City looks toward downtown skateboard ban

Beige planter walls at California Federal Bank on the corner of Telegraph and Curry streets have long been stained black from skateboards "grinding" over them.

Two years ago a skateboard crashed through a window, Bank Branch Manager Aleta Murphy said, and recently a handicap rail was torn from a wall. Every few weeks, Murphy has to peel stickers from the building and the signs prohibiting skateboarding.

"They're destroying my building," Murphy said. "My most urgent concern are my customers calling because they're afraid to use ATMs at night. It changes my ability to deliver business and makes the bank inaccessible.

"Skateboarding is not a crime, but when it becomes destructive to property and deters people from doing their daily business, there's a problem."

Planters at Telegraph Square, only two months old, show signs of skateboards skidding across the bricked tops.

After watching the gradual destruction for at least four years, Murphy and other downtown business owners are turning to the city for help.

The Carson City Redevelopment Authority Citizen's Committee asked the Carson City District Attorney's Office Wednesday to begin drafting an ordinance that would allow the sheriff's department to arrest reckless skateboarders and to prevent them from defacing property in the downtown area.

They envision a broad ordinance that would allow skateboarding and rollerblading as a form of transportation, but would allow sheriff's deputies to crack down on reckless skateboarders.

The actions are preliminary, but they are being welcomed by some business owners.

Doreen Mack, who owns Lofty Expressions on Telegraph and Curry streets, said skateboarders show no respect to customers in the area, flying by on skateboards and scaring people.

"It's really a concern when you watch people walking and you have guys flying between them," Mack said. "It creates a safety issue. We've put so much into making (Telegraph Square) nice and appealing, it's a shame to see them ruin it."


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