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September 08, 1988 - Image 23

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-09-08

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 8, 1988 - Page 23

ANN ARBOR

Skateboards
ruled illegal
downtown

Safety in numbers
Hundreds of women take to the streets of Ann Arbor each spring for the Take Back the Night march. The march,
held in combination with a rally, protests sexual assault against women.

town store owners
say wayfaring
skateboarders cause
danger to their
customers, and
damage to property
by riding up on
curbs, park ben-
ches, and other ce-
ment surfaces.

by skateboarders speeding past her
store, is glad the rule was adopted
But Rice said she thinks bicycles,
which currently are permitted to ride
on sidewalks, should be included in
the new restrictions.
"I think it's real bull that the
bikers get to come here and we can't,
said Marc Volger, a Community
High School student.
Councilmember Larry Hunter D-
1st Ward), who has strongly opposed
the new ordinance, said althought the
council's Democrats see problems
with downtown
traffic, "It's ludi-
crous to have. a
police officer mk-
ing $40,000 a year
confiscating skate-
boards."
Fellow Demo-
cratic couip-
cilmember Jeff
Epton (3rd Ward)
agreed.
"(Skateboarding)
has been singled
out because it's a
kind of youthful
behavior that's in-
consistent with
behavior people
krbor associate with, say,
a mall."
Several merchants have expressed
interest in isolating skateboarders to
facilities specially designed to ac-
commodate their sport.
But Jason Futrell, a high school
student who lives in Taylor but
comes into Ann Arbor to skateboard,
said, "It'd probably be too far for us
to get there. There's already (such a
park), and it costs money to get in."

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"My personal """""
feeling is that it's A
always unfortunate Af l
when you have
to legislate behavior," said Russ
Collins, president of the State Street
Area Merchants Association and
Michigan Theater manager.
But Collins added, "It's not a
personal freedom issue. It's a public
safety issue."
"Those benches (in Liberty Park
Plaza) are ruined from skateboarders
jumping on them," said Night Town
restaurant owner Steve Bellock. "I
think the city was saying, 'There's
just no way we can foot the bill."'
Ritz Camera Manager Debbie
Rice, who has witnessed patrons
getting brushed and knocked down

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