What do you think?

Posted: Sunday, August 03, 2003

I believe there is a place in the Valley for skate boarders already. Do you see pedestrians there?

Marine Park skateboards?

The Question of the Day,

Well, here is what I have to say,

The cruise ships pay to get their way,

Residents! Stand your ground, without delay!

Ban skateboards? No way.

They're our kids, OK?

It's a sport, let them play,

Visitors, Home Folks watch and cheer "Hooray!"

As a frequent walker in Marine Park, I find it most disconcerting to observe many skateboarders who have little regard for pedestrians (I have observed older citizens being startled by fast skateboarders) and no appreciation for the preservation of public property. The borough should not tolerate the wanton damage to the edges of concrete walls and benches, which are not designed to withstand the friction and impact off skateboards. While I do not support skateboarding in Marine Park, I must also state that I am sympathetic that there is no designated and appropriately designed skateboarding area downtown.

Ban kids from parks? Ridiculous. My wife and I often walk through Marine Park with our toddler and have never felt at risk from skateboarders. The tourists are a bigger threat. A strip of angle iron on the front of the benches prevents property damage, and we don't need to shuffle kids off into back alleys and under bridges.

The majority of skateboarders at Marine Park have no consideration for people walking on the sidewalks. Tourism is a large part of our summer income and having inconsiderate people run over the visitors does not put a good taste in the mouth of someone who may recommend Juneau as a destination to friends. Let the bears scare the tourists, not skateboarders!

I enjoy watching the kids skateboarding around town. They are awesome athletes. Some of the skateboarders may look a little bit different than your perception of how kids should dress or wear their hair, but if you bothered to take a minute or two to talk to them, you'd find out they really are good kids. Our kids need something to do and I don't think they should be barred from any areas of town that are public property.

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