Three options for b-ball hoops going forward

Basketball hoops will no longer be allowed on sidewalks, but the Keizer Traffic Safety, Bikeways and Pedestrian (TBP) Committee recommended some possible solutions to the turmoil the new city ordinances might bring. 

After a 45-minute discussion at their Sept. 12 meeting, committee members recommended allowing basketball standards to be placed next to sidewalks on private property, in planter strips or set into the sidewalks themselves as long as five feet of sidewalk width is maintained. Bolting standards into the sidewalk will require a permit from the city. 

“I don’t see that we would be in opposition to any of those as long as the full sidewalk is kept in place,” said Bill Lawyer, Keizer Public Works director.

After speaking on the issue at a city council meeting earlier in the month, Keizer resident Jonathan Thompson said he wanted to find “safe harbor” for families who wanted basketball hoops available for play. 

The TBP committee members were tasked with devising ADA-compliant solutions by the city council in the wake of new ordinances prohibiting basketball hoops and other impediments on sidewalks. Basketball standards will be allowed in roadways where on-street parking is allowed, but only when they are in “active use.”

Councilors had talked about asking the TBP committee to come up with a more specific definition of “active use” but the request had narrowed to the placement of the standards by the time of the meeting. 

Hersch Sangster, a member of the committee, asked Lawyer who would be responsible in the event of an accident or injury involving a hoop placed in the sidewalk. 

“Maintenance of the sidewalk is the home owner’s responsibility and I think the liability would first go to the owner,” Lawyer said. 

Lawyer added that, if residents wished to mount hoops in planting strips, not all planting strips are created equal. Planting strips that act as bioswales might not be eligible. 

“There is a fabric barrier under some of those and the hoops can’t damage them. Staff will determine if it’s possible during the permitting process,” Lawyer said. 

Hoops cannot be mounted on street lights or power poles as they are owned by the companies that operate the utilities.