Thursday, June 11, 2009

Skateboards and Cobblestones

Tip of the hat to the Press Herald, which reported here about the public safety committee's authorization of a plan to put some cobblestone on Exchange Street.

The photo below is from this spring and shows cobblestone on Milk Street, which currently ends where Exchange Street crosses its path.

From what I've gathered, they are going to put patches of cobblestone down which will be even with the current surface. They say it will cost only $6,000 and take two days so I'm thinking the street will remain mostly asphalt.

The main reason for this action is to deter skateboarders from going down Exchange Street and 'scaring tourists.' I have mixed feelings about this, since skateboarding is a healthy and 'green' method of personal transport. The sidewalks will remain brick, and there is the chance that a lack of enforcement of a skateboarding ban on the street will push skateboarders onto the sidewalks. They will also start utilizing the next street over, Market Street, which is a one way which may be more dangerous than cruising down Exchange Street since it is a one way going up the incline.

I don't have anything against with the idea of skateboarding and in a perfect world skateboarders, bikes, and pedestrians could get get the roads and sidewalks all to themselves. The city deserves praise itself for its' (currently under construction?) skate park but it is located off the peninsula and would not attract the skateboarders that hang around down town (I would consider the people who use skate parks to be more 'sport' users than recreational or transportational). I think the fact that that 'the kids' with skateboards tend to hang around this area is also a reminder that there isn't much to do in this town on most nights for the under eighteen crowd. It's a tricky situation.

What are your thoughts?

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