The ban on skateboarding in Laguna Beach must be lifted. When man created the law banning women from their right to vote, women did not get their say. This ban on skateboarding down Bluebird Canyon has happened much the same way. The skateboarders did not get their chance to speak out. When we did speak our piece, the mayor, LBCC and SNAG either walked out or turned a deaf ear. Due process has been completely ignored. There has been no compromise, or real discussion, about the new law. It just happened!
I would hope that the LBCC when deciding to create something as serious as a new law would be open to hearing both sides. Instead they have chosen to support the 1 percent of the people who are anti-skateboarding, namely SNAG.
The members of SNAG don’t skateboard and therefore cannot relate to the skills required to ride a board. What might appear to SNAG as out of control and reckless is actually skilled athletes using perfected techniques. It’s ridiculous to judge something that you know nothing about.
This ban on skateboarding is equally ridiculous and totally unfair. When the LBCC created this law, they completely ignored the basic principles of democracy and our rights as American citizens. What we need is a real solution. But first we have to remove the emotions and approach this issue with clarity and understanding.
Here is my idea. I call it “The Skaters Permit Program.”
My idea is to utilize the same template that a skier’s mountain resort does. When a skier or snowboarder purchases a lift ticket, they automatically agree to release the resort from all liabilities and basically hold themselves accountable for their actions. Much like a lift ticket, “The Skaters Permit” could be purchased for a nominal fee, which would then release the City of Laguna Beach from any and all liabilities. This idea is beneficial for both sides. With the Skaters Permit program in effect, every responsible skater would be registered, bringing in much needed revenue for our city.
My goal is to reach a fair compromise that both parties can agree to. So far the only side that has offered any reasonable solutions has been the skateboarders. I know in my heart that you will eventually see that banning one of the biggest sports in our nation is not the way. I am pleading to you, Mrs. Mayor, and the City Council, to lift the ban and let us be free to ride responsibly and in good faith.
Darren Madrigal, Laguna Beach