That May Seem Extreme But Current Penalty Has Gone Unchanged Since 1950s; Potential Move Comes On Heels Of New Bike-Share Program

WHITE PLAINS (CBSNewYork) — It hasn’t been modified since the 1950s, but that could soon change. Cycling violations could be riding up in White Plains — if you’re caught riding your bike on the sidewalk.

They’re plastered all over the Westchester County city, but the “No Bicycling Or Skateboarding On Sidewalk Signs” and the fee tied to lawbreakers seem to not be cutting it in this city, anymore, CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported Wednesday.

“It is a little dangerous when they are zooming by on the sidewalk and you gotta jump out of the way,” White Plains resident Gary Katz said.

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Recently, police have been enforcing more quality of life violations, like riding on the sidewalk. According to the mayor’s office, officers have written 60 tickets in the past two months.

“As we started to write tickets, it was brought to our attention that the fine hadn’t been increased since the Eisenhower administration,” Mayor Thomas Roach said.

Roach said it’s time for a change to discourage violators. He’s looking to raise the cycling violations from $10 to $100. This comes on the heels of a new one-year bike-share pilot program called Lime Bike. It was rolled out in White Plains in June.

“I think with Lime Bike, you have less experienced riders that may be unfamiliar with the rules. But from my observation, this is not a Lime Bike issue. This a bike issue,” Roach said.

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While many locals are for an increase in the fine, most say $100 is just too much.

“It will improve pedestrian safety and should improve safety for the riders themselves, too,” one resident of said of a fine hike.

“Way too steep,” White Plains resident Migdamia Rosa said.

“Maybe something like $30 or $40 will make you think about it,” resident Laura Molloy added.

But when you compare this new potential bike violation to neighboring towns and cities, it’s cheaper than most. If you’re caught riding on a sidewalk in New Rochelle or select roads in Scarsdale, a ticket could cost you up to $250, but in Mount Vernon it’s only $15.

“I think perhaps they should get a $10 ticket the first time. If there’s a second time, then they should get a much bigger ticket,” White Plains resident Joan Bennett said.

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A new fine, designed to put the breaks on these law breakers.

The new fee is expected to be voted on during the next council meeting — on Nov. 5.