Lights out for overnight skateboarding downtown

While walking through the First National Bank parking lot, I noticed this sign: “No overnight parking or skateboarding.” I hadn’t realized there was an issue with overnight skateboarding. Are Durango police combating this problem? Should we live in fear of overnight skateboarding becoming an epidemic? Do we need to install time locks on our children’s skateboards? Just wondering. – Rob

The scourge of skateboarding is a major concern, judging from the number of notices posted throughout town.

And it’s not just overnight skateboarding. Riding the contraptions in broad daylight is equally verboten.

Dozens of signs throughout downtown mince no words: “No riding bicycles, skateboards or skates on sidewalks.” In addition, there are the “Dismount Zone” designations at each street corner.

This all stems from Section 17-62 of the municipal code, which regulates rolling recreation on public property within the Central Business District.

And by “regulate,” the law means prohibit any “rolling devices,” except for those used by people with disabilities.

The bank’s parking lot, while being within the district, is private property – thus First National establishes its own blacktop governance, especially regarding that which occurs in the wee hours.

However, certain pavement-based nighttime activities, especially ones involving money, are strongly encouraged. For instance, you can drive up to the bank’s night drop for deposits or withdraw some cash from the 24-hour ATM in the middle of the parking lot.

When it comes to multimodal transportation involving wheels mounted to a thin board, the local constabulary doesn’t let scofflaws off the hook.

A representative at Durango Municipal Court said there are a couple of skateboarding tickets seen each month – hardly an epidemic “and none were issued for ‘overnight skateboarding,’ ” the court worker said with a chuckle.

Just for the record, a first improper skateboarding ticket is $30, the second is $60 and the third violation results in a court date.

Despite bumper stickers attesting otherwise, skateboarding is, indeed, a crime.

This is especially true for “overnight skateboarding” at Durango Skate Park.

By law, all city parks are closed from midnight to 5 a.m., leaving no opportunity for dropping in at Fassbinder by the light of the silvery moon.

And to answer your question about skateboarding youths running amok, the city has measures to thwart nefarious nocturnal nonsense.

The municipal code states that whippersnappers age 16 and younger are subject to a 10:30 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew weekdays and midnight-5 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

So rather than slap a time lock on your grom’s skateboard, why not actually supervise the minor?

Anyway, this brings up an interesting tangential issue. It’s clear the city doesn’t want people skateboarding downtown, so it spent a ton of money on the Durango Skate Park where skateboarders can ride legally.

Likewise, it’s clear the city doesn’t want dogs to run off leash. So the city spent a ton of money on a dog park where canines roam free.

What of smoking?

It’s clear the city doesn’t want anyone to smoke and has banned tobacco use practically everywhere even though smoking is legal.

Why, then, hasn’t the city established a “smoke park,” where adults can light up and enjoy a puff or two?

It’s a Kool idea with some Merit. But the city isn’t likely to rush Pall Mall into such a plan. Smoking opponents see this as a Lucky Strike against tobacco accommodation.

Perhaps the city leaders can think about this.

Overnight, of course.

Alas, there’s no way this idea will skate past City Council.

Email questions to actionline@durangoherald.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you can do a blunt triple kickflip out to fakie.

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