues. The Longmont Downtown Development Authority has pressed for a mandatory dismount zone to help downtown foot traffic, city officials said.
Phil Greewald, the city’s transportation planning manager, told council Tuesday the city has worked with both the cycling community and the LDDA on the ordinance.
“We’ve heard loud and clear that everyone wants to see a bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly downtown,” Greenwald said.
Bicycle advocate Scott Conlin told the council the fines placed on bicyclists are too heavy and the dismount zones too restrictive.
“Where are the bicyclists supposed to go,” Conlin said.
The ordinance now heads for a public hearing and a final council vote on July 28.