The city of Charleston's skateboarding regulations and map have worked so well that leaders are poised to make them permanent.
City Council this month is expected to include the rules- that started out as a temporary test - as part of the city code, applicable to anyone who rides a skateboard downtown.
"It's been a noticeable improvement on King Street," said Sgt. Heath King, who is part of the police department's tourism and entertainment district enforcement.
King Street was one of the multiple routes where boarding was prohibited under the pilot that started last March.
Also banned was riding on Meeting, Broad, East Bay and Calhoun streets. But skateboarders were given more freedom to ride the roads around the College of Charleston, where students were most likely to travel around on four wheels.
Skateboarders were further required to keep their conduct in check. They had to obey all the rules of the road, couldn't use cellphones while rolling or go barefoot.
Violators faced a fine of at least $50, plus court costs.
City Council's Traffic and Tourism Committee on Tuesday endorsed making the rules permanent, saying they fell within the city's push to incorporate alternative forms of travel onto city streets.
But they also wanted a way to police or crack down on unsafe or out-of-control riders, and to better define where skateboarding is allowed since the previous map proved to be unwieldy.
"What we came up with was a good solution; it worked," City Councilman Mike Seekings said.
King said city police weren't heavy-handed in their enforcement during the test period. The department set up checkpoints and education periods, including at the start of the College of Charleston school year.
The regulations and riding map were also blasted by e-mail to the C of C students, King said.
Over the life of the pilot, officers wrote about 60 violation tickets since March of 2013, King added. With court costs, though, the assessment was as high as $113 for some violators.
Other aspects of the regulations included:
Skateboarding was prohibited around Market, Spring and Cannon streets, as well as most of the streets surrounding the Medical University of South Carolina.
Riders are not allowed to operate while intoxicated or while consuming alcohol.
Riders are not allowed to attach themselves to a moving vehicle.
Skateboarders must be visible from both a minimum distance of 500 feet and a height of at least 3 feet through the use of reflective lights, clothing or gear.
Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551
St. Philip Street is full of cars, bicyclists and skateboarders as they travel through Charleston Tuesday. The city’s skateboard review committee has unveiled its package of reforms that it said would allow skateboarding to safely exist, or even coexist, with other forms of traffic on Charleston streets.×
College of Charleston freshman Logan Miccichi of James Island skateboards Tuesday down St. Philip Street. “It’s definitely dangerous to skate down main streets during the day,” Miccichi said, but he argues that streets are empty at night and people should be able to skate down them.×