Citing concerns about pedestrian safety--and over the vehement protests of one councilman who called the move “ill-informed"--the City Council has voted to ban skating, skateboarding and cycling on the Third Street Promenade.
The ban will take effect in September.
Before the council’s 4-2 vote approving the ban, nearly 40 people--about evenly divided over the issue--spoke to the council.
Supporters of the ban said skaters and cyclists on the Promenade create unsafe conditions for pedestrians, especially the elderly or disabled. Opponents said the ban was overly restrictive and based on anecdotal evidence.
Councilman Michael Feinstein, an avid skater, called the vote a “frightening, ill-informed, out-of-touch” move, and urged implementation of a safe-skating public education program in lieu of prohibiting skaters in the popular three-block shopping area. He and Councilwoman Pam O’Connor voted against the ordinance.
Saying that they hoped the ban would protect pedestrians, council members Ken Genser, Paul Rosenstein, Asha Greenberg and Mayor Robert Holbrook voted for it.
According to a report from city staff, during the last five years there have been 24 claims filed against the city for injuries involving bicycles and 16 for injuries involving in-line skates. Half of the claims stem from people who collided with cyclists or skaters.