Council wins with skateboarding, loses with signs


ith all due respect to those loving parents of skateboarders, it is about time someone did something about the hazard they present to pedestrians.

Thank you to the Red Bank Borough Council for doing that something.

Anyone who has ever been startled by a skateboarder zooming around you from behind or any other of the many ways they make you feel in jeopardy of injury knows of what I speak.

Many of these young people may be polite, well-mannered, and respectful in their social graces when standing still; but they certainly have not a clue as to how disrespectful they are to those remaining on two legs while they are flying along on four wheels.

The danger they present is real. A smashed shin or foot, falling and getting cut or even breaking a bone are not worth allowing them the "freedom" to pursue their sport. We would not think to allow some cars to zoom in and out of traffic doing 60 mph while everyone else is doing 25. The reckless danger of that is apparent. So it is with skateboarding where pedestrians traverse.

It is also clear that there are some of these young people who have a complete disregard for private and public property. In the pursuit of honing their acrobatic skills they have defaced benches, steps, hand rails, etc. That is plain wrong. No excuse.

In all of the above circumstances, if anyone is being harassed, it is the law-abiding public. It is not skateboarders.

Regarding the issue of sidewalk signs, the council can do better. Unlike skateboards, the signs are stationary. Anyone walking into one of them needs an eye exam, not a law banning signs.

If some signs are too big or blow over too easily, then come up with size and construction requirements that will address those issues. But don’t penalize the merchants who have a hard enough time drumming up enough business just to stay in business.

John C. Hendrickson

Red Bank