|Laguna Beach: "Not on our streets, you won't!"|
The rear bumpers and side panels of cars in Laguna Beach can thank the City Council for doing its part to ensure said car parts' future safety and well-being. On Tuesday evening, the council voted to create an ordinance that would prohibit the practice of high-speed skateboarding on three of the steepest and, therefore, most desirable streets in the city, along with the decision that the group should abide by the same rules of the road as everyone else.
The two parties involved were residents who found the sport a danger and potential liability and skateboarders who felt they had as much a right to the streets as bicyclists, cars and pedestrians.
The opposition to the speedy skateboard crowd were concerned with the safety and liability of the participants as they raced--at speeds of up to 50 mph--down narrow residential streets. According to a story by The Orange County Register
, residents shared stories of near-misses and the fear that an accident would result in serious injury or even death. Even if an accident, no one wants that on their conscience, all for the sake of fun.
Residents--supported by the council--felt the "speedboarders" should have to respect posted speed limits and stop signs, as well as yield to traffic and steer clear of pedestrians.
The three restricted streets are Alta Vista Way, between Bonita Way and Solana Way; Summit Drive, between Katella Street and Bluebird Canyon Drive; and Bluebird Canyon Drive, between Morningside Drive and Cress Street.
Though the ordinance still needs to be written and voted on at a future meeting, the understanding is that it will pass quickly and go into effect immediately. In the meantime, council members are planning to meet with the various parties to come up with compromises and alternative locations where the downhill-skateboarding crowd can do its thing in peace--and not pieces.