I like watching the skateboarders at Marine Park; I walk down to the docks on a sunny day, looking forward to seeing them. I like people-watching as well, but I have noticed that it takes a lot more practice and skill to ride a skateboard. I think the skateboarders should consider putting out tip jars.
Skateboarders provide another form of entertainment for locals and disembarking tourists, somewhat like the waterfront in Victoria, B.C., where local performers are hired by the city to entertain visitors several times a day, rain or shine. It's entirely charming and refreshing for locals and visitors alike to have something to do besides shop when downtown.
Marine Park is our city's main waterfront area; to consider using such a lovely, large area solely for staging boats and buses is incredibly boring and is exactly the opposite of what people want, which is fun.
Laws are already in place to take care of anyone (boat personnel, pedestrians, drunks or what-have-you) who gets out of hand in all public places in Juneau. And as for public safety, the waterfront requires a certain awareness of surroundings - of things like gangways, creosote pilings, the edge of the dock - to name a few.
At the risk of becoming too windy, I would finally ask, what exactly is the perceived damage that skateboarders perpetrate outside of their own skins that is beyond the normal wear and tear of people walking, spitting, bumping luggage, spilling food, etc.? I feel that skateboarding in Marine Park should be allowed to continue. If someone is guilty of harassing anyone, they should be charged accordingly.
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