City Council Meeting Notes 5/22/12:

 

Good evening ladies and gentlemen of the Council, my name is Roger Brown.

 

Iím a former resident of Mountain View and have worked in the city for many years since moving here in 1979.

 

Iím here to request that the Council add an agenda item to look into lifting the current skateboard ban on the multiple use trails in city parks, including Shoreline Park, Stevens Creek and Hetch-Hetchy Trails.

I use these trails and would like to ride my skateboard on them.

 

I would like to address the current City Code that bans skateboarding:

 

City Ordinance Section 38.20g Special provisions for Shoreline Park.

g. Trail users shall be limited in the use of all premises to the prepared trails and boardwalks designated for such purposes.Skateboards shall be prohibited in Shoreline Park.

 

I was told the concern was that a falling skateboarder might cause their board to fly away and come into contact with another trail user causing injury.

 

I contend that during long distance skateboarding, a fall occurs when a skateboard wheel encounters an obstruction and stops.

 

The rider's momentum carries them forward and once contact with the board is lost, Newton's 2nd law of motion applies to the board.

 

Iíve fallen 4 times in 1200 miles of riding and the board has remained where it stopped or at most rolled a few feet to a stop.

 

How does this regulation impact users such as myself?

 

These trails are ideal for long distance skateboarding, a growing discipline involving riding on flat trails by pushing or pumping the board to maintain forward momentum.

 

I find many longboard riders are adults who are returning to the sport for its aerobic health benefits as well as being environmentally friendly transportation.

 

I have an on-line petition signed by 92 other riders who share this opinion.

 

This is what other local cities say regarding skateboarding on multi-use trails:

 

Skateboards are allowed on the Bay Trail from San Jose, through Santa Clara, Sunnyvale andPalo Alto but prohibited on that same Bay Trail in Mountain View.

 

The only sign I found was a sheet of paper in a bulletin board in the middle of Shoreline Park with the above city ordinance referenced.

 

Sunnyvale:

††††††††††† http://sunnyvale.ca.gov/Portals/0/Sunnyvale/DCS/Recreation/Info%20Bulletins/P07.pdf

"Skateboarding is considered a positive recreational pursuit; safe, courteous skateboarding is welcomed throughout the City of Sunnyvale park system."

 

Palo Alto:

††††††††††† http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=6048

B. Skateboards are prohibited in open space parks and preserves, except on paved, multi-use bike paths.

E. No person shall leave a skateboard in any place or position where other persons may trip over or be injured by it.

 

Friends of Stevens Creek Trail:

"We surveyed our board of directors and the consensus is that we have no issues with skateboards as long as public safety is maintained."

 

The "Stevens Creek Trail Etiquette" sign mentions no banned activities:

††††††††††† http://www.stevenscreektrail.org/PR/Public_Records/MtnView/Trail_Etiquette_2009.pdf

 

Going forward, I would suggest that the city adopt trail regulations in line with surrounding municipalities.

 

As Bay Trail segments and connecting trails continue to link up, the influx of trail users crossing multiple city boundaries will increase.

 

If every city has their own unique regulations, it will create a compliance nightmare for trail users and enforcement issues for all cities involved.

 

For council members not familiar with long distance skateboarding; here is a longboard compared to a park board and I could explain some of the differences if requested.

 

Thank you for your attention and consideration of this issue.