City Council voted unanimously to impose new restrictions on people who ride skateboards, roller skates, razor scooters or similar roller devices.
Riders will not be allowed on any roadway except while crossing a street on a crosswalk. They must also abide by the rules and laws applicable to pedestrians. The changes are applicable citywide.
City Representative Cortney Niland said the changes are meant to discourage negligent and reckless behavior. Dionee Mack, the city's quality of life managing director, rewrote the Title 12 traffic ordinance after reports of damage to Downtown property.
Skateboards, roller skates and other similar roller devices are not allowed to be used in the newly renovated San Jacinto Plaza, Arts Festival Plaza and Civic Center Plaza.
"You know you are trying to get from the History Museum or the Art Museum and you are cutting through to get to San Jacinto that would be fine. But, when we are talking about utilizing any of those surfaces for anything other than transportation then that would be a violation of the ordinance as written," said Mack.
Riders are banned from riding on handrails, guardrails, planters, fountains, decorative structures, windows, walls, buildings or other surfaces not intended for pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
Any person may ride any roller device when used to provide transportation and with regard to the safety of pedestrians. When riders are close to pedestrians, riders must yield or stop for pedestrians.
Members of the local skateboarding community attended three public meetings and offered input on the ordinance changes. The Council's action amends an ordinance adopted in 1998.
Skateboarders, roller skaters and riders of similar roller devices who violate the new restrictions could face a $400 fine.