Skateboarding is not accommodated in Downtown Phoenix.
Understanding of Problem.
Skateboarding is a growing hobby with many benefits. Unfortunately, it is not accommodated in Downtown Phoenix.
According to the Phoenix, Arizona city code, skateboarding is prohibited everywhere except designated skateboarding areas (Phoenix Ord. No. G-4224). Click here to view the Phoenix code pertaining skateboarding. Skaters are no longer able to skate in public areas. Although not being able to skate in public areas is a burden, one might think that skaters can still just visit skateparks when they want to skate.
The unfortunate part of this situation is that Downtown Phoenix skaters don’t even have a nearby skatepark. There is not a single skatepark in the Downtown Phoenix area. The closest skatepark to central Phoenix (Central and Washington) is Cesar Chavez skatepark which is about nine miles away (Google Maps, May 2016). The second closest skatepark is Desert West Skatepark, just over nine miles from Central and Washington (Google Maps, May 2016).
With this being the case, skaters in downtown Phoenix have to plan trips and travel far in order to skate legally. However, not all do this. Many skaters still skate the streets of Downtown Phoenix, putting themselves and others at risk. First of all, skating is disruptive. It makes a lot of noise and can get in the way of passers-by. This isn’t okay in an area where pedestrians are walking down the sidewalk, people are working, and cars are passing. A stray skateboard hitting a passerby is just one example of how street skating can go south. On top of people being injured, local businesses and property owners may suffer from this too. An injury from a skater or passerby on private property could leave the owner responsible.
As if property owners weren’t suffering enough already, their property can be severely damaged by skateboarding. Skating requires inevitable contact with the environment, most of which is damaging. Ledges can be chipped, handrails destroyed, grounds dirtied up, and much more. It’s usually the case that the prettier something is, the better it is to skate.
Not only are outsiders at risk, but skaters are at risk too. By skating on private property, skaters run the risk of being arrested, fined, and maybe even sued. Making criminals of active people following their hobby passionately isn’t fair. Skaters are just doing what they love, but they are non-maliciously breaking the law.