GREEN RIVER — At the August 15 Green River City Council meeting, Mayor Pete Rust brought forth concerns about the increasing presence of motorbikes and electric bicycles on the Greenbelt.
Since then, Green River Chief of Police Shaun Sturlaugson has pointed to existing laws, regulations, and etiquette regarding the use of motorcycles, bicycles, and electric bicycles on the Greenbelt and in other areas of the city.
“Motorcycles (including dirt bikes) are considered motor vehicles under state statute and must be street legal, registered, and insured to be used anywhere within the city limits of Green River,” a press release from the Green River Police Department (GRPD) states. “In addition, motorcycles may only be driven on roadways designated for motor vehicles. As such, their use is strictly prohibited on the Greenbelt or any other area not designated for their use.”
According to the GRPD, driving a motorcycle in prohibited areas is a violation of City Ordinance 24-3: Sec. 24-3. – Off-road vehicle operation. The ordinance states the following:
(a) It shall be unlawful to ride, drive, operate or propel any motor vehicle, within the city except on properly dedicated, designated or established streets, roads, and alleys.
(b) It shall be unlawful to ride, drive, operate or propel any motor vehicle on any public property within the city or upon any easement within the city, without first obtaining permission.
(c) For purposes of this section, the term “motor vehicle” is defined to include every vehicle which is self-propelled except vehicles which are designed to be moved solely by human power.
“As motorcycle operation on the Greenbelt area is inherently dangerous, Green River PD will be taking a no-tolerance policy to their use in this area. Please follow the laws regarding their use, or expect to receive a citation,” the press release said.
To report a violation, residents are asked to call dispatch at 307-875-1400, so officers can respond and take the appropriate actions.
However, pedal bicycles and electric bicycles are not considered motor vehicles by State Statute, and therefore may be ridden on the Greenbelt. To ensure the safety of both the rider and others enjoying the Greenbelt, the GRPD said people must still use caution.
The GRPD issued a few rules of etiquette to consider when riding a bike or e-bike on the Greenbelt:
- Always stay to the right side of the trail
- Avoid congregating on the path – move off to the side
- Give ample warning when passing – a simple “to your left,” or, “to your right,” should suffice
- Slow down when approaching pedestrians, especially children, and give pedestrians and equestrians the right of way
- Most importantly, be courteous and friendly
“The Greenbelt area is a special area that was designed for multiple uses, and for the enjoyment of everyone,” the press release states. “We, as a City, are lucky to have this area for outdoor recreational pursuits, and we have to work together as a community to ensure that it is a safe place for everyone’s enjoyment. This is dependent on all users being courteous, friendly, and considerate to each other. So, please go out of your way to ensure that you are taking care of each other, and helping each other to enjoy the Greenbelt and all that it provides.”
During the City Council meeting, Mayor Rust and Council Member Gary Killpack discussed possible regulations they could place on the Greenbelt such as speed limits and passing lanes. However, no steps have been made at this time to implement any changes.