City ordinances say skateboarders and bicyclists are to use the streets and not the sidewalks in the downtown area. This works OK most of the time, but operators must use common sense when the Coast Guard Festival carnival and other popular events come to town and create congestion.
However, the boardwalk is a different situation. People packing the boardwalk during the summer months and skateboarders and bicyclists are not a good mix. It’s an accident waiting to happen.
The city ordinance encourages bicyclists and those on Rollerblades to be cautious and to give the right of way to pedestrians using the boardwalk. The ordinances say no skateboards are allowed on the boardwalk, but this isn’t strictly enforced unless there are complaints. In fact, there are no signs saying “Skateboards not allowed.”
We believe that all “wheels” should be prohibited from the boardwalk during certain times of the day during the summer months, when boardwalk traffic is at its busiest.
We realize public safety officers have more important things to do than patrol the boardwalk — but occasional patrols, a few signs and the occasional ticket would send a message.
There is a season for everything, and the busy summer season is not a good time to have pedestrians on the boardwalk dodging bikes and skateboards.
The area is blessed with a skate park and countless other places for boarders to enjoy their sport in the summer, and there are miles and miles of bike paths and roads for the bikers. Take advantage of those assets, and leave the boardwalk and busy city streets to those setting a more leisurely pace on foot.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Liz Stuck and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.