U of M police ticket 62 bicyclists in one week

The University of Minnesota police department began to beef up enforcement on bicyclists around the congested light-rail construction zone last Wednesday.

In one week, the college's police department ticketed 62 cyclists for failing to dismount on the sidewalk, says Lt. Troy Buhta. Each ticket runs $115, coming out to a total of $7,130 in tags.

"We warned for three weeks [before]," says Buhta. "Eventually we had to pull the trigger. You can only warn people so much."

For those who haven't been around the U of M campus lately, it's a pretty hectic scene. Light rail construction has ripped up big chunks of road, further congesting the already busy Washington Avenue.

"We have so many people in one small area now," says Buhta. "It's crazy."

In addition to Washington Avenue, police are also targeting the Scholars Walk, a pedestrian path that stretches across the East Bank.

The decision to focus on bike laws came after weeks of complaints and accidents involving cyclists, says Buhta. "Wednesday was the day we finally said, 'Ok, we need to put some teeth to the dismount enforcement."

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