Wednesday, July 1, 2009
WEST SALEM -- After banning skateboarding on Gibson Road last August, the problem has moved to Orchard Heights Road. To keep everyone safe, Polk County Commissioners may be interested in working with skaters.
Last August, a skateboarding event was held on Gibson Road that frightened residents and raised liability flags for the county. Participants were strapping on leathers, gloves, pads and helmets and flying down the slick road as a downhill slalom.
"We've got kids coming from all over our county to do it," County Commissioner Mike Propes said.
In banning the activity on Gibson Road, the county was taking the issue on a case-by-case basis. However, County Commissioner Ron Dodge said he has received complaints of the skateboarders on Orchard Heights Road at a recent meeting.
When the ban was passed, there was concern that the skaters would find another road for their activity.
Propes suggested banning skateboarding on all county roads and working with groups of riders to host a couple of county-approved events a year on designated roads with fewer residents. The county counsel would need to write disclaimers for liability.
However, the cost of signage and enforcement remains a large issue if skateboarding was banned on all county roads.