Skateboarding is Transportation

skateboarding magazine

Skateboarding is Transportation

In a 5-1 vote, Asheville, North Carolina, just approved a new ordinance to be drafted allowing skateboarders to legally share the road with bikes and cars.
The proposal states that traffic laws would apply to skateboarders, helmets are required and skating is only allowed during the hours of sunlight.

Now, I’m from Grand Rapids, Michigan. It’s a very industrialized city, but the main downtown area probably only has a radius of about a mile or two.
Within this radius, it is illegal to skateboard.

skateboarder arrested Skateboarding is Transportation

Meet Ashley. Young, college, skater-girl in her twenties, works as a server at TGIFridays downtown. As most know, it’s not smart for a young attractive girl to be walking in a downtown city, alone, late at night. Being a college girl, Ashley didn’t have a car to use, skateboarding was her main source of transportation and granted it’s not that much safer than walking, but you at least have speed on your side if someone tries to attack you. Ashley would go to work at 5PM, get out at 2AM and skateboard home unaware of the city ordinance. One of these nights, Ashley was skateboarding home when she rolled past a traffic cop on foot. She had only gotten a few feet past the cop before she felt the cold clamp of the cuffs getting snapped on her wrists while she was being dragged off her skateboard. Apparently, the cop yelled at her to stop, she didn’t hear him, and he took that as resistance. So, in her attempts to travel safer to and fro, Ashley was ironically attacked by the last thing she would’ve expected; the law.

More cities need to update their antique ordinances and recognize that skateboarding is not just for recreation. I’ll be the first to admit, the skateboarding stereotype will be hard to break in attempts to convince cities to change. I deal with stupid little skateboarder punks that try to steal from my shop on a weekly basis, but I think it’s the destruction trick skateboarding leaves behind and the safety issues that really hold people back. So, you need to educate them, they don’t know that there are different types of skateboarding, they just assume everyone has bad behavior. Contact your city today to start a petition allowing the transportation use of skateboards on the road.

Tony Owen is a web developer, skateboarder, designer, musician, traveler and blogger. Founder of Arkitecht and Skateboarding Magazine.

3 Comments

  1. DJB

    August 20, 2012 at 5:35 am

    WOW!! See this is one of the reasons why I put my board down way back in the 90′s (Just recently picked back up after nearly 20 years).
    I agree 1000% Cops, and city ordnance policies need to get out of the stone age man, seriously.
    It’s “profiling” man big time, they see a skateboarder and automatically they think, “oh yeah they are out to SKATE and DESTROY” and be a nuance or something? It’s sad that even in 2013 nearly that skater can’t catch a break still.
    And I don’t mean the “skater punks” that act as idiots and ruin it for others man. Happens way to much still, it starts at home with parents man.

  2. JENNIFER STEWART

    September 13, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    I TOOK THE PICTURE OF THIS KID GETTING ARRESTED INFRONT OF MY STORE. I AM A SKATEBOARD ENTHUSIAST AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE CLINTON COUNTY SKATEPARK ASSOCIATION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE THE STORY THAT GOES WITH THIS PICTURE I WOULD BE HAPPY TO TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT. WE ARE CURRENTLY TRYING TO BUILD A SKATEPARK IN OUR COMMUNITY.

  3. JENNIFER STEWART

    September 13, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    BECAUSE OF THIS PHOTO MAJOR CHANGE HAS HAPPENED WITHIN OUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT.

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