Town, ASU leaders could explore skateboarding plan
by Anna Oakes
In July, the committee discussed plans to seek more information about the use of skateboards and longboards for transportation purposes.
Currently, ASU and the town ban the use of skateboards on campus, sidewalks and streets, with violations punishable by a university citation or $50 town fine.
But a number of groups, including the Student Government Association and the ASU Sustainability Council, have expressed hopes that local leaders will reconsider the policy and permit the use of skateboards as an alternative form of transportation.
According to draft minutes from the July 9 meeting of the transportation committee, ASU Sustainability Council member Eric Frauman was slated to appear at the September meeting to present a data-driven pilot plan that ASU and the town could implement, if approved. But Frauman asked to delay the presentation until he could work with this year's ASU students.
University Police Chief Gunther Doerr told the committee in July that ASU is not interested in pursuing a pilot program alone, but would be receptive to collaborating jointly with the town, according to the minutes.
Doerr said university leaders are concerned about the topography of the area, noting that campuses that do allow boarding are in flat areas.
Committee members discussed the difference between transportation and recreational uses of boards, agreeing that all four wheels must remain on the ground at all times to be defined as transportation.
Boone Town Council member Lynne Mason suggested that other universities be contacted that permit the use of long boards, as well as the communities that surround the campuses, to get their opinions on how it is perceived.
Although skateboarders are a common sight in Boone, the town has few legal venues for skaters.
In 2006, the Appalachian Skatepark opened at the Watauga County Recreation Complex off of State Farm Road in Boone, but the Watauga County Board of Commissioners voted to close the skatepark in 2009, citing safety and budget concerns.
The Boone Transportation Committee meets at 11:45 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, at Sagebrush Steakhouse.