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Seeking thrills in dangerous placesPosted 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...
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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