Riding a bike on the sidewalk was a misdemeanor in 1906 Santa Rosa, but it was never clear why they were avoiding those nice, broad streets seen in the old photographs. A few months earlier, the Santa Rosa Republican even had printed a lengthy letter to the editor attempting to justify sidewalk riding. Now, we find out why: After ten days of drenching rain, the unpaved streets are finally in decent enough shape that one could almost ride a bicycle over them. Yikes.
CLEAN STREETS RESULT OF RAIN
Absence of Mud and Slush Causes Considerable Comment on Part of People
One of the most noticeable results of the heavy rains of the past ten days in this city, was the remarkable manner in which the streets of Santa Rosa dried up Friday morning after the sun came out. Over ten inches of rain has fallen during the storm, and usually after such a season of rough weather, the streets are in very bad condition, but Friday the paved streets were washed clean and soon became dry, while the other thoroughfares of the city were in excellent condition, and one could almost ride a bicycle over them.
It is certainly a great satisfaction to see the main street dry and clean and the absence of the string of wagons which are usually engaged in hauling away the mud and slush of the street. Possibly the weather man has solved the problem of how best to clean the streets, and that the time will come when the pavement will be washed by the use of large sprinkling wagons built expressly for the purpose of drenching the pavement.– Santa Rosa Republican, January 20, 1906
BICYCLE RIDERS ARE PAYING FINES
Disobey the Ordinance Regarding the Use of Sidewalks in This City and Nine Citizens Pay Five Dollars Apiece
Within the last two or three days nine persons have had to give up a little five dollar gold piece in Police Judge Bagley’s court in fines for having violated the ordinance which makes it a misdemeanor to ride bicycles on sidewalks.
Despite the warning note published more than once that a special police officer was on the lookout for violators of the law, no heed was paid. The city’s treasury will continue to be enriched at the rate of five per as long as the bikes are ridden on the sidewalks, and the vigilant officer remains on the alert.
It would also save considerable ruffling of feelings in the matter of impounding dogs if the tags are purchased promptly. The work of impounding untagged dogs, stray horses, etc., is also a part of this special officer’s duties.– Press Democrat, July 18, 1906