Balance is essential on skateboards
In downtown Charleston, folks get from Point A to Point B in cars, in buses, on bikes, on foot — and increasingly, on skateboards.
Perhaps inevitably, the rise in the latter mode of transportation in recent years has created some hard feelings.
So to minimize the growing risk of skateboarders hitting hard pavement, Charleston City Council is considering a six-month pilot project with new regulations designed to cope with their rising ranks.
Among the proposed rules:
■ Skateboarders would be required to obey traffic signals and use hand signals for turns;
■ Motorists would be required to maintain safe distances from skateboarders;
■ Each skateboard could carry only one rider;
■ Skateboarders would be prohibited from hitching rides by grabbing vehicles;
■ Skateboarders would be prohibited from using hand-held communication devices while riding.
It all sounds reasonable enough.
In return for these stricter rules, skateboarders would gain access to some streets where they are now banned — including many around the College of Charleston, where a significant percentage of the students get back and forth via skateboards.
The new plan is the product of a study by the city’s skateboard review committee, and probably will be presented at a public hearing late this month.
City Councilman Mike Seekings helped draft the proposal as a member of the panel, which included skateboarders, neighborhood leaders and police.
Mr. Seekings told our reporter: “The whole idea is to give some rhyme or reason to the streets of Charleston.”
Some skateboarders predictably object to both the suggested rules and the current ones. Some even argue that the proposed regulation against using a cell phone while riding a skateboard would be in conflict with a possible city “app” of the legal riding paths.
The simple solution for that problem: Plan your route, with the help of the “app” guide, before you start rolling.
Another simple solution to aggravation on both sides of this issue:
Regardless of which regulations the city ultimately keeps, drops or adopts, a little common sense and courtesy would go a long way toward needed skateboard balance.