You’ve all probably heard grumblings and mumblings about it, but John Knox White was the first to really break the story about the Council’s decision to pretty much ban skateboarding and bicycling from City parks. It appears that during that particular meeting, there were few Council members actually awake during the discussion portion of this item. And honestly, had I not read about the issue on SDR first, I probably would have skipped over it, opting to listen to the real meat of the meeting that night which was the budget. Who would have guessed that something that interesting would come out of the Consent Calendar?
A lot of people have weighed in on the ridiculousness of this move, I suppose we are fortunate that this required a second reading before approval. This item comes up and right off the bat the Mayor proposes to revert back to the orginial language with the exception that they would add more language to keep skateboards out of the parking garage and ensuring that bicycles only were ridden in the parking garage to get to and from the bike lockers in the parking lot. The Mayor then asked that if any one disagreed with this, to then speak, otherwise, she would rather folks not. It would appear, since I didn’t see the audience size or the stack of speaker slips, that a lot of angry angry people came out to speak out against this.
I imagine that the Council must have gotten hammered through emails and possibly in personal conversations about this item because the Mayor was really testy last night. But, hey, did she really expect anything different after the propostion to pretty much ban bicycles, skateboards, and whatever “muscular powered vehicles” you want to assume falls into the ordinance from the places that it had been previously allowed.
So basically, for those of you keeping score, the language is now back to the original which says that it shall be unlawful where posted to ride your bike, skateboard etc… Which means that unless there is a sign banning you, bikers, skaters, scooterers, et al you no longer need to be concerned that someone is going to leap out at you with a ticket in hand for trying to get from point A to point B.
Special shot goes out to Doug deHaan who decided to restate what the City Attorney and previous staff report had already told the Council at the last meeting that there is an anti-loitering ordinance in the City that could have been used to curb the unwanted behavior in the parking garage. Thanks, but that would have probably been best to bring up at the last meeting before you all passed the wording that got everyone’s backs up.