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Laguna Beach skateboard ban 'criminalizes our children,' critics say


Click to read brochureThe Laguna Beach City Council gave final approval to a ban on skateboards on some of its steepest streets despite a last-minute effort by critics to halt the ordinance.

"We are not prohibiting skateboarding in Laguna Beach, we are just prohibiting it on dangerous streets," Councilwoman Elizabeth Pearson said during last week's hearing.

Some critics say the rules are too harsh and seem to unfairly target skateboarders.

"My concern is these kids have been vilified," Kimberly O'Brien-Young said.

"I read the prohibitions in the ordinance," John Shad added. "This will criminalize our children. It's tough enough being a kid today. Have a heart."

The new regulations and information about skateboarding in town are contained in a brochure that will be available at the Police Department and from patrol officers. Police Chief Paul Workman has prepared a draft of the brochure

Read the full story here: Skateboarding limits affirmed


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-- Barbara Diamond, Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot / Times Community News

Photo: Skateboarders in Laguna Beach in 2010. Credit: Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (35)

This only makes sense to me.

The point is not that these kids are going to be arrested. The point is that the city is protected from liability when they destroy their brains and have to be on life support for seventy years, while their parents say it happened because Laguna left a bump in the road.

Hank Thornton

Common sense law - Obey all traffic laws, stop at all Stop Signs, don't exceed XX miles an hour. So exactly where exactly is the crimminalization of the Youth here? Of course this will all change as soon as one of these Skateboarder ends up under, over or through the front or rear end of a vehicle. Than the Parents will be screaming for justice, a large Memorial of candles and pictures will be placed where the Skateboarder abruptly ended his 'right' to excercise his right of speed and lack of common sense. Of course the Driver will be sued along with the City, the skateboard manufacturer, the maker of the car....etc. In the end as in the begining of this scenario the only winners are the Attorney's for both sides.

I see we have some spoiled brats in Laguna. Loud talking? The City does have liability if they don't fix roads, etc. and someone is injured - that includes when walking.

Where did common sense go? Streets are designed and built to accommodate motor vehicles, bike lanes for bike and bridle paths for horses. Skate boards are not compatible with these nor pedestrian walk ways. Joggers as well are not compatible with these as well. Surfers??

Yes, those who disobey reasonable laws, are criminals, by definition, no matter what age.

Skateboarders are the most annoying and disrespectful children in the neighborhood, and they usually come from irresponsible parents who don't have time to raise their children properly. My only suggestion would be to arrest the parents as well, for unleasing their arrogant children onto the rest of us, and for destroying the peaceful neighborhood we all would like to take back.

How about an ordinance to exempt drivers and adjacent property owners from liability if a skateborder gets injured on one of those streets? If parents want to allow their children to engage in dangerous behavior, the parents and the children should pay the price.

There is an easy solution. Have every one of the vilified kids parents form a liability pool. Then, when a kid gets splattered they can all pitch in and pay the medical bills, lawsuit costs and burial costs.

We went through this years ago in the City of Glendale and had found that in the city charter there was a clause that basically said that the city had to provide a certain percentage of park space to current and popular sports and was able to force them to provide and build some skate parks for these kids.Just food for thought for residents of LB.

What criminalizes the kids is not teaching them to obey the laws of the roads. If they had pursued their sport without flying through stop signs and traveling on the wrong side of the road, it would not have been necessary to ban them. Get over yourselves and go to a skate park

I've visiting Laguna Beach, seen some skateboarders going down some very steep streets ... the first thing you think is how dangerous it is. I think some of these parents had fallen off their skateboards some time in the past....

Skateboarding is a risky, extreme activity. To allow it on public streets is reckless and should be banned. I agree too many spoiled kids who have been allowed to skate on the streets, thanks to irresponsible parents, now feel entitled to do so and whine whenever common sense laws like this are put into place. Hopefully the authorities have an agenda to teach kids in school about these laws just like they used to do with bike safety, etc.

Stick to the skateboard parks and stay off the streets.

"Criminalize our children". Boo-Hoo. Talk about playing victims! Parents grow up. I spent over 10 years in Laguna at the bottom of the hill they talk about. It is not safe for kids to be skating down this hill, PERIOD.

These "gangs" of punks are a public nuisance. They are too young and selfish to think about how their actions affect other people around them. And their parents are usually so busy with themselves and "getting ahead" that these punks parent themselves most of the time. Nice huh? They aren't going to get any sympathy.

Laguna Beach has also lobbied to ban fishing on their beaches. Laguna Beach has become the "Forbidden City" of California

Skateboarding is an awesome sport and if we put restrictions on it then we should put restrictions on every other sport played in the city of Laguna Beach. Kids get hurt/killed by baseballs, playgrounds, surfing, swimming, etc. Worse yet, what about all of the kids drinking and driving on the streets of Laguna Beach?

And also, this is in response to 'Common Sense.' My sons are 20 and 17. They have skateboarded, surfed, snowboarded, and played water polo since they were very young. They are honor students, hold jobs and are polite, interesting, and kind young men. If you find skateboarders to be annoying and disrespectful, maybe you should look within to find that you are an unhappy, uptight person.

Skate or Die! Hope these kids give em hell.

Skateboarders are the most annoying and disrespectful children in the neighborhood, and they usually come from irresponsible parents who don't have time to raise their children properly. My only suggestion would be to arrest the parents as well, for unleasing their arrogant children onto the rest of us, and for destroying the peaceful neighborhood we all would like to take back.

Posted by: Common Sense | April 11, 2011 at 09:26 AM

THIS IS NOT common sense. This is a discriminatory statement. Same as a race, sex, creed offense. You are saying arrest the parents? Move out of our free country you bigot! Or move to Salem Oregon, and go on a witch hunt. Most skaters come from families that have money nowadays. Do you know how much skate equipment costs? Although I believe the law is correct, you sir should be ashamed of yourself.

It seems like a large part of the negative reaction in the comments section stems from the trick skater stereotype. I can understand a lot of people might have a bad impression of them, being reckless or disrespectful. The guys in the above photo look more like downhill bikers (on boards) to me though...

I've never ridden a skateboard down a hill, but I can imagine the person riding that plank of wood does not take safety lightly. If they do it in a safe manner, one that doesn't hurt anyone else... why would you all be so quick to judge?

Laguna passes a ban on some of the more dangerous streets as a compromise between the two sides. Fair enough. Seems like the ruling came about after some deliberation instead of knee-jerk reactions.

What a joke....adults have to wear helmets and can only skate from sunrise to sunset? LOL give me a break

BEACHGIRLSC, how would a downhill skateboard work at a skate park?

The marks on the grounds and walls from skateboards could actually be vandalism. There is nothing wrong with skating as long as you're not destroying or defacing property.

It's funny when I was a kid my friends and I used to go down the steepest hills on skateboards, drifting on corners with traffic around. That means we would wear gloves and slide around turns at some incredible speeds. Back then its was called a power slide (Not sure what the term is now), but it was incredibly dangerous. I was lucky that none of us got hurt.

I want this kids to be kids and have a good time, but this it's good that they blocked the "dangerous streets" off for their safety.

Though nothing has been directly mentioned on what other laws are in affect if this passes. If they just ban kids from riding down a few streets then I'm all for it, but if it goes above and beyond then I thing this should be revised.

America: Land of the Free.....OOPS, or you mean land of the "Do what we tell you to do, shut up its our way or no way". Banning skateboards because streets are "dangerous"?

I hope those same streets call for the same enforcement for people riding their bicycles.

Discrimination plain and simple. You ban the skateboarders from bombing hills, but people riding their lame Fixies can freely cruise down the hill whenever they want. Picking and choosing that all this article is.

Skateboarding is not a crime. Unless you are in Laguna Beach on certain hills, then its a criminal offense while the Bicycle Douches are exempt.

It is not fair that skaters are singled out while people that ride Bikes are not.

I live on Bluebird Canyon... one of the streets in question. Had a similar issue with byciclists in Nor Cal... no bike lanes on winding country roads, the cyclists veer into oncoming traffic lanes at breakneck speeds, hit head-on with cars doing safe speeds, then get up in arms about bicyclists rights when most of the problems were caused by bicyclists piloting carelessly & brainlessly. Some things are just not that bright, even if they're fun. Ripping down streets with blind sections where cars have right of way (and weigh 2000 more pounds than skateboarders), then complaining about those darned motorists when you leave a red smear on the road after impact is just dense. I've nearly hit these kids a couple times as they tear out from behind poor-visibility sections or blow stop signs and nearly hit me and I have none, and they give me the dirty look or cuss me out.

Clue, guys. Use your brains more and your mouths & wheels less. You are simply wrong in this matter... these are roads, built for cars. Not built as entertainment for skateboarders. They have places like that, called skate parks. You cook in the kitchen, not the bathroom. Proper place for the proper thing.

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