CofC students want skateboarding exception

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At tonight's City Council meeting, College of Charleston students will make the case for allowing skateboards on the streets within the college campus. Currently, city ordinances prohibit skateboards on streets that have a speed limit over 25 mph.

The plea will come in the form of a resolution from the college's Student Government Association that asks the city to consider allowing skateboards on every city street that contains a college building (except King Street). Ross Kressel, president of the SGA, says the resolution passed unanimously.

"We felt like skateboards are a legitimate form of transportation, and it's a sustainable form of transportation," Kressel says. "We don't understand why the city would be limiting people from skateboarding, and we have concerns whether the laws in place right now are discriminatory to the youth."

Jack Abbott, owner of Continuum Skateshop on Spring Street, supports the idea of framing skateboarding within the ongoing discussion about bicycle and pedestrian safety in Charleston. He says he and his customers have gotten mixed messages from police officers about what is legal in Charleston.

"I've been told before not to be on the sidewalk and then told again not to be in the street," Abbott says. Skateboarders are not prohibited on sidewalks, but a city ordinance requires them to "exercise due care for the safety of others using the sidewalk and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians."

Interestingly, skateboards are also prohibited in the bicycle and pedestrian lane of the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge.

The meeting begins at 5 p.m. tonight in City Hall at 80 Broad Street.

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