Longboarding is quickly gaining a foothold as a legitimate, speedy, eco-friendly way to get to classes.
“I think they are a good form of transportation,” said CSU student Josh Schultz. “They are a quick and easy way to get around.”
Another incentive for longboarding is its cheap start-up cost and nominal maintenance expenses. A longboard can cost anywhere from $150-500, or more depending on the wheels, trucks, bearings and the deck. This factor, coupled with its ease and positive effect on the environment, make longboarding a very attractive transportation option.
“I spent $1,200 on a mountain bike and $200-250 on a sweet longboard,” said Justin Stoeber a CSU student and longboarding enthusiast who believes longboarding is much more economical than many other means of transportation.
Stoeber went on to say that he favors longboarding over other forms of transportation due to its ease, speed and also because of the new smoother asphalt that has been laid in and around campus.
The recent inflow of longboards on campus however, has increased the congestion on the sidewalks and been the source of minor collisions between longboarders and pedestrians.
“People don’t realize that longboards don’t have brakes,” said Stoeber “People need to respect longboarders and longboarders need to realize that there is a time to skate and a time to carry their board. 11:50 in the morning at the LSC is not a time to skate.”
Another problem that plagues longboarders on campus is a lack of knowledge of which rules and regulations apply to them and which ones only apply to bicycles or motor vehicles. Some universities across the country have addressed this issue by banning skateboard use on campus, but CSU has taken a different route.
“Essentially they (longboarders) can travel on the sidewalk but they must yield to pedestrians,” said Sergeant Chris Wolfe of the CSUPD. “They can’t travel in bike lines or in the roadway, they are considered by municipal law to be a toy.”
The sidewalks pose a maneuvering nightmare for longboarders with limited space and awkward cracks and curbs. A few daring boarders have defied this situation by cutting in and out of pedestrian-filled sidewalks with no caution or respect for other students.
“The number one rule is, pedestrians have the right of way,” said Wolfe
Longboarders must also dismount for crosswalks and follow all the laws that apply to bicycles such as dismount zones, stop signs and yield signs, said Wolfe.
“Dismount zones apply to longboarders as well as bicycles, they are considered a wheeled-vehicle.” Said Wolfe.
Longboarders can be issued tickets for violations of these regulations and are not above the law by any means. They can be issued a Bike Enforcement Education (BEEP) Ticket or a municipal ticket if caught riding in the roadway.
The CSUPD has not noticed an increase in longboarding-caused collisions and does not see the need for more regulations to be instated.
“What we have is sufficient,” said Wolfe. “If it comes to a point where boarders aren’t obeying the regulations we might have to look at instating additional rules.”
Wolfe went on to say that if boarders are aware of the rules and their surroundings especially in relation to motor vehicles there should not be any problems.
Staff writer Chris Seegers can be reached at email@example.com.