Skateboard policy in Vernon may evolve

Vernon council wants more information on possibly allowing skateboards on sidewalks

Skateboarders may eventually have some new terrain to tackle legally.

Vernon council wants more information on possibly allowing skateboards on sidewalks and roads although staff recommended Monday that proactive enforcement of skateboard rules continue in the downtown core and on a complaint basis in residential areas.

“We have unnecessarily complicated this issue,” said Coun. Brian Quiring.

“We’re looking for a recommendation on what would be appropriate for skateboards.”

Mayor Akbal Mund says while Kelowna doesn’t ban skateboards on sidewalks, there is a speed limit.

“There is signage that says you have to give way to pedestrians,” he said, adding that perhaps the rules need to reflect current activities.

“Twenty-five years ago, we didn’t allow snowboards on the (ski) hills. It’s changed,” he said.

However, Coun. Catherine Lord has mixed feelings about amending the rules because public safety is involved.

“I see an advantage to using skateboards and we are encouraging people to use alternate transportation but the biggest thing is to educate them to use it properly,” she said.

Council’s decision to reconsider the current ban was welcomed by skateboarders in council chambers.

“If you respect the pedestrians, it`s not an issue,” said Anthony Timmer, 23.

Timmer also supports having a speed limit, such as five kilometres an hour.

“Maintain your speed and be careful,” he said.