Skateboarding decriminalized in Breck |

Skateboarding decriminalized in Breck

Robert Allen
Summit County Correspondent
Vail CO, Colorado
Mark Fox/Summit DailySkaters like Tyler Farley, a resident of Blue River, are now able to ride the streets of Breckenridge instead of being confined to skate parks, like the one shown here.

BRECKENRIDGE, Colorado ” Skateboards may be rolling legally down Breckenridge Main Street within a month, as the town council has given preliminary approval to a skateboarding ordinance.

“It’s awesome. They’re doing the right thing,” Jay Dale, manager of Broadcast Ride Shop said. “It’s more than just a sport ” it’s transportation. It’s a green way to go.”

As the legislation reads, skaters will be permitted to ride on every street but Highway 9, which becomes Park Avenue as it passes through town.

The ordinance will be set to expire Sept. 1, 2009, when the council may choose to renew it.

“In a year, we can evaluate and see if we have problems,” Councilwoman Jennifer McAtamney said. “But I look at (the ordinance) as an opportunity, since the skateboarders came out in great numbers and really got involved in the political process.”

The ordinance is expected to be approved following a public hearing at the council’s next meeting, Sept. 9.

Mayor John Warner was the only dissenter when the vote was made Tuesday. He said Wednesday that though he’s supportive of the skateboarders riding on town streets, he has a safety concern.

“I really would prefer that we start the process with the skateboarders not using Main Street,” he said. “I worry that they will confuse motorists if they don’t follow the rules of the road.”

Warner also is concerned that as skaters descend the streets between Ridge Street and Main Street, they could lose control on the steep grade and collide with vehicles and pedestrians.

Dale said there is indeed a danger for kids who lose control.

“If they don’t have control, they shouldn’t be on the road,” he said. “As long as kids act proper and use proper etiquette on the streets, there shouldn’t be hassles.”

Dale has skated the town streets the five years he’s lived in Breckenridge. He said he didn’t notice problems until this year, when kids have been trying to pass cars and pulling stunts that should be reserved for the skate parks.

“They shouldn’t be scaring tourists,” he said.

Warner said the police are “a little nervous,” but that the town wants to give skateboarders the opportunity.

“My worry is that we’re jumping into this with both feet and we may have some chaos on our hands,” he said.

The Town first addressed the issue after a group of skate enthusiasts attended a council meeting in June, where they asked that skateboarding be allowed on the town streets.

The ordinance will also include:

– Skateboarding will be prohibited on sidewalks adjacent to Main Street.

– People who skateboard at night must be equipped with lamps on the front and reflectors on the rear.

– Skateboards may not be used on sidewalks when pedestrians are present.

– Nobody under 10 years old will be allowed to skate on town roads or sidewalks, except for those adjacent to Kingdom Park.

Robert Allen can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or

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