Highlighting safety concerns, council votes to restrict skateboarding on six city streets
By Andrea Papagianis
In a swift move Tuesday evening, the city of Dana Point effectively banned skateboarding down six public streets and sidewalks, but did not provide provisions past the implementation of signs.
Citing numerous complaints over the past several years, city staff recommended the City Council approve disallowing skateboarding in the Monarch Bay Terrace neighborhood, located at Pacific Coast Highway and Crown Valley Parkway. Staff cited resident concerns for safety on steep roadways shared by cars and skateboarders.
“There are very steeply sloped streets and skateboarding creates safety hazards,” said City Manager Doug Chotkevys. “Kids will start slaloming down the hills and they cannot maneuver quick enough to deal with the cars.”
Chokevys said grievances had been streaming in for years, but did not have statistics on the number of calls received or the exact nature of the complaints. He said signs would be erected on streets throughout the neighborhood warning skateboarders of the ban. The postings will allow Dana Point Police Services to enforce the ban, and provide support for ticket-able offenses if they reach a traffic court judge, he added.
Enforcement will not begin until signs are posted, said the city’s engineer Brad Fowler, which are expected to be posted within 30 days.
The resolution was posted Thursday night as a consent calendar item with a staff request to ban skateboarding on two streets—Seven Seas Drive and Sea Island Drive—in the neighborhood. But due to a request for public comment, the measure was pulled from the agenda and discussed at the meeting.
“We’ve got five major hill streets, probably the steepest in Orange County,” said Kenneth Braun, who is a member of the neighborhood’s watch organization. “98 percent of the kids skateboarding do not live in Monarch Bay Terrace … I have probably called the police department based on phone calls from neighbors at least 75 times in the last year and a half to come chase these kids off.”
Braun said a majority of the residents are elderly and had expressed concerns drivers would not see skateboarders when coming down steep hills. He and another resident asked the council to include additional streets in the ban. Fowler said staff relied heavily on input from residents in the neighborhood and agreed with the recommendation.
Councilwoman Lisa Bartlett motioned to include Azores, Caribbean and Caspian Sea drives and Crete Road in the ban. The council agreed and passed the item unanimously.
The adopted ban is backed in the city’s municipal code that states “the City Council may, upon review and recommendation by the City Engineer, designate and public roadway, sidewalk or other public property as a no roller-slating, skateboarding, bicycling, etc. area.”
No voices of opposition were heard at the meeting.
A similar measure to ban skateboarding on steep streets was adopted in Laguna Beach in April 2011. Chotkevys said these adopted measures are the only ban of this kind in town.
Streets Included in the Ban:
- Azores Drive
- Caribbean Drive
- Caspian Sea Drive
- Crete Road
- Sea Island Drive
- Seven Seas Drive
Stick with the Dana Point Times as more information becomes available.
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