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Medford sidewalk laws are enforced

On most every street corner in downtown Medford (and this includes the area around City Hall, the Carnegie Library and the county courthouse), there is stenciled on the sidewalk, in at least two places per corner, the words "Bicycles and Skateboards Prohibited." I work in this area of downtown, and almost without failure I will see at least one or two bicycle riders a day who ride on these sidewalks.

These riders are usually in the junior high and high school age group, but not always. Adults seem to be just as guilty.

The irony of it is that the police station is located in City Hall and the Sheriff's Office is directly across the street. Why doesn't there seem to be any enforcement?

— Robert J., Ashland

Robert, this is an ordinance question for the city of Medford — not falling under the usual Oregon Revised Statutes that I usually write about or reference — so I forwarded your question to the folks at the Medford Police Department, and they promptly sent back the following:

"Medford Municipal Ordinance 6.430 Operation of Bicycles, Skateboards and Scooters prohibits these types of vehicles being operated in the downtown corridor area on sidewalks. This includes the area West of Bear Creek, South of West 6th Street, East of Oakdale Avenue and North of West 10th Street.

"The Medford Police Department does actively enforce this ordinance within this area, but there are times when people still violate this ordinance. You mention the irony that some people might violate this policy in the area of the police department or sheriff's office.

"On several occasions, I have stopped bicycle riders and skateboarders riding directly adjacent to the police department," wrote Lt. Brett Johnson, Patrol Division Commander for the Medford Police Department.

"Rest assured that we will continue to enforce this violation to provide for safe passage on the affected sidewalks."

Dace Cochran, a patrol sergeant with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, writes a weekly Q&A column on police issues for the Mail Tribune. Have a question for him? Write to Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501, or e-mail cochradc@jacksoncounty.org.