MILTON — Skaters who frequent the skate park in Milton, be aware of possible changes to park rules. Currently, park rules forbid riding bikes in the park, but council is considering changing this rule.
At the July 2 city council meeting Councilman Jeff Snow suggested an ordinance to have a set time for bicycles to be allowed access to the park.
“If you check most skateboard parks throughout the county, bicycles are allowed,” Snow said. “I think there can be appropriate times posted and that is what this ordinance would be doing to allow [people with bicycles] there at certain times and tweaking the rules as needed.”
Councilwoman Pat Lunsford, who was responsible for the creation of the skate park, spoke against the ordinance change, citing her fear for the skaters and the skate park in general.
Team Pain, the leading skate park builder at that time, Lunsford said, warned bike and scooter handles would lose their rubber and the exposed metal would would dig into the concrete and cost a lot to fix.
“That’s why we said no bicycles.”
Lunsford said she knows that bicycles are being used in the park regardless of the rule and she believes it is dangerous for little children there.
However, there are several professional BMX bikers in the area that are not able to currently utilize the park, according to Snow, and this ordinance would be a good change.
Councilman Alan Lowery said he has an issue with the ordinance change for two reasons. He's already seen bicycles in the skating park, he said, and has not seen skaters or bicyclists using helmets.
“If they won’t go by the simple rule of wearing a helmet for their protection," Lowery said, "I don’t know that if we lax anything that they are going to get better."
Snow said he understands the concerns but said it’s time to get up to date with other parks.
“There should be some type of monitoring going on,” Snow said. “If there is some type of problem going on, it can be addressed.”
Current and new city attorneys Heather Lindsay and Alex Andrade advised the council to allow the legal team to look at the issue before a final decision is made.
The topic will return during the next city council meeting at 5:30 p.m. July 10.