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Environment & Energy

The Bicycles of Oberlin Are a Success and a Challenge

Bikes on campus
Oberlin College
On the Oberlin Campus

To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainability, the city of Oberlin and Oberlin College have long encouraged getting around via bicycle. 

But, City Council is now tightening regulations on two-wheelers in the downtown area. 

Pedestrians, some with disabilities, have been reporting difficulty with bicycles left in the way on sidewalks and in front of doorways in the business district.  A new ordinance requires all bikes parked there to be set in designated racks.

Fines and more
Interim City Manager Sal Talarico says violations can bring $20 tickets and police can confiscate bicycles deemed to be a hazard.

“If there are instances where we feel we have provided the education, the warnings, then we will remove the bicycles.  We don’t intend to remove bicycles as a first step.  We intend to remove them only as a last resort.”

Historic Oberlin College Building
Credit Tim Rudell / WKSU
On the Oberlin College Campus

And, though the ordinance was just passed, Talarico says it won’t be in effect until spring, to give plenty of time to get the word out about it.