Councilman ‘probably’ supports legal skateboarding downtown, but with limits

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An unofficial skating spot near downtown Greensboro
An unofficial skating spot near downtown Greensboro

A month ago we published a story about plans for a skate park in Greensboro, and while researching it we realized that skateboarding is illegal downtown.

That seems like a pretty obvious problem, considering that existing plans would likely put the skate park near the Downtown Greenway loop planned around the center city.

It took us a month to get Councilman Mike Barber, a staunch advocate of the skate park, back on the phone to talk about whether he would try and change the city ordinance banning skating downtown. To our surprise, he was somewhat hesitant.

“I want skateboarding to be legal at the skate park,” Barber said initially. “I think that there’s a fine line.”

Barber draws that fine line between how people are using their boards, and maybe even which type.

 

“Long boarding for transportation purposes is fine,” he said. “I don’t know that that’s much different than cycling. I don’t think you can be busting rails and going all X Games downtown. We would need to distinguish that it was for the purpose of transportation.”

Barber said that he “probably will bring it up” to council to change the law, though there doesn’t seem to be any rush given that the skate park isn’t exactly scheduled to open soon.

He added that he may get slammed for suggesting that the ordinance be less restrictive, saying there is a generational gap of understanding about the issue. Barber also lamented the slow pace at which progress is moving.

“We’re always just a little bit slow to the game,” he said.