Skateboarding Ban Considered
BY BILL KOENEKER
The Malibu City Council is poised to consider at its next meeting outlawing skateboarding on the city’s narrow, winding canyon roads, where media attention has focused on the growing popularity of skateboarders careening down steep hills.
The proposed ordinance would require posting signs prohibiting skateboarding on Tuna Canyon Road, Big Rock Canyon Road, Las Flores Canyon Road, Carbon Canyon Road, Malibu Canyon Road, Corral Canyon Road, Latigo Canyon Road, Kanan Dume Road, Trancas Canyon Road and Encinal Canyon Road. Fines would range from $25 to $100.
The impetus for the new law originated with the California Joint Powers Insurance Association, the city’s insurer, which contacted the municipality due to recent articles about skateboarding in Malibu.
“Many other cities have also had this activity take place, some of which have resulted in injury and litigation,” wrote the city’s Administrative Services Director Reva Feldman in a memo to city council members. “In order to prevent possible injury to members of the public and to protect the city from possible litigation, CJPIA has suggested that the city adopt an ordinance prohibiting skateboarding and other similar activities in certain areas of the city and in particular on public streets,” the memo stated.
Municipal officials had the idea vetted with both the Harry Barovsky Memorial Youth Commission and the city’s Public Safety Commission. Both panels discussed the prohibition and made its own set of recommendations.
The youth panel advised the council to approve the new law, but indicated a preference that the city only post signs prohibiting skateboarding in areas that are hazardous, such as the steep canyon roads.
The Public Safety Commission weighed in on the matter and drew nearly the same conclusions.
“The commission recommended that the council adopt the proposed ordinance prohibiting skateboarding and similar activities in areas of the city where injuries could occur due to steep terrain or other hazardous conditions,” Feldman noted.
The staff suggested certain canyon roads be posted and advised that if other city streets pose a hazard they would return the ordinance to the council for review.