City accepts updated skateboard ordinance
Belfast — City councilors signed off on an updated ordinance that specifies where skateboards can be operated and the penalties for violating the rules.
Under the new ordinance, skateboards are prohibited from being used on Main Street from the intersection with Lincolnville Avenue to the water's edge at the public landing; on the Harbor Walk from the Boathouse to the Armistice Footbridge; and on any sidewalk located in the downtown area.
The ordinance applies to in-line skates, roller blades and other similar devices.
Councilor Mike Hurley, who has spearheaded the effort to craft updated rules regarding skateboard use in the city, described the ordinance as being an easier, smaller, more targeted ordinance.
When traveling on a public way, the operator must move as far to the right as safely possible. In addition, the operator must obey all stop signs, yield signs, traffic lights and rights of way at intersections.
Included in the ordinance is a definition for reckless conduct, which includes operating to the left or swerving from left to right on any public way; darting in and around stopped or moving vehicle traffic; passing a stop sign at excessive speed; failing to stop at traffic lights or to obey any road signs; traveling at excessive speed; and use of ramps or obstacles within any public way.
The penalty for operating a skateboard or similar device on Main Street or on any sidewalk where they are prohibited is subject to a fine of $25. Fines must be paid to the City Clerk's office within 30 days or the amount due will increase to $50. If after a period of 60 days the fine is still not paid, the individual cited will lose the privilege to use a skateboard in the downtown area — including the skate park — until the fine is paid.
If an individual who has been cited continues to use a skateboard or similar device within the downtown area during the time when his/her privileges are revoked, the individual will surrender his/her skateboard to the Belfast Police Department for a period lasting no more than 10 days.
The ordinance also establishes a specific penalty for a person who violates the reckless conduct provision, which carries a $250 fine. In addition to the fine, the person cited for the offense will lose his/her privilege to operate a skateboard or other similar device in the downtown area for a period of 30 days.
If a person uses a skateboard or similar device in the downtown while his/her privilege is revoked, the person must surrender his/her skateboard or skates to the Belfast Police Department for a period lasting no more than 10 days.
In an email to The Republican Journal, Hurley said the city is considering a one day "stand down," which means the skate park would be closed for that day in order to educate people about the rules.
Councilors unanimously accepted the ordinance as a second reading.
Republican Journal reporter Ben Holbrook can be reached at 338-3333 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ben Holbrook is a reporter for The Republican Journal covering general news.
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