Are Skateboards a form of Transportation?

Via on Aug 19, 2009

skateboarding college transportation

I know, I know, skateboarding is not a crime. But if it ain’t a crime, is it an everyday form of transportation that should be planned for? Or is it still mostly just for pulling stunts and playing around in skateparks?

Should it be taken into consideration along with municipal planning for bike lanes, bus routes, roads for cars, more roads for more cars, more and more roads for more and more cars? It is, after all, an eco, fun, cool (and dangerous) form of transportation that’s increasingly common in college towns and big cities.

This subject came up in Boulder, at City Council, recently. If you want to offer input, follow the links below:

Sender: Cowles, Macon

The question addressed here: Are skateboards a form of transportation that should be considered by the City in connection with transportation planning?

Dear colleagues:

A young man has twice appeared before Council at public participation to ask that skateboards be considered as a transportation mode. The first time he appeared, about a month ago, we referred him to the Transportation Advisory Board. Last night, he came to the Council again to renew his plea. He left the impression that he had been to TAB, but that TAB was not interested in the question because skateboards are not within TAB’s jurisdiction, as currently understood.

Without at all determining how to answer the question above, everyone on Council seemed to agree that it is important to answer the question above, and that TAB is the appropriate body, in consultation and with the advice of the Transportation Department,  to consider it in the first instance. This clearly implicates a discussion of the device itself, of what portions of the transportation infrastructure could be used if it is a form of transportation, of whether such use (say of bike lanes) could occur consistent with the use and safety of others, and whether there should be some regulation directed at the safety of riders and passersby and others sharing the same space as those using skate boards.

The City Council is interested in hearing from you on this subject, and hopes that you are able to fit it into your agenda.

Thank you.

Macon Cowles
Boulder City Councilor_______________________________________________
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8 Responses to “Are Skateboards a form of Transportation?”

  1. dr_natalie says:

    apparently, skateboarding is a crime.
    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/video/
    this was in frisco, co. the laws regarding this are the same in boulder.
    my friend got pulled over in frisco recently by FIVE patrol cars for riding down the street. (and traffic there is minimal and at 20mph with lots of bikers-it would seem ok to get yourself to the end of main st on a board). you can guess from the reaction in the video above what he had to deal with.

  2. Andrew Hyde says:

    I've been hit by a skateboarder while walking in a crosswalk in Boulder.

    They guys response was 'what do you expect, no brakes, man.'

    So no way to break safely, no go in my book.

    • Kevin Hotaling says:

      Beginner skateboarders are definitely dangerous … as are beginner bikers, drivers, walkers?!, etc. A good skater can drop a foot or power slide to a stop within ten feet. The real question comes down to harm mitigation. Is the risk to others posed by skating in the street so much greater than that of other forms of transportation as to warrant a different legal status. A quick look at Boulder's accident history indicates the answer is no. But I'm interested in seeing the official stats.

      As a general rule, biking, skating and walking all take a lethal car off the road and replace it with a non-lethal threat. We may have to deal with some inconvenience, but better a bruised leg and chance for legal recourse than a broken skull and *chance* of recovery.

    • Can't you brake with your feet? I've seen skateboarders hurtle down 9th…I hope they have a way to brake!

  3. Seth BRIGHAM says:

    As Council person, I will be for allowing skateboarders on public bike trails, such as the creek and other cemented byways used for pedestrian and bikes…
    No streets, bike lanes or sidewalks, and, they still need to abide by driving rules, stay on your left, and, no setting up obstacles to jump over or crisscrossing through traffic… to your left, please!

    It might be noted that Council his discussing this on their hotline, so, it has some chance…

    Seth Brigham

  4. swati jr* says:

    yes!! it's a mode of transport. why don't we just adjust to the times and make sure the streets are safe for all wheels? i think we need to start making helmets and pads cool though. who wants to start some ad propaganda?!

  5. Tee says:

    A skateboard is like a scooter as a unicycle is to a bicycle. All can be used as transportation…respect for others and command of the vehicle is key.

  6. They are already used as transportation – now just to recognize what is happening and to educate as to safe practices.

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