Regarding the skateboarding situation: following the City Council meeting of Feb. 1, Councilman Boyd called for a committee to meet and discuss the future of skateboarding in this town. He asked two members of the PTC (Parking and Traffic), two members of the Share the Road side, and two members of SNAG.
The Share the Road reps proposed agreeing to the four banned hills, all safety regulations and liability waivers for the city on a six-month trial basis. After that time, the Council would reconvene and see how the new protocol was working.
SNAG came back with a flat, “no.” They are demanding a complete ban on all streets with a grade over 5 percent (basically a driveway). Even if you are neutral on this issue or don’t feel it is relevant, please note that a ban will make it illegal for your child to skate to school, the beach, their friend’s house, or Ralph’s.
Being against the ban does not mean you support reckless behavior. It means you won’t tolerate living in a community where 100 people get their way; it means you won’t tolerate selfishness winning.
The kids who skate, both “trick” and “downhill,” are in school five days a week, seven hours a day. They have after-school activities like karate, guitar and homework, leaving them, perhaps, an hour or so a few afternoons a week to skate, and maybe a full day of skating around town on a Saturday or Sunday. This isn’t the 24-hour raceway sport SNAG claims it to be. The demand for a ban is both intolerant and ridiculous.
These kids are also good. Not just good, talented. Many of them are sponsored riders and you don’t become a sponsored rider if you are reckless, out of control or a danger to yourself and others.
I don’t doubt for a moment that people have had near misses, nor do I question how scary and upsetting those near misses were. I am in full support of the implementation of safety regulations as well as penalties for those who don’t abide by them.
The bottom line is that we are a community and by definition, we need to compromise and work together for the benefit of all, not just a few.
Please email [email protected] to show your opposition to special interest groups, and remind the Council that we are a city which values our freedoms.
Kristin Fast, Laguna Beach