It is understandable why the powers that be might have a desire to ban all skateboarders from Holyfield Park once and for all having introduced severe fines and policies to ensure that any law breakers would immediately endure a sizeable penalty of $300 with the possible seizure of the board. The intention is to clear the central part of town where people of different age groups tend to rest. Many people of older age are bound to dislike a bunch of teenagers cruising around at high speeds and raising lots of noise. However, is such a ban the wisest choice? Wouldn’t it be akin to the alcohol prohibition in the 1930s when the law was active but everybody could care less? After all, the skater community has been using the park for fifteen years, and it would not be easy for a rather sizeable group to get used to the idea that the area is off limits from now on. Another point is that the group will be banished from one place, but the group will not dissipate by itself.
They would still need a place to skate and to gather like they usually tend to do. Forcing them out of the safe area of the park would drive them towards unsafe areas either in close proximity to roads with traffic or to the brinks of town where the crime rates are much higher. There is nothing positive in the decision to remove a peaceful community, which existed without excesses within the boundaries of the park for more than ten years. The decision does not cite any reasons either. It does not seem that the skateboarders have ruined lots of municipal property to warrant such drastic and downright harsh measures. It seems that the decision caters to a certain group of people who are displeased with the skateboarders. The wishes of the latter and their parents are clearly not being taken into account. Enforcing such a prohibition would not stop teenagers from breaking the law. Police would have an additional time consuming task of chasing teenagers on skateboards. Money and resources would be wasted on something that does not seem most crucial or important.
What seems to be most prudent is to leave skateboarders at peace within the park but simply to create a secluded area to which they would be limited. It would not take up much area and finances to set up several ramps and roads on which skating would be a pleasant experience. The specialized area could be divided from the rest of the park by a fence so that the skateboarders would keep in mind their boundaries at all times and the rest of the park’s visitors would be protected from the possible noise and disturbance caused by the children and teenagers. When time comes to deal with such complicated decisions, it is always wiser to make compromises so as to leave as many involved parties pleased as possible. If confined to a specific area, skateboarding would be available for all who desire to partake in the activity within a safe place and far from roads with traffic.
Moreover, the municipal powers can enforce the fine within the rest of the territory, but leave the skateboard carte-blanche for the skateboarding park. The decision should please all as the peace of the park’s visitors would be protected, and the children will be able to remain within the safe area and will not be forced out to look for other skateboarding spaces within those town areas, which are less safe for the underage.