Skateboarding Is Not a Crime!

Monday, August 25, 2014
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I find it absurd that the city and police department are outlawing skateboarding in the downtown area. Maybe outlawing is the wrong word. They are enforcing a very old law that was put in place to prevent skaters from ripping up planters, curbs, and endangering pedestrians on the sidewalk, which seems to make sense. But if caught rolling down the street, transporting yourself to work, beach, school, or just cruising down State Street, you face a $155 ticket. According to the Vehicle Code, skateboarders are not allowed on streets; they are considered pedestrians. Let’s be realistic, it sounds like the city is raising revenue by targeting those who are skating peacefully down the street. When will the community accept skateboarding as a fun, healthy, environmentally clean way of transportation? I say, as long as laws are obeyed, let skateboarders use the bike lane in the downtown corridor. Skateboarding is not a crime.


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Skateboarding is not a crime, however many skateboarders are ruining it for the rest of us by running on the sidewalks where pedestrians, many elderly, are becoming victims of their aggressive presence. The differences in speed between a skateboarder and a walking pedestrian is a factor in these altercations. It would be similar to putting a Formula 1 racecar on State Street amongst the 25 mph street cars. The problem is these skateboarders are aggressive, and highly irresponsible. If they knock an elderly person off their feet that person could very easily be seriously injured. Those people don't have the reaction time any longer to avoid a skateboarder. Many of these skateboarders don't care as evidenced by going the wrong way on streets, boarding in the wrong places, and boarding in very dense pedestrian areas. I'm personally tired of having to worry about getting hit by a skateboarder while I'm simply trying to navigate the streets and sidewalks of Santa Barbara. I think police involvement is way overdue. If the fines start to get the skateboarders' attention--great. As a pedestrian, or a vehicle driver, I have to conform to certain vehicle codes. Boarders must be held to the same standard.

Edgy01 (anonymous profile)
August 25, 2014 at 10:47 a.m. (Suggest removal)

" It would be similar to putting a Formula 1 racecar on State Street amongst the 25 mph street cars."

You mean a Formula 1 racecar with no brakes.

Botany (anonymous profile)
August 25, 2014 at 10:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Bingo players are a detriment to the safety of everybody in this town. The other day I saw somebody leaving a Bingo game at a retirement community who had been drinking, and they pulled their car out right in front of me. We need to outlaw Bingo games in Santa Barbara, they are creating a dangerous environment for everybody. Of course, it isn't all Bingo players, but a few bad Bingo players are ruining it for all of the other Bingo players, we must do something to protect everyone's safety by banning the game of Bingo in Santa Barbara.

If you can't tell, the above is satire. Skateboarders should be free to ride their boards anywhere they want as long as they aren't causing property damage or doing it in a way that is a danger to others. The fine should be decreased to $50 for skateboarding recklessly and causing a danger to somebody else and the fine for simply skateboarding should be abolished.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
August 25, 2014 at 12:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

In fact, I'm considering starting a campaign in 2016 - You Ban Our Skateboards We Ban Your Bingo

If this stupid skateboarding ordinance is not revised by 2016 I am planning to begin a campaign among all of the young people and students in the area to put a referendum on the ballot to ban Bingo in the city of Santa Barbara. Not because Bingo is a real threat (neither is skateboarding), but if old people can get together and ban things they don't like then maybe it is time they learned their lesson and have something they like banned.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
August 25, 2014 at 12:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I agree with edgy01 that skateboards should not be on the same pathways as pedestrians. The point of the authors article is to make this point exactly. If skateboarders are no longer considered pedestrians and are considered vehicles as are bicycles, then they can ride in the bike lane and be subject to the same traffic laws as all other vehicles. The fact that you will get a ticket in the downtown area for riding a skateboard on the road has probably caused many skateboarders to use the sidewalks so they are not as visible to the cops thus creating an unsafe situation. Now that I've over analyzed this topic, lets go skate!

SB2SB (anonymous profile)
August 25, 2014 at 1:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Skateboarders should be able to ride wherever they want, sidewalk or street, as long as they can do so safely. There are times of the day and night where the sidewalks in some places are completely empty. There is no reason to give somebody a ticket for riding on an empty sidewalk. That doesn't mean they should feel entitled to ride quickly or dangerously through crowds of people, they have to share the roadways and sidewalks with others.. it just doesn't make any sense to have a blanket rule against all skateboarding, there should only be rules against reckless skateboarding.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
August 25, 2014 at 3:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Skateboards are a means of transportation that's as common and useful as bicycles.
According to the California Vehicle Code, it's also legal to make a right turn on a red light, in spite of recently-installed signs downtown that say it's illegal. Cars idling at intersections with no traffic is a great way to reclaim the pollution levels we've lost by encouraging biking.
I think we should acknowledge the fact that the purpose of a lot of laws is solely to generate income for the city and enable city government's policy of diverting an increasing percentage of tax dollars to SBPD while ignoring the elephant in the city of unsustainable public employee pension liability.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
August 26, 2014 at 7:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

According to the CA Vehicle Code, skateboard laws are subject to local authority.

And, right turns on red lights are legal unless signage says it is not.

Walter (anonymous profile)
August 27, 2014 at 6:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You're more likely to be hit by a car than a skateboard. It's mostly just a buncha prissy puritans who are against skateboarding.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
August 27, 2014 at 11:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I support Loonpt's plan to ban bingo. What Loon doesnt know is that the plan to ban skateboarding has a much more sinister implication.

These old folks want to ban skateboarding so that they can engage in nude line dancing on our city sidewalks. That's right folks, these geriatric gyrators intend to set the world record for nude line dancing forming a chain starting at Mission Street and going all the way down to De la Guerra via State Street.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
August 28, 2014 at 2:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

OMG…Did anyone of you commentators even bother to read the article?
The author was advocating for the legality of skateboarders using the bike lanes downtown, as many of them already do, Without being ticketed for a ridiculous $155.!!!
Actually the responsible skateboards came up with a very sensible solution to being a possible danger on the sidewalks and took to the streets, i.e. the bike lanes. Let the bikers express their views on sharing the bike lanes with the skaters and everyone else support a solution which does not ticket kids with ridiculous fines!

danz2joy (anonymous profile)
August 31, 2014 at 5:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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