This week the City of Eugene is installing signs on the sidewalks to indicate the designated zone for where bicyclists and skaters need to dismount and walk. In an effort to improve pedestrian safety, the Eugene City Council in July approved new laws prohibiting people from riding skateboards or bikes on sidewalks in the downtown area. The laws went into effect August 29. Since then, police have been issuing warnings and citations. The maximum fine is $50.
On Wednesday afternoon an 8-year-old boy was hit by a bicyclist who was riding on the sidewalk downtown in violation of the new law. According to Eugene Police, the boy was holding the door open for his mother outside a convenience store. 29-year-old bicyclist Tyler Rhodes struck the boy from behind, knocking him to the ground. Medics evaluated the child's injuries at the scene before releasing him to his mother. Police say the bike brakes were not working. Rhodes is a fugitive from justice and had warrants from Washington State. He was arrested on charges of being a fugitive from justice and reckless driving. He also was cited for possession of meth, less than an ounce of marijuana and violation of the walk zone.