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Officials complain about teens riding bikes at night

December 08, 1998|By JULIE E. GREENE

SHARPSBURG - Some Sharpsburg officials and residents complained Monday night about youths on bicycles riding around town late at night or riding in a town culvert.

At the suggestion of Vice Mayor Sidney Gale, the town will have stones placed in the concrete culvert that runs between Antietam and High streets. The stones will allow water to flow, but will discourage the bikers, he said.

Councilwoman Denise Troxell said she wanted to know what could be done about a group of boys riding bikes around town at midnight and 1 a.m. on school nights.

There is a town law that forbids bikes on sidewalks within a certain distance of Town Square, but it is difficult to enforce because kids cannot be expected to measure the distance, said Deputy Bill Blair with the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

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It would be easier to enforce if the law banned bikes on all town sidewalks, Blair said.

Councilman Ralph Hammond said he wouldn't support that because it might affect small children learning to ride.

Blair said he could detain youths if they were younger than 16 and riding a bicycle without a helmet.

Some residents asked about a curfew, but Blair and Town Attorney Charles Wagaman said many curfews had been found to be unconstitutional.

Hagerstown has had a curfew since October 1995 that states juveniles cannot hang out in public places after 11 p.m. on school nights or after midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

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