Please note: this inquiry is NOT intended for Limebike. Please do not reassign to Limebike. It is intended for the City. Thank you.
On May 29, I posted about the multitude of Limebikes being ridden on city sidewalks and endangering pedestrians, including senior citizens and individuals with disabilities (issue 5934124). Limebike responded by saying that state law does not prohibit riding bicycles on sidewalks except in central business districts, and that Malden does not have any ordinance that goes further. In other words: We can ride our bikes (which are motorized, by the way) on your sidewalks and you can't stop us.
From the City, I would like to know:
1. Is Limebike's reading of our ordinances correct?
2. If so, what defines our central business district, and what is being done to enforce the law and protect pedestrians in that area?
3. Also if so, and most importantly, what is Malden doing about the problem? Limebike appears to be taking advatage of a gap in our ordinances and overall planning scheme to allow its users to operate its motorized bicycles on our sidewalks. That may be great for Limebike and its users. But it's terrible for the city and the vast majority of its residents. So we need an ordinance (like most cities and towns have). I suspect that you would find near universal support for the proposition that adults should not be riding bicycles on sidewalks, which are intended for pedestrians, anywhere in the city. (The lack of suitable streets for riding bicycles is a separate problem that also needs to be addressed -- but not at the expense of pedestrians). Even short of an ordinance, it seems that the city can negotiate whatever terms it wants with this company, and that common sense dictates that a restriction against operating these motorized bicycles on sidewalks should be a part of the deal. So again, does the city acknowledge the existence of the problem and intend to address it?