Pedestrian Accidents: Skateboarding Targeted in Asheville

Skateboarding is a simple and eco-friendly way for many to get around. Unfortunately, it’s not a legal way to get around in Asheville. According to the Citizen-Times, a proposal to make this form of transportation acceptable was recently rejected by City Council with a 4-3 vote. Back in April, an ordinance proposal was requested by the Council, but after reviewing it officials concluded that there were just too many safety concerns with allowing this form of transportation.
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Councilman Marc Hunt says that the ones who are pushing to lift the ban may be some of the more skillful skateboarders in the area. Unfortunately, there are others who aren’t as skilled on a board and run some serious risks of accidents when traveling near our city’s busy streets. He adds that the risk is just too high!

Our Asheville accident lawyers understand that residents are looking toward various alternative forms of transportation to get around town. Bicycle and on-foot traffic are two forms which are welcomed in the area. Skateboards aren’t as welcomed. Getting skateboards to be legal on our streets has been a long-term project for many skateboarders in the area, but it’s not looking too promising.

“I’m really sick of being considered an outlaw, and I’m tired of running,” said local skateboarder Kevin Haney to City Council. “I hate that I have to hide something that I’m so passionate about.”

The current rules of the city only allow skateboarders to skate along sidewalks that are outside the central business district. In the downtown area, skateboards are prohibited.

With the most recent proposal, the ordinance was going to allow users to use the streets, if they weren’t performing any tricks or stunts. They would have also been required to wear helmets, to yield to the right of way of pedestrians, to obey traffic laws and to ride only during the daylight hours.

All local skateboarders wanted was the “four-wheel down” rule, allowing those who ride their skateboards for transportation purposes to be allowed to do so. Many advocates in the area argue that not everyone should be punished for the irresponsibility of others.

Councilman Jan Davis isn’t buying it. He says that he doesn’t see residents using it only as a form of “transportation.” He says that it’s only going to serve as a threat to pedestrians. He says that with the large amount of pedestrians in the downtown area, there’s no room for skateboarders.

Some say it would even be difficult for officers to enforce the “four-wheel down” rule. That’s why Councilman Chris Pelly is saying let’s give it a shot. He says that local government should give it a whirl for six months to see how it’s going. Results should be presented at the end of that time and then a final decision should be made.

Meanwhile, skateboarders are still banned from riding in the area.

If you have been injured in an accident, contact the attorneys at Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a free and confidential consultation. Call 1-800-887-1965 today!

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Two Injured Helping Woman in Broken Down Vehicle on Smoky Highway, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, July 12, 2012

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