Carmel committee works to refine skateboard ban

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The Carmel City Council’s land use committee wrestled with finding the right words to update its ordinance banning skateboards and other toy vehicles from certain parts of town.

At the Oct. 2 meeting, councilors said their main goals are to prevent damage to city property from skateboarding tricks and ban wheeled toy vehicles in parking garages.

“It’s really about doing damage,” council President Jeff Worrell said. “I don’t care if they roll from Point A to Point B.”

The proposed amendments add Carmel Midtown, the Arts & Design District and all parking garages as places where skateboards and scooters are not allowed. It also proposes banning them in Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation parks except on greenways, trails, multi-use paths and designated skate parks. Bicycles are not included in the ban.

Jon Oberlander, City of Carmel assistant corporation counsel, said prohibiting the vehicles in broad areas such as Midtown and the Arts & Design District does not mean they wouldn’t be allowed on the right-of-way, such as sidewalks and streets. Rather, the ban would apply to property owned by the city in those areas and include language covering statues and benches. He said he would prepare a map showing those locations before the committee’s next meeting.

Some councilors thought the proposed wording was too broad, but a consensus was not reached on how to refine it. The committee decided to continue studying the issue. It plans to meet again at 5 p.m. Oct. 15 at City Hall.

Worrell asked if a skate spot, which would include benches and other items installed for skateboard tricks, could be included in the next phase of redeveloping the Monon Trail. Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation Director Michael Klitzing said he would support that.

“If we were able to, in the appropriate places, find some linear opportunities on or near the Monon that incorporates the input from skateboarders, we could create a place where they are welcomed,” he said.

Klitzing also said that the 12-year-old skate park at the Monon Community Center is due for upgrades.

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