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Seeking thrills in dangerous places

Posted Wednesday, September 26, 2007, at 8:42 AM

You're driving on any of several Shelbyville streets when, veering toward you, is ... a skateboarder or, more likely, a group of skateboarders.

A skate ramp was built in Griffin Park several years ago. Skateboarders use it, but they also use city streets, most of which, unfortunately, have no sidewalks. (Side note: Whenever financially feasible, new subdivisions should be required to have sidewalks. People stll walk...)

Over the weekend police were called about skaters on the roof of the old Harris Middle School annex and to remove a skater from one of our major highways.

Using the same skate ramp over and over and over and over obviously gets stale after awhile. But the streets aren't the safest place to be skateboarding.

Seeking thrills is part of being young. I grew up on South Hillcrest Drive and often raced cars down the steep hill off Birch Street on my bicycle. Often I passed them at 40 mph, and only once did I crash (and I have a scar on my leg to show for it). I was fortunate not to have been killed or injured much more seriously. If you were passed there by a gold or green flash in the early 1970s, that was probably my bicycle and me.

So I can still relate. But I had sense enough not to ride down to nearby Madison Street and race the heavier traffic.

At the very least, skateboarders should stay off main streets. One skateboarder lost is one too many.

I don't know if there are any better solutions to finding new sites for skateboarders. But that's just one facet of what previous comments on t-g.com blogs have pointed out: A growing need for more and/or more places for, youth activities in Shelbyville.

If you were going to make suggestions for Shelbyville Parks and Recreation Department officials (and they may read these, who knows), about skateboarding and other activities for all ages, they would be...


Comments
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"Glass"hill as we called it was a great place to ride your bike fast when you were a kid in that neighborhood. Thanks for that old memory,it fits like an old shoe. Unfortunately lack of a place for young people to have "good, clean" fun was a problem then and is still a problem although these people now vote. I guess we have forgotten our own complaints from our youth.

-- Posted by gordo1965 on Wed, Sep 26, 2007, at 10:01 AM

As I have said many many times the youth of Shelbyville Need something!!

I was on the upper level of Wal-mart (where Cato's and Radio Shack is) kids were everywhere in that parking lot skate boarding on Saturday. That is very dangerous, there were so many cars pulling in and out of the parking lot having to avoid kids on skate boards.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Wed, Sep 26, 2007, at 10:50 AM

They're bored with the skate park! They get together and plan what you are describing above. They group together and go around town skateboarding. My son goes to the skate park almost on a daily basis and has ask if he could go around town with his friends. We wont let him go because it is dangerous. You also have kids that dont have a way to the park so they skateboard there which is dangerous also!

Shelbyville Parks and Recreation Department officials.

I suggest requiring the skaters to wear helmets, all other skate parks do and its just a smart idea! Build another set of ramps, they run all over eachother.

-- Posted by Disgusted on Wed, Sep 26, 2007, at 11:54 AM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.