After 3 lively public input meetings on the “proposed” expansion of traffic laws restricting skateboarding in Downtown El Paso, the proposed language has been tempered significantly.
A City Council meeting/public hearing on the matter is scheduled for Tuesday, August 23, 2016 according to Dionne Mack, the City’s Quality of Life Managing Director who spearheaded the ordinance expansion after observing downtown property damage and one alarming incident involving a skater’s near collision with an elderly woman after airing off the stage at the newly renovated San Jacinto Plaza. Apparently, there was also at least one complaint from an “unnamed” downtown business owner.
The local skateboard community was out in force for the first public input meeting at the Armijo Public Library. El Paso’s District 1 City Representative Peter Svarzbein also showed up to listen to constituents’ concerns and snap a rad selfie. Photo courtesy: Peter Svarzbein.
In short, the “revised” ordinance language:
The revised ordinance expansion now focuses squarely on protecting pedestrian traffic and limiting property damage while allowing skaters to enjoy downtown for transportation purposes.
Props to Ms. Mack for respectfully considering the concerns off all the skateboarders, roller skaters, bicyclists and other citizens who chimed in on the matter. And thanks to all those who participated in the public meetings.
EPSA maintains the best solution for safely including skateboarding in downtown revitalization efforts is to create designated skate areas for aggressive riders to grind and do their thing – basically, give them a better alternative to the illegal spot. All the hubbub has prompted us to scout areas for potential new skate spots and dots in the downtown area.
Read more on the initial proposal to restrict skateboarding in downtown El Paso.
Revisions to the Title 12 traffic ordinance proposal do not specifically ban skating at the newly remodeled San Jacinto Plaza. However…skating on surfaces not intended for pedestrian or vehicular traffic would be off-limits citywide.
Minor property damage on the 2-stair bordering the Chihuahua’s downtown ballpark. Skating for transportation here would be okay. Grinding on the ledges & edges – not okay.
Upscale restaurant Anson 11 has already taken pro-active measures to deter street skaters from riding the planters bordering their sidewalk cafe area. These are definitely some of the prettiest retro-fitted skate stoppers we’ve ever seen!
Artsy skate stoppers were also retro-fitted nicely on the circled sculpture in front of Anson 11.
Open public downtown spaces are rare and tight, but a lot of skaters have been eye-balling this shady area under the Durango Street bridge for a possible designated skate spot or smaller skate dot. Doing it safely “by design” to protect pedestrians and other traffic from shooting boards would be the real trick.