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Archive for Saturday, September 23, 2006

Skateboarders want to ride on campus

KU students lobby city for change in ordinance

September 23, 2006

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Casey Millstein is not constantly hopped up on Mountain Dew. She doesn't punctuate every sentence with "dude." And she doesn't see every set of concrete stairs as an invitation to bust out a four-wheeled trick.

In other words, Millstein is not the type of skateboarder you think she is.

Millstein, a Kansas University senior, has started an effort to change a city ordinance that greatly restricts skateboarding on the KU campus. She says the ordinance needs to be relaxed to allow for college students like herself to use skateboards as an easy way to get around the campus.

"We're not junior high kids looking for something to do after school," Millstein said. "I just want to get around campus. I don't do all that other stuff because I've figured out it hurts when you fall. I don't want to fall."

Skateboarders and Kansas University students Casey Millstein, foreground, and Ashley Rinella skate around the Campanile at Kansas University.  They are lobbying the city to change an ordinance to allow them to ride their skateboards on campus.

Skateboarders and Kansas University students Casey Millstein, foreground, and Ashley Rinella skate around the Campanile at Kansas University. They are lobbying the city to change an ordinance to allow them to ride their skateboards on campus.

KU officials, though, aren't convinced. Lynn Bretz, KU's director of university communications, said KU leaders believe that skateboarding and the 27,000 students and faculty who walk the campus each day don't mix.

"We're a pedestrian-oriented campus," Bretz said. "The primary concern has to be the safety of pedestrians."

In 1990, a Kansas University student received a concussion and laceration when she was struck in the head by a flying skateboard after an 11-year-old skateboarder lost control while doing a trick near Wescoe Hall.

Bretz said the university also has suffered significant damage over the years related to skateboarding, including broken plate-glass windows and more than $1,000 in damage to concrete stairs.

Millstein is going through City Hall rather than Strong Hall to change the regulations. The ordinance that prohibits skateboarding within 1,000 feet of Jayhawk Boulevard is actually a city ordinance so that police officers can write tickets that can be prosecuted in Municipal Court.

Video

Casey Millstein talks about allowing skateboards on the KU campus Enlarge video

Millstein - who has been stopped by police seven times during the last four years for riding on campus - said she thinks a new ordinance could be written in a way that would allow skateboards to be used only for transportation on the campus. Police officers, under her proposal, still could issue a ticket if they saw an individual jumping off stairs, "grinding" down a handrail or riding out of control, for example.

Skateboarders Casey Millstein, whose shoes are visible in front, and Ashley Rinella skate around the Campanile at Kansas University. Millstein, a KU senior from Baldwin who uses her skateboard for transportation, wants to change the city ordinance that makes it illegal to skateboard on campus.

Skateboarders Casey Millstein, whose shoes are visible in front, and Ashley Rinella skate around the Campanile at Kansas University. Millstein, a KU senior from Baldwin who uses her skateboard for transportation, wants to change the city ordinance that makes it illegal to skateboard on campus.

"I just want to use it to get to class," said Ashley Rinella, another KU senior who is working with Millstein on the issue. "I'm not going to try a bunch of things on it. It is just a fun way to get around. It helps me want to get out the door of a morning."

Millstein's proposal will be forwarded to the city's Traffic Safety Advisory Board, although a date for the board to hear the issue hasn't been set.

Interim City Manager David Corliss said the city would want to have a meeting with KU administrators before making any changes to the ordinance.

The city ordinance - which carries a maximum fine of $30 - also prohibits skateboarding in downtown Lawrence. Millstein isn't currently asking for any changes to be made to that part of the ordinance.

Skateboarding

KU senior Casey Millstein has started an effort to change a city ordinance restricting skateboars on the KU campus. Enlarge video

Comments

case 7 years, 6 months ago

you don't impress me, at all. not_dolph, obviously you know who i am, why don't you give me a call instead of making comments about my parents on the internet. this is about SKATEBOARDING, not your passive-aggressive comment making skills.

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not_dolph 7 years, 6 months ago

Millstein...hmmmmm...apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Check back 30 years or so for some other Millsteins who were anti-establishment. Looks like the next generation is kicking in - mom and dad must be proud.

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Richard Heckler 7 years, 7 months ago

Campus traffic ordinances are under the jurisdiction of KU and are included in city code to provide prosecution through municipal court.

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case 7 years, 7 months ago

Give you a break? My guess is that you have no idea how controllable and safe skateboarding can actually be. It's a good thing you live in Kansas because if you lived anywhere that skateboarding was legal, you might find that it doesn't effect you half as much as you might think. Skateboarding wasn't made illegal on campus because there wasn't "enough room" for all means of transportation you know, it happened to be a freak accident that happened after normal school hours. The ordinance isn't the only thing that needs to relax.

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oldgoof 7 years, 7 months ago

We've got trouble , trouble right here in River City !!

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schweppy 7 years, 7 months ago

I think that before we let skateboards on campus, they should get the bikes under control. There have been numerous times this year where I've had people come flying by on their bikes riding on the sidewalk through campus. Keep the bikes to the street and keep the boarders to the street and I don't have a problem with it.

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dozer 7 years, 7 months ago

Give me a break Casey. I want to drive my car through the center of campus, it makes it easier to get around. I'm going to go complain about restricted vehicle access through campus during the day.

I will say however, it is nice to live in a city where this is news, and not violent crime.

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imagold 7 years, 7 months ago

Amen, redbird. The bike riders are hazard enough. And not just on campus, but that's another story. We don't need skateboards on campus. The foot traffic is difficult enough to meander through between classes.

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redbird 7 years, 7 months ago

Just a slight disagreement here merrill....somethings are governed by what Lawrence laws are....we have a problem with getting our "Gators "around,they are our utility vehicles.They say and recognize them as ATV's...and using them to do our jobs we can get tickets for riding them on "campus" roads....it is a pretty good fine too and it goes on our driving record,we are just trying to do our jobs and these vehicles are all too handy to get into tight places and getting it done....so thanks Lawrence or in particular one certain KU officer for not letting us get our job done or getting it done but costing us out of pocket expense plus a flag on our driving record.BTW the Lawrence court has usually thrown these out because the officer didn't show on his behalf and they themselves questioned the tickets.... But as to the article,if you ever see how the boarders and bikers ride on campus they do not yield or stop at the stop signs,they both are kind of a hazard to those walking on sidewalks and "trying" to cross the streets safely!!!And from I was told a lady was injured from a skatebord flying from uner someone and striking here in the head...

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Richard Heckler 7 years, 7 months ago

Actually KU can make that decision without our local Traffic Safety Commission. KU sets its' own ordinances therefore requesting an opinion from the TSC is merely a formality. In essence KU does whatever it pleases for it is a state owned little community.

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