2015 Washington bike rodeo

Leo Hillermann balances his bike between bricks during the 37th annual bicycle safety rodeo in 2015 at the Washington Fairgrounds swine pavilion.

Union is reconsidering its rules for bicycles in parks because of some confusing language.

Particularly confusing to some park advisory board members is a rule that states no person shall “ride a bike, skateboard, roller blades, etc., into or on any pavilions, benches or any other property within the parks.”

The rule might have been intended to forbid bicyclists or skateboarders from riding on objects in the parks, but some see the word “property” as meaning they cannot ride them at all in parks.

The rules were brought to the park board after complaints were made to the parks department about bicyclists in Veterans Memorial Park, parks Director Chad Pohlmann said. Pohlmann added that he did not write the rules and was merely passing the information on to the board.

“If someone calls, my interpretation is you cannot ride a bike in Veterans Memorial Park,” Pohlmann said.

Another issue is that the parks department has not defined the allowed uses for the mile-long paved path around Veterans Park.

It was suggested to have walkers on one side and cyclists on the other, but Pohlmann said he didn’t think the path was wide enough for that.

Board member Justin Krey questioned whether the board needed to take action.

“I hate to make a huge change over one person getting twisted about some kid on a bicycle when they’ve got their little Chihuahua out for a walk,” he said.

But Pohlmann said the language will need to be changed for bikes to be allowed at the park.

City Administrator Jonathan Zimmermann pointed out that specific design standards need to be met for bikes to be allowed on paths. “I think maybe Chad can look at that a little bit, bring that back and give them that language,” he said. “That way they can make the determination whether or not to allow bicycles.”

Also unclear is whether bikes are allowed on the sidewalks that go along streets next to the park, as well as the roads within Veterans Park that connect to its parking lots.

“Is that a part of the parking lot, or is that a road?” he asked Friday. “I don’t want to be the person that makes that determination.”

That means it will be left to the park board and board of aldermen to decide.

The park board asked for more information on where bikes can go so it can clarify the rules at a future meeting. “I’m for everybody enjoying our parks,” board President Suzy Curnutte said.