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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Skateboarding now more regulated on UA campus

While bikes are heavily regulated on campus, skateboards are becoming more of an issue as their popularity rises.

Alex Rosenthal, a pre-business freshman, said he has been riding his longboard since fourth grade and has used it as his main mode of transportation since his bike was stolen. He said that although he hasn’t hit a pedestrian, he has come close many times when riding on the UA Mall during school days around 10 and 11 a.m.

“It really depends on the time of day … when everyone is going to class, I normally pick up my board,” he said. “At night, when there isn’t as many people out, I’m not nearly as worried about hitting people.”

Skateboards are pedestrian devices and are therefore supposed to be ridden on the sidewalk, according to Jose Bermudez, a crime prevention officer at the University of Arizona Police Department. Bermudez said skateboarding is prohibited in parking structures and lots, and that skateboarding tricks are always prohibited.

“All four wheels must be on the ground,” he said.

Bermudez said first-time offenders are usually given warnings, but if they are caught committing the offense again, their boards are subject to impoundment at Parking and Transportation Services. Repeat offenders are cited for trespassing, and if the tricks result in damage on the UA property, criminal damage is something UAPD will look into, Bermudez said.

Rosenthal said he knows he is not allowed to longboard through the Student Union Memorial Center, and that he never does because it is “not that big of a deal to pick it (the longboard) up to walk 100 feet or so.”

Alternative modes of transportation like skateboarding or longboarding can cause potential danger to those with disabilities.

Sherry Santee, a physical access consultant and physical therapist at the Disability Resource Center said blind students are “not too thrilled” about longboarders on the sidewalks. In the past, she said, a blind student complained about longboarders because they interfered with her seeing-eye dog.

“It’s difficult sometimes because of them (longboarders) startling the service animal,” she said. “I see it as a hazard, and sometimes not everyone comes forward and complains about things.”

Santee said the Disability Resource Center requested to not let the Disability Cart Service come into their courtyard because it is a pedestrian zone. It is now marked that skateboarders cannot
go there.

Skateboarders must always yield to pedestrians and stop at corners to ensure pedestrian safety, according to Bermudez. Skateboarding is prohibited on any pedestrian walk, ramp or patio where signs indicate, within any UA building, on any ramp established for individuals with disabilities, on any stairs, landings or handrails on UA property and on any university structures.

Liam Holdsworth, a physics freshman, said he has never actually hit a pedestrian but there have been near misses.

“Have I come close? Yes,” he said. “I try my hardest to avoid that though.”

Holdsworth said he knows he is not permitted to longboard in the student union and in parking garages, and that he never longboards there. Although he said a pedestrian has never yelled at him while longboarding on campus, off campus a man yelled at him to get in the bike lane with his longboard.

“I had previous experience longboarding, and for the most part, people are nice about me skating around them,” Holdsworth added.

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