Strasburg panel mulls bikes, skateboards on town roads

STRASBURG – The Strasburg Ordinance Committee met Monday morning to discuss issues of riding bicycles and skateboards on the town’s streets and sidewalks.

The committee received input from town members about how best to rewrite or alter current ordinances that do not allow skateboards on streets or sidewalks, and require cyclists to ride in the street, regardless of age, in the downtown area.

One resident, George Rathore, said this is a precarious issue for the town to face as it pits a younger generation of parents who are friendlier with skateboarding against an older generation more hostile to the culture.

He said the town needs to meet in the middle to allow for both skateboarders and those who oppose the practice.

“Do I think that downtown, they should be able to ride skateboards on the sidewalks in front of our businesses? Absolutely not,” he said. “But do I think that we need to designate certain areas that are within the town? Absolutely.”

Although there has been discussion and a fundraising campaign to build a skate park in town, Matthew Harris, a recent high school graduate and skateboarder, said it misses the point.

“I don’t really skate to go out and do a bunch of tricks, I skate for transportation,” he said, longboard in hand. “It’s all I’ve got.”

Skateboarding is technically illegal anywhere in town. However, Sutherly said he and his staff only enforce the code on the town’s main streets.

Likewise, although bicycles are not legal on the sidewalks, he said his officers use discretion before citing small children for riding their bicycles on the sidewalk.

Vice Mayor and Committee Chair Scott Terndrup said the committee will revisit the issue during its meeting next month to discuss how it will propose to rewrite the ordinance for both cyclists and skateboarders. Both he and Sutherly said they would consider allowing skateboarding anywhere in town besides King Street.

The ordinance committee will meet to discuss the issue further at 7 p.m. Oct. 24.

Contact staff writer Jake Zuckerman at 540-465-5137 ext. 152, or jzuckerman@nvdaily.com