Charleston City Council will hold a public hearing today on its proposed package of new skateboarding regulations for downtown, and there is opposition from those who say it’s a bad idea.
Robert Ballard of the Radcliffeborough Neighborhood Association said skateboarding remains too unsafe to sanction on busy local streets where thousands of cars move daily or on city routes that aren’t geared toward mixing boarding and cars.
Additionally, he said, the city is planning to convert some streets from one-way to two, which will expand skateboarding’s frequency and meshing with cars.
City Council’s Committee on Traffic and Transportation will hear public comment at 3:30 p.m. in City Hall. No prior registration is required.
Charleston is considering a six-month pilot program that would greatly expand where skateboarding is allowed downtown but with more restrictions. Skateboarders would have to obey the rules of the road, wouldn’t be able to use cellphones while rolling and couldn’t skate barefoot.
Boarding would be prohibited outright on most of the city’s major thoroughfares, including highly traveled King, Meeting, Broad, East Bay and Calhoun streets.
Anyone caught violating any of the 15 or so new regulations would face a minimum fine of $50.
City Councilman Mike Seekings, who helped draft the proposal, said concerns over safety are legitimate but that the pilot proposal is a good way to see if skateboarding can be integrated into city streets.
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