South Elgin makes a skateboarding a crime -- in a few limited places
"Skateboarding is not a crime" has been a rallying cry for years among skaters, but now South Elgin says it is in some places.
The village board passed an ordinance last week allowing skateboard and inline skate use only in the village's two skate parks or "as permitted on sidewalks, trails, paths, parking lots and rights of way." It is enforceable "whether or not the specific area of the Park System has signage reminding the public of this prohibition," according to the ordinance.
Kim Wascher, the village's director parks and recreation, said during the meeting that it's a matter of safety.
"Skaters are welcome on our sidewalks and paths in all parks. And we have a skate park at Stowell-Peddy open to residents. However, we want to keep skaters off handrails and stairs in public places."
Wascher said there has been a sign prohibiting skateboarding at the municipal annex building, but it wasn't legally enforceable until now. With the new ordinance in place, South Elgin police will be able to cite anyone who violates it.
"We established the ordinance for the safety of those skateboarding and inline skating," Washcer said. "We have had many near misses at the municipal annex and outside village hall."
The village also plans to install signs prohibiting skateboarding and inline skating around the new stage area and stairs at Panton Mill Park, she added.
The village has another skate park at Sperry Park but it is closed for repairs until next year.