Following an onslaught of safety complaints, the university will host a meeting to discuss the future of skateboarding on campus.
For nearly two years, the university administration has sought to reach a decision about the current skateboard regulations on campus. With a range of suggestions on the table – from making minor rule revisions to enforcing an all-out ban – the university has convened a committee to review skateboarding safety on campus and consider potential solutions. In order to address the issue, the committee will hold an open meeting Nov. 6 at 5 p.m. in the San Nicolas Lounge.
Several UC campuses – including UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine and UC San Diego – have already instituted skateboarding bans. UCLA and UC Davis only allow skating in select locations.
Associate Vice Chancellor Ron Cortez said students set on protecting existing skateboarding rules should plan to attend the upcoming regulations meeting.
“In my opinion, it’s very important for students to attend this meeting,” Cortez said. “Students can add a lot of good input – it can be a good forum and a positive thing. Let’s do this together.”
According to Cortez, the university administration formed a committee in the spring of 2007 to research the current conditions for skateboarders on campus. The group will analyze skateboard-related injuries and pedestrians’ experiences in order to make recommendations to the university.
The committee is also leading an effort to encourage safety amongst skaters in order to prevent a possible ban. Ray Collins, a fifth-year computer science major and committee member, said many students are unaware of current skateboarding regulations.
“It’s illegal to skate through the Pardall Tunnel, but a lot of people don’t know that,” Collins said. “A sign was just put up on Friday, but just because there’s a sign doesn’t mean people will pay attention to it. We hope this meeting will help educate skateboarders.”
According to Cortez, the discussion of a possible skateboarding ban emerged from complaints submitted by people across campus.
“First, there were complaints from faculty, staff and students regarding their experience with skateboarders,” Cortez said. “Secondly, there were a lot of skateboarding injuries or close calls. We all share the same theme, which [is] for skateboarders to be polite, cautious and safe while using the sidewalks on campus.”
Cortez noted that skateboard related injuries occur at Pardall Tunnel, Phelps Hall and the area between Davidson Library and the Arbor.
Bill Blessington, a third-year year biology major, said any regulations for skating on campus would strain UCSB’s already crowded bike paths and threaten the skateboarding community.
“I would miss high-fiving people [while skating]. It totally makes my day,” Blessington said. “[If skateboarding on campus was banned], the bike paths would be even more crowded. I’ve seen way more bad bike accidents [than skateboarding accidents].”
However, Student Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Downing said skateboarding injuries have been on the rise since last spring.
She said at this time last year, the ratio of skateboard injuries to bike injuries was one to five. Spring Quarter, though, saw 56 skateboard injuries compared to 99 bicycle injuries – a one to two ratio.
i hope this happens i also hate how people bring up bicycle accidents. the only problem with that argument is that most bicycle accidents are bicycle-on-bicycle. most skateboarding accidents are skateboarder-on-pedestrian. it’s almost as if you want to walk to your classes you have to be on constant alert for out of control inexperienced skateboarders. fall quarter is particularly embarrassing. i feel like a lot of people come here and start skateboarding because everybody else does it – obviously ending in disaster when there’s large crowds around. i would be ok with skateboarding if skateboarders at ucsb had more consideration… Read more »
skateboarding in its current form is just as legitimate mode of transportation as any other. it is just as "green" as walking and biking and is more direct many times than biking at ucsb. i dont skate but I have no problem with anyone here doing it. also, who gets hurt in these accidents? yeah, the person walking or standing is probably going to get hurt, but at least you’re not the one going flying off of a board at 15mph and possibly breaking an ankle or landing on you arm. And who looks like the fool? The skateboarder when… Read more »
The most annoying thing on campus by far is not biking OR skateboarding – it is stupid pedestrians on their phones. When they walk across the bike paths texting and cause a huge crash!!!! Those accidents are far worse than any skateboarding accident. If you want to ban something ban idiot cell phone addicted pedestrians. And skateboarding reduces the amout of clogged bike racks and even worse, congested bike paths! More congested bike paths lead to the ped’s having to wait FOREVER for bikers to go by so they can cross the path. Skateing only alleviates the stress on the… Read more »
oh no, those poor skateboarders who have to go flying after slamming into somebody with their board. it’s almost like defending drunk drivers for slamming into other drivers, cause they are the ones who look like fools at the end, right?
also, those stupid pedestrians using their mobile phones. let’s establish "mobile phone safe areas" where pedestrians can legally use their phones in order to keep those dangerous people off the sidewalks. let’s make sure that the sidewalks are clear and safe for skateboarders so that they can go fast without having to deal with people on their phones.