An April 22 letter “Cite Offenders or Else” from the ever-ascerbic Douglas Cotant (“I am damned sick and tired of skateboarders going past me on the sidewalk,” he wrote) generated an equal measure of disdain and sympathy on the CityWeekly.net comments pages.
Since disdain is always more fun, it goes first: Jesse wrote, “Yeah. Lock those kids up in front of video games where they belong! “The sidewalks belong to everyone, and the flow of traffic upon them, be it by foot, bike or board, is a healthy indicator that the blood is still flowing downtown. I´ve seen the police occasionally shoo a random cyclist off the sidewalk if the ped traffic is heavy, but sometimes that´s the safest place for the cyclist to be. (Until we start educating drivers to give cyclists a share of the road, that won´t change).
“As for the skateboarders, if they´re not hurting anybody, leave them alone. They´re not crying because you´re moving too slow—they just go around. I´d much rather see the kids out rolling the sidewalks than let our city become even more socially anemic.”
On the other hand, Debhenry knows all about sidewalk hazards: “I also agree that the sidewalks should be a safe place for pedestrians, once the road is a safe place for skateboarding and bicycling. As someone who has been hit and severely injured by someone driving a car and not seeing me in the road, I can tell you that we have a long way to go in that department.”
Rant Control just hopes everybody is safe out there on the mean sidewalks, and urges forbearance on both sides—sidewalk wars can get ugly very quickly.