Skateboard commuter feels picked on

Many law-abiding, respectful boarders out there in city

It seems Victoria police have solved all the city’s crime. In fact, it seems they are so bored with their jobs that they have taken up the fight against green transportation.

Every day, I skateboard from Cook Street to the waterfront, where I work full time. I am respectful and mindful of traffic, ride slowly on the sidewalk when there is no bike lane provided and thus far have caused no collisions or injury to persons or property on my way.

Instead of driving a car or taking a taxi, I choose to do my part to keep B.C. and the world a beautiful place to live; I get a good workout and get to see parts of the city on route. It seems that city hall is not interested in keeping Victoria green so much as keeping up an image, one that doesn’t include its residents.

I know many, many other people such as myself who skate to work, downtown, every day. We run the cafes, the restaurants and the shops that make downtown so attractive to tourists and residents alike, and we need a way to get there.

Victoria police are enforcing a ridiculous bylaw that bans all “person powered vehicles,” including skateboards, scooters and rollerblades, in the downtown area, an offense that carries a $60 fine and impound of the board.

I find this a very backwards step. Most cities with a clue would never pull a stunt like this on their own constituents. I feel harassed and singled out because of one minor incident, involving someone who is obviously unconcerned with public safety regardless of what they are riding. If the person who ran down the elderly couple can’t skateboard, I guess they’ll just have to drive a car. Isn’t that a comforting thought?

Patrick Gleeson


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