City council overturns downtown skateboarding veto

ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) – Just days after Mayor Kathy Sheehan vetoed the repeal of part of a decades-old ban on skateboarding in downtown Albany, the city council overruled its veto on Monday night. The decision, 12-0, reaffirms the council’s decision to repeal part of the city’s code.

“I am truly proud of my council members who reaffirmed our commitment to this bill that we passed unanimously at our last council meeting,” said council member Gabriella Romero, who represents the 6th Albany neighborhood.

This legislation repealed part of the city code that previously prohibited skateboarding on roads, sidewalks, parking lots, yards, and driveways in part of downtown Albany. Specifically in the area around Lark Street south of Madison Avenue to the west, Clinton Avenue to the north, Broadway to the east, and Myrtle Avenue to the south.

“It used to be that certain areas downtown were not allowed to skateboard. Restriction of movement was prohibited there, and it was totally different from downtown Albany” , Romero said.

Members of the city’s skateboarding community are applauding the council’s decision: “It will just allow skateboarders a safe passage from, say, the skatepark, up to Lark Street, or maybe up to Pearl Street, or even the new skatepark being built on Broadway,” explained Ted Cangero.

But not everyone who attended Monday’s council meeting supported the council’s actions, including the mayor’s chief of staff, who presented data, including the number of recent violations purged, during the period. of public consultation.

In a statement, Chief of Staff David Gallin said: ‘The Common Council has made traveling on our sidewalks more dangerous for children, the elderly and people with disabilities. This action was completely unnecessary and ignored the wishes of our residents who wanted legislation to make skateboarding fair and safe.

Mayor Sheehan vetoed the repeal last week, citing concerns about the potential dangers of sidewalk skateboarding being brought into downtown areas.

Cangero says he understands those concerns: “I think it’s something we need to address, but I don’t think that concern was worth throwing the whole bill out and going back to the drawing board with. everything.”

Despite the derogation, skateboarding will still be prohibited on public monuments. Legislation regarding their use on pavements, as well as other non-vehicular modes of transport, will be dealt with by the council in the future.

David H. Henry