Minot has exceptionally restrictive ordinances when it comes to skateboards, rollerblades, and scooters. And a few things have changed since we put those ordinances in place. Namely, these aren’t your uncle’s skateboards anymore. Further, emerging forms of transportation like One Wheel and eBikes challenge our traditional definitions and policies.
With regards to these alternative modes of transportation, we’ve reached a point where we need to evaluate our past practices to see if they’re in alignment with our future goals. Among the concerns that need to be weighed.
- Safety. Particularly for those on sidewalks. Fast-movers create hazards. If possible, we should deliver policy that reduces risk.
- Welcoming. Nothing sends a poor message quite as efficiently as you can’t do that here. Further, one of the DBPA’s 2021 values was the stated focus on a people-centric, complete environment diverse in thought, color, creed, size, age, and ability. Simply saying ‘no’ to scooters and skateboards does not align with this stated value.
- Hypocrisy. The City’s laws are clear, and police officers are put in a difficult situation when not enforcing them. If these laws are not serving our current values, we should change or remove them.
- Property & Liability. Used without respect, understanding, or appropriate caution, skateboards can cause property damage and injury.
- Support for Entrepreneurs & Emerging Business Models. Nothing suppresses the market for a new, innovative product or idea quite like making it illegal to use. Additionally, several North Dakota cities have already implemented scooter-sharing programs and they’re seeing regular usage.
Status & Next Steps
This is an emerging and also timely issue in that the winter season creates an opportunity to take a thoughtful approach. The DBPA Board has been introduced to the issue but has not taken a formal position. This is expected for winter 2021/2022 discussion and action.
Partners & Collaboration
DBPA, City of Minot, Minot Park District, Minot Public Schools