Sunday, October 10, 2021

The World Keeps Spinning: Skateboarding

About ten years ago skateboarders began to ride the train to the zoo, then roll down the hill past our house. 

Our neighborhood association, composed of grumpy, old, white men, immediately declared the end to life as we knew it and began haranguing the police to arrest anybody with a skateboard.

I did see a police cruiser from time to time at an intersection, the officer always looking angry and bored. I also learned that the city asked a skate organization to suggest better behavior from skaters and disseminate information about how not to be a pain in the ass.

Eventually a public culture evolved -- motorists learned to be patient and skaters generally adhered to the rules on the above sign. 

Although I have been inconvenienced when driving by youths having a rip-roaring good time, I instinctively side with the skateboarders. The notion that once one is inside a car all pedestrians, bicyclists, skateboarders, and anyone else, must yield so the driver may get to her/his destination as quickly as possible is problematic. 

We need to reevaluate where the car fits into our landscapes. We have sacrificed so much that is pleasing in our urban life to the automobile. Always giving the car primacy has been responsible for so much blight.

Let's share the road with all who would play upon it. If that means chilling out for 30 seconds, I say so be it. 


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