Attention all skaters: San Diego State police are cracking down on skating by handing out tickets left and right. At the beginning of every new semester, there always seems to be a revamp of security and signs to dissuade skaters from straying from the mandated bike paths.
This is wrong on so many levels, and as a skater, I’m fed up. Here are some of my thoughts on the skating issue:
Why in the world are there only two bike paths? It’s not like our school is hilly or has no room for other designated bike paths. All we have is an overall flat campus and endless amounts of cement.
The current paths would not be too bad if they were actually helpful. Unfortunately, the paths seem to skirt campus instead of bringing you to some of the main parts. The Campanile bike path is the only one that does this remotely well. It takes you to Hepner Hall, Storm Hall West and Arts and Letters. Those are some of the main buildings on campus that make having the Campanile bike path useful.
However, skateboarders are not allowed to skate on the bridge connecting most of the dorms to campus. It is understandable that it is not as large as a freeway with tons of room, but there is enough room for a bike path. Then pedestrian students would not have to be constantly fearing a collision with a skateboarder.
If skateboarders had more options on where to skate, they wouldn’t have to encroach on campus everywhere. Since we are trying to get around campus like all of the other pedestrians, we should also have the resources to be efficient on campus.
There could be a skating path along on the Centennial Walkway which would give access to East Commons and the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union. Another option for a new location could be along the Love Library where the farmers markets usually take place.
If there were other options, skaters wouldn’t skate where they are not allowed to, and no one would need to get in trouble.
To go along with the lack of resources for skateboarders, skateboard racks are very rare. I thought bike racks were scarce after being on campus at other colleges like the University of California Santa Barbara because it has a huge bike community, but there are even less skateboard racks than bike racks on our campus.
Skateboards are easier to transport into a classroom than bikes, but having to take one into work or into a crowded shop on campus is much harder. The gyms on campus have skateboard racks inside and outside. This is a good start that should be spread to places such as the outside of East Commons, Starbucks and main classrooms on campus.
This extra enforcement of the bike paths at the beginning of the semester is also a waste of police resources. Is it honestly worth their time to ticket a bunch of college students who are skating to their classes?
The answer is no.
There are attacks, robberies and other crimes that deserve more attention. If students do not feel safe on campus and even around campus, that is an issue that needs to be addressed. The policemen looking for little infractions such as skateboarding could be using their time more wisely.
Maybe people think ticketing skaters will deter them and would give skaters a motive to only skate on bike paths. This is true to a point, but skaters are going to skate no matter what. It is not going to fix the problem.
Helicopter parents create sneaky kids, campus police create sneaky skaters.
Our campus needs to embrace skateboarding. It is time for some new paths and less tickets.