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Village Board Passes Skateboarding Ban

After months of discussion, Farmingdale Village passes the controversial local law targeting two streets.

The Farmingdale Village Board agreed unanimously Monday night to ban skateboarding on two residential streets.

And as they did, one skateboarder shouted: "Disgusting."

Effective immediately, the new local law forbids skateboarders, long-boarders and in-line skaters from utilizing Yoakum Street and Fairview Road. Violators are subject to a minimum of a $100 dollar fine for each offense.

While only a few residents showed up to share their concerns during the public hearing concerning the law, tensions were high.

"Is this not discrimination that you're choosing just skateboarding and not bicycle riding or joggers? Just picking out one entity when there are other sports that occur on these streets. In my opinion, my comment is 'that that is discrimination,' " said one speaker.

A Leonard Street resident who said long-boarders now using his block to skate was not his concern, but rather that the children will start using more dangerous roads.

"...Don't we think that if we ban those two roads it is going to push (children and teens) onto Bethpage Road or Quaker Meeting House Road or wherever there is a hill?" he said. "Those roads are a lot more heavily used than the two you are planning on closing and they're longer hills. I'm just foreshadowing something. It's going to snowball."

Mayor Ralph Ekstrand said that based on skateboarders' testimonies the roads in question are not a concern.

"The two streets you mention are not, for lack of a better word, daring enough for them. If we find that it is, then we would move in the direction to correct that," he said.

One of the few skateboarders in attendance said he will continue to skate in Farmingdale.

"There are several hills in that area that are very fun to ride down and I can assure you that if you make these two roads prohibited I'm just going to ride down the ones that are allowed. I don't see where you guys are even coming from. This is complete discrimination against skateboarders and nothing else," he said.

While some opposed the ban, others were in favor of it for safety reasons.

"You don't want a motorist to all of a sudden go down that hill and slam into a skateboarder. To go on that road and possibly have a motorist be responsible for a child's death or be paralyzed, that's an entirely different story," she said.

"In my opinion, this is the best possible legal liability reduction method," Ekstrand said stating that the ban was originated from complaints regarding dangerous activity.

"We've had several discussions about the skateboard law. We've hashed this out for several hours over two sessions….We the board feel that this is not discriminatory," he said.

John Rennhack December 05, 2012 at 03:42 AM
Sadly it looks like the planned skate park on 110 is dead. So now it's off to other local streets and probably more dumb moves by the board.
jjs December 05, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Build a skate park.....require user's to have their own insurance as many sports programs require. The kids need a place to go and skating is better than getting mixed up in drugs!!!!. There used to be a skate park in Heiser lane park also and that was taken out also because of liability. Require purchase of insurance and build a few skate parks in my opinion.
Donna December 06, 2012 at 04:15 AM
I say thake this further through the court systems. Based on the fact there is only a ban on Skateboarding and inline skating it could very possibly be considered discrimination. There was also a gentleman at the first meeting who read off a law pertaining to wht I believe was anythin with wheels and htis surely violate the law. It would not hurt. There was alos an attorney there who was siding with the skateboarders and longboarders. I wish I knew who he wa. It would be nice to see if he would do it pro bono for love of his neighborhood and seeing the right thing done.
Helen December 08, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Discriminatory or not, we seriously wasted time on a skateboarding ban? It's not neighborhood wide, it's on streets that may be dangerous....which leads me to my next point - every damn street in Farmingdale that has a "stop" sign at the end of it is a danger. Why, you ask? Because the law that requires you to stop fully before the aforementioned sign, seems to have dwindled to a mere suggestion....do you feel like stopping? Perhaps just slowing down? No, oh, alrighty then, just continue on.....continue on...... Gliding is popular now - that's what I call it.....and never mind that it is still a law or that there may be people around, heaven forbid a child..... Yes, a skate park would be wonderful IF every person signs a waiver in order to use the park....otherwise as someone stated earlier - it's an invitation for a law suit.
chris sorochin January 18, 2013 at 04:54 PM
The NIMBY DBs win again. What a surprise. As for all the nonsense about liability and insurance, none of that would matter if we had what every other industrialized country (and lots of non industrialized ones) has: universal health care.

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