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8/5/2014 2:12:00 AM
Skateboarding ordinance grinds to a halt
Brian King
Staff Writer

It is the 50/50 grind, a trick performed by skateboarders in which the axle, or truck, grinds along the edge of an obstacle, that started Greenwood City Council down the road to exploring a ban on skateboarding in Uptown Greenwood. Ironically, council performed the same trick themselves with the ordinance, grinding to a halt at their work session Monday evening.
 
“I’m not hearing a consensus among council on what to do,” said Mayor Welborn Adams following a discussion of the issue. “Why don’t we just kill it.”

The issue was brought up at a work session in July. City manager Charlie Barrineau said his office had received a number of complaints from Uptown merchants about skateboarders causing damage to both public and private property. The monument to WWI and WWII veterans, Barrineau told council, was one of the spots being damaged by the skateboarders.

Several members of council said they received phone calls about the proposed ordinance. Councilman Kenn Wiltshire said he met with several "leaders" in the skateboarding community and felt council needed to carefully consider an ordinance before proceeding.
 
“I was surprised when I met with (the skateboarders),” Wiltshire said. “These aren’t 15-year-old kids. These are people in their 20s and 30s out there riding skateboards. They aren’t bad people and they have some proposed solutions.”

Barrineau told council there was a difference between "long boarders" and the trick skateboarders causing the damage. The long boarders, Barrineau said, are more like bicyclers, utilizing their skateboards as a mode of transportation and often riding on the roads. Councilwoman Nikki Hutto said she felt sure it was just a handful of skateboarders causing the problems and said she was torn between whether she felt council should pursue the ordinance.
 
The discussion lost most of its traction when Barrineau showed council the ordinance from Greenville which bans skateboarding. The fine for a first offense is $50. For a second offense, a skateboarder would pay $500 or spend 30 days in jail. A collective gasp went up as Barrineau read aloud the penalty for a second offense. Barrineau also noted that anyone under 17 who was fined for skateboarding would have to go through family court.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, August 14, 2014
Article comment by: willson fisher

There's a very simple solution here,
It baffles me that the County Council is having such a problem solving it, When I was younger I enjoyed skate boarding all through the town,
And yes even down town,
I even worked down town and a skate to work was the best way for me to get around. So I know where the skaters stand, and as somebody who works very hard everyday, I can see the merchant view not wanting to have their property damaged,
In conclusion the solution would be speed bumps around the places That are being damaged..it won't take a big one or a lot of them just in the right places


Posted: Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Article comment by: george wood

It does not matter what it is called, skateboard, long board, bicycle, pogo stick it does not belong in the road. If a sidewalk is available, use it! No one else is. If you damage property of any kind, do the time! This is one more example of politicians trying to treat a symptom not the problem.



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