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New speed limit for bikes, scooters, skateboards on campus

The University of Utah Department of Public Safety is asking everyone on campus to slow their wheels and keep speeds under 10 mph.

“We’re not anti-skateboard, anti-scooter or anti-bike. We’re pro-safety,” said Brian Lohrke, U police operations captain. 

This month, new yellow signs were placed on campus posting a 10 mph speed limit for bikes, scooters, skateboards and other similar forms of transportation. The signs also include the reminder that 10 mph “is slower than you think.”

In August, a cyclist and a skateboarder collided in a violent crash in Marriott Library Plaza. Neither student was wearing a helmet and each sustained fairly severe injuries. Both were transported to University of Utah Hospital, according to the police report. 

“From the video review of it, I’m surprised it wasn’t worse,” said Lohrke.

Lohrke said University Police didn’t know how fast the students were going. It appears both were traveling above 10 mph. 

While the August crash started the conversation about reducing speeds on campus, Lohrke said, there have been many close calls. The speeds of riders on bikes, scooters and skateboards are a common complaint from campus pedestrians. 

“When you are traveling on a walkway where there is foot traffic, the normal pace people walk at is about 3 mph. So traveling even 10 mph is three times that speed,” Lohrke said. 

If the mode of transportation you are using does not tell you its speed, Lohrke recommends safely using a smartphone app to monitor your speed or matching your speed of travel to the pedestrians around you. 

“We encourage people to look for green ways to travel around campus,” Lohrke said. “We have a large campus and you have to get from one point to another. We’d love to see more bicycles on campus because we know it’s difficult to park here. We are having great fall weather and it’s great exercise, so let’s do it, but let’s do it safely.”

The Department of Public Safety will have increased patrols in high-traffic areas of campus to provide education to people about the speed limit. In cases of extreme negligence, citations will be issued. 

Find more information here.