Winston-Salem discusses potentially banning skateboarding in historic West End

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Winston-Salem’s Public Safety Committee is discussing a potential ban on skateboarding in the West End area of town following complaints from neighbors.

According to city documents, council member Jeff MacIntosh told the committee earlier this month that neighbors were concerned about skateboarders, especially on steep roads like Forsyth Street.

The City Attorney’s Office says Downtown Winston-Salem is the only area of the city where there is a complete ban on skateboarding, roller skating and similar activities on sidewalks, streets and city property.

A proposed ordinance amendment is up for discussion that would add the West End historic district area to the list where skateboarding is not allowed.

City Attorney Angela Carmon says the changes would also address ambiguous language in current ordinances and better define where skateboarding is prohibited.

Several council members expressed concerns about the restrictions.

The Public Safety Committee will discuss a revised proposal in June, which must ultimately be approved by city council.

Carmon tells FOX8 the revised proposal may allow for skateboarding in the street so long as it doesn’t create traffic problems.

Winston-Salem Director of Marketing and Communication Ed McNeal says there are currently no public skate parks in the city.

McNeal tells FOX8 that a portable skate park featuring five ramps is expected to open in July at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds to help address the growing popularity in the community.

6 comments

  • Rudy

    What a joke!
    A city the size of Winston-Salem can’t spend a few bucks to build a “proper” public concrete skatepark???
    Don’t even waste your time & money on a prefabricated “portable skate park” – you’ll get 6 months out of that before it begins to tear up!

    If your city doesn’t have a skatepark – your city IS the skatepark!!!

  • Marcie Bouley

    This is so frustrating for parents of young skateboarders. We are tired of driving to Kernersville for the skatepark there, and until you give residents a place to skateboard, NO ONE will be happy. I don’t understand why WS has money to keep tearing down trees for apartments and Walmarts but there is no money for a skatepark that would encourage skaters to be safer and out of the way of the sticks in the mud.

  • Matt

    Look at NYC and how limited real estate is there. They have like 20 parks. The plaza style parks blend well with a downtown setting. Look at the new park on the Hudson River by freedom towers. It’s gorgeous with green life built in and everything. Also not much bigger than a tennis court. There is a pretty large group of young people in this city not getting what they want. Very behind the times. We need new leadership.

  • Jenna Riley

    As a resident of the West End area, I feel that there is no cause for concern in regards to people skating. I pass skater kids all the time. They’re polite, they stay out of the way of traffic, and from what I can tell based on these reports there is NO BASIS FOR NEW RESTRICTIONS. I’m seriously growing tired of the baseless groaning that is coming from some community members (new and old) regarding issues like street performers and children and teens playing outdoors. This is a city, not an assisted living community. If you don’t like culture and people enjoying life… well, there’s always another place for you. Isn’t this the “city of the arts,” and aren’t we constantly being bombarded with reports on childhood obesity and poor health due to a lack of exercise? If it is in fact an overwhelming safety issue that isn’t being disclosed in these reports, I would love to hear about it and what viable solutions will be made to accommodate those who wish to roller blade, skate, etc.

    P.S.
    I find the street parking in West End to be a bigger cause for concern as it is increasingly dangerous to drive down what are supposed to be two lane roads, but are clustered with individuals who have fully functional parking garages and driveways. If kids skating in these areas are causing a problem with traffic flow, perhaps we should FIRST address the need for parking restrictions and that these should not be one lane roads created out of convenience and honestly laziness. If you have a medical condition in which you need accessible parking, so be it. I know that the majority of these individuals seemingly do not need to be parking in the road. It is a serious hazard, and was exceptionally dangerous these past few major snow falls. It was astonishing to watch the shock on these people’s faces as they had parked on the street and were livid that they were now trapped. The snow plows were forced to plow straight down the middle of the road.

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