Many will revel in “getting our town back.” Others will lament the fact that another summer will have soon passed.
Whatever the season, and whoever is enjoying our waterfront landscape, there remains a larger issue that remains unresolved — bikers and skateboarders on the boardwalk.
While a great majority of those who use the boardwalk are respectful of others, there are some who frighten children, leashed dogs and older folks alike with unnecessary behavior.
Unfortunately, those people ruin it for everyone.
It’s not uncommon to see kids on skateboards zooming past and startling elderly people strolling along the edges of the boardwalk. It’s also not uncommon to see bikers — kids and adults alike — come within inches of running into young children or pets walking alongside their families.
People often have to jump out of the way, or else.
And that’s not OK.
When a Thumbs Down was placed on our Opinion page not long ago about this very subject, many people shared their close encounters with wheeled hellions. A few others took umbrage with the criticism and said that it’s those walking along the boardwalk who should be more respectful of the wheeled ones, not the other way around.
OK, so how about we all respect one another?
Here are a few suggestions we should all abide by:
• Don’t stop in the middle of the boardwalk to chat, thus blocking passersby. Go off to the side if you want to stop and talk.
• Take care that your dog and its leash doesn’t trip people on the boardwalk, and that they’re well-behaved around others.
• Don’t take up the entire boardwalk with your groups of bicycles. Ride single file if there are others on the walkway.
• If you’re on wheels and coming up on a walker, give a friendly, “Passing on your left,” or “Right behind you,” so the walkers can move safely over.
• Don’t speed by on your board or bike at record speeds unless you have a lot of room and can pass them by a wide berth.
• Slower walkers should walk to the right so faster walkers can go by. From time to time, stop at a bench to rest, or off to the side, to let runners or fast folks move along undeterred.
• Don’t go on the boardwalk with wheels (other than wheelchairs or other assistive devices) during busy times. Just don’t do it. Go on the many bike paths in the area, or to the skate park set up just for skateboarders.
• Step off to the side to take pictures so you don’t delay those behind you.
But most of all, relax. Enjoy the view and smile at people. Say hi.
The boardwalk is a special place, but one that has no one owner. Just because you think it’s your boardwalk , or your town, doesn’t mean you can’t share it respectfully with visitors and fellow residents.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty 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.