Some wheels banned downtown

Sunday Times Newspapers

WYANDOTTE – For 15-year-old John Langtry, his skateboard is his means of transportation, but it is banned in the downtown area.

“I can’t drive, yet,” Langtry said. “This is how I get around.”

Langtry, who hopes to get a job in the downtown area for the summer, will have to stop short of the downtown area and walk in.

A decade-old ordinance subjects those on skateboards, inline skates and roller skates to a $500 fine if riding in the downtown area.

“There are plenty of places for them to use them,” said Police Chief Daniel Grant, noting skate parks.

Grant said there is a rise in business owners complaining that people, primarily skateboarders, wiz by restaurants and store fronts, nearly knocking down pedestrians.

Grant said there haven’t been complaints about those on inline skates, but several regarding skateboarders. He said there has been damage to benches and flower beds from skateboarders jumping up and riding the flower beds and benches with their skateboard, thus causing damage.

“There has been a considerable amount of damage,” Grant said.

He said not every skater or skate boarder will be fined $500, noting that officers have discretion. He said officers will first offer warnings.