Breckenridge skateboarders revolt |

Breckenridge skateboarders revolt

K.J. Hascall
Summit County correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. ” Breckenridge skateboarders discarded a perhaps unwarranted reputation for being raffish and unmotivated Saturday to stage a civil-disobedience protest by skating down Main Street.

About 30 skateboarders met at noon at Main Street Station to circulate a petition protesting the citations and warnings that some of their number have received recently for skateboarding in the streets.

They then rode en masse down Main Street, cheering and calling for cyclists and motorists to share the road.

The skateboarders plan to attend a Town Council meeting on Tuesday, petition in hand, and ask that Breckenridge recognize their right to the road.

“It’s exercise. It’s healthy. It’s a green method of transportation,” said Scottie Kees, who, like many others, uses his skateboard as his main way of getting around during the summer months, and who took off work to attend the protest. “It’s like surfing on concrete.”

Kees wore his “skateboarding is not a crime” T-shirt in honor of the occasion.

He said skateboarding is a culture in Breckenridge for many of the locals, and tourists should embrace the local culture the way they would in any other place they visit.

As the group skateboarded down the middle of the street, a few cyclists participating in Ride the Rockies sped past them in surprise.

A police officer yelled at the boarders to get off the road and onto the sidewalk.

One passing boarder politely responded that he would not and kept going despite the officer calling in others to detain the skateboarder.

Joe Staufer, a Breckenridge patrol sergeant, said skateboarding in the street is a state and town traffic offense, for which there is a $40 fine and a $10 surcharge.

Unlike the bicycle, the skateboard is not classified as a vehicle, and until laws change, this fact confines skateboarders to the sidewalks and skate parks.

“They should check with attorneys to see if the code is a violation of their constitutional rights,” Staufer said. “If they could get the skateboard reclassified as a vehicle, they would have to follow the same laws as cyclists and operate in a safe manner. They should go the legal way of trying to change the code.”

Staufer added that skateboarders can apply for a town permit for a special event and have a street closed down for them to safely skate in the street.

Staufer said one skateboarder was detained in handcuffs for running from the police, but was released to his parents.

The crowd additionally was supported by two skateboarders under 5, Honori Foley and Jameson Johnson.

“Why do we skate in the street?” Jameson asked his father, Chris Johnson.

“Because we can,” Johnson replied.