Skateboarding in Fort Collins — Keep your “toys” out of the bike lane.
Everyone who attends CSU knows how ridiculously scarce parking is on campus, so most students try to use different forms of transportation. This includes skateboards, but somehow they drew the short straw when it comes to alternative transportation. Why is it that you can’t skate in the bike lanes? Well because they’re “toys” and you can’t have toys on the roadways, duh. Not surprising really, since skateboarding has been going at it with every city in the U.S. since day one. Fort Collins is really blowing it with this one though.
Fort Collins would rather have skaters tearing down the sidewalks on their way to campus squeezing by all the people walking, than in the roadway cruising with the bicyclists. Most people walking on sidewalks tend not to pay attention to whats going on around them, and I’m not saying they should be. It’s the sidewalk… for walking. People driving or riding bicycles in the road have to pay attention to whats going on around them. So we have two options: roll down the sidewalk trying to dodge the pedestrians, or jump in the street and skate right alongside the bikes.
It makes even less sense that skateboarders are preferred to be riding on sidewalks when Fort Collins has such a good bike lane system in place. We’re talking really good… like #2 on U.S. weekly’s 10 Best U.S. cycling towns. Kevin Duggan, from the Coloradoan, did a story where he asked some local police officers about skating in the bike lane. One of them stated that you can skate in multipurpose lanes as long as its done safely. What’s the difference between that and riding safely in all the bike lanes?
Hopefully this law will change eventually as more people become more accepting of skateboards as a form of alternative transportation. Chuck Sudo, from Chicago, wrote in an article about his stance on the issue changing after he realized it was only his negative bias against skateboards that was forming his ideas. Fort Collins has been doing more for skateboarding outside of CSU recently with new lights at the park in Old Town. Plus, Launch does a lot of work showing the community the good side of skateboarding. Hopefully the same change of heart that Chuck went through will happen with our city… it makes more sense, after all.