Bikes on sidewalks discussed at council meeting 9.26

Written by David Green.

Morenci police chief Larry Weeks told an audience at Monday’s city council meeting that he’s heard about problems with bicyclists on downtown sidewalks ever since he arrived here five years ago.

Reaching a solution isn’t an easy thing for him and for many residents with whom he’s spoken.

“I’m not comfortable confronting an eight-year-old child and saying, ‘Get off the bike or I’ll ticket.’”

At the same time, he said, he hesitates to force young bicyclists into the downtown street traffic.

It’s not eight-year-olds that are the problem, an audience member answered during a question-and-answer session.

Laws should be enforced equally, Weeks said, noting that being struck by a bicycle can cause an injury no matter how old the rider.

Resident Doug Erskin said he’s witnessed teenage bike operators doing tricks on downtown sidewalks and damaging the decorative flowerpots.

He said he spoke to a police officer, but didn’t see any action taken.

Chief Weeks he said hasn’t made enforcement of the ordinance a priority, but his department can take a more proactive approach if that’s what council wants.

He said he believes he has some discretion in enforcing ordinances. Resources are people, he said, and he will have to shift priorities to increase sidewalk patrolling.

Due to budget cutbacks, Weeks said, his department has fewer officers than five years ago and can’t do what he believes to be proper drug surveillance.

“There’s a give and take to everything we do,” he said.

  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.grieders
    ONE-TWO PUNCH—Morenci’s Griffin Grieder saved his best for last, running his fastest time ever in the 110-meter high hurdles at the state finals Saturday in Grand Rapids to finish first in the state in Div. IV. His brother Luke, a junior (right), claimed the state runner-up spot. Bulldog junior Bailee Dominique placed seventh in the 100-meter dash.
  • Front.sidewalk
    MORENCI senior class president Mikayla Price leads the way Sunday afternoon from the Church of the Nazarene to the United Methodist Church for the baccalaureate ceremony. Later in the day, 39 members of the senior class received diplomas in the high school gymnasium.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017