Skates, 'Boards Get the Boot Downtown

Skateboarding and roller-skating will come to a screeching halt downtown under an ordinance that received City Council approval Tuesday.

Council members, in a 3-2 vote, said the ban is needed because of potential for injuries and property damage.

"I really don't think our downtown area is set up for that kind of activity," said Mayor Don Bankhead.

Council members Chris Norby and Jan Flory voted against the ban, saying roller-skating should be exempt. They cited police reports indicating that skateboarding draws the most complaints.

The ordinance bans skateboarding and roller-skating on streets, sidewalks, parking lots and other public property in the Central Business District. City officials and private property owners can now post "No Skateboarding or Roller-Skating" signs.

Police officials said the department receives many complaints from residents and business owners about skating. Police had been unable to deal with the complaints effectively, according to reports, because there was no state or local law addressing the matter.

Ordinance violators are subject to infraction or misdemeanor charges.

Council members said they would consider a skate park.

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