Is It The Beginning Of A Ban? Or Just Society Trying To Increase Public Safety?

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A law to ban skateboarders?

That’s what being proposed in one Long Island community, where residents worry someone is going to get hurt.

CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff saw one hill in Farmingdale on Thursday that would be perfect for skateboarding.

“It’s a perfect grade. It’s not too fast and it’s not too windy,” skateboarder Rob Mantooth said.

But for people who live on what’s known as “Lenox Hill,” it’s perfectly clear: it’s an accident waiting to happen.

“It’s a dangerous situation. Sometimes you’re backing out of the driveway and they’re whizzing by. They are smaller than a car so you don’t see them,” resident Joyce Merzbacher said.

That’s why Farmingdale Village officials have proposed a skateboarding ban on the residential hill, with $100 fines for violators.

“I don’t  want to sound rude and say it’s ridiculous, but there are better things to ban like kids who do drugs and drink behind the high school,” skateboarder Chris Abel said.

Farmingdale has already banned skateboarding in three of its parks, but on public streets  it’s legal. The mayor believes in healthy exercise, but said these few blocks have blind turns and the incline is so steep skaters reach speeds of 30 mph.

“I’d like to see them revisit this when they have their own kids 20 years from now, skateboarding down the street at 30 mph with four intersections and people coming out of the driveway,” Mayor Ralph Ekstrand said.

Skaters said they always have a lookout for cars. They think they should be embraced, not banned.

“We’d rather be out here skating, not at home on Xbox. Rather be outside in fresh air,” one boarder said.

“It’s good, clean fun, so it’ll probably get banned,” added resident Neil Chernakoff.

The skaters said they want village officials to know they’re college students who hold down jobs and this is a healthy outlet.

A public hearing is set for Monday night. Skaters said they’ll be there — in suits and ties.

There is a skateboard park in the neighborhood, but skaters CBS 2’s Gusoff spoke to said they use “long” boards, which require a long, downhill slope.

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