Badges on wheels: Yakima bike patrols in high gear

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Yakima's expanded bike patrols have now been on the streets downtown for almost a month. Their goal being to decrease the amount of traffic on Yakima Ave.

Now, these badges on bikes are hoping for a change and told KIMA that they plan to work with city management in extending the patrol program. But this is a call city management would have to make.

"We would like to see it go longer than just a three-month summer type of program", said Officer Joe Martinez.

Besides responding to emergency calls when needed, the YPD officers on this assignment are focused on stopping illegal biking and skating along Yakima Avenue.

In the short time these patrols have been going on, the officers have stopped about 100 bikers, rollerbladers and skateboarders.

"We've heard hundreds of stories about why they should be on the Avenue and why we shouldn't be on the street", Officer Joe Martinez said their reactions aren't always positive.

Those complaints aren't stopping the patrols. In fact, Yakima plans to add more signs than the four in place right now to warn bikers and skaters to stay away.

Right now, four officers are assigned to the bike patrol. They're on the job seven days a week.