Dear Future President,
Skateboarding is something that every kid has tried at least once. Most kids give up trying to learn how to ollie, but some kids will undoubtedly stick with it. The kids who give up usually give up because they don’t have a place to skate at. The kids who do stick to skateboarding usually end up skating on private property. It has become a century old battle within communities, that kids who skateboard are becoming an issue, taking over local parks, streets and railings attached to businesses, however if cities identified that there is in fact a need for these kids, there would be more peace. Each city throughout the US should make an effort to provide a skate park, that would be free of charge, for the kids of that community. This could potentially cut back on law enforcement getting fed up with these kids, and in turn, could keep kids out of trouble.
Skateboarding was made popular in the late 1960’s, and ever since then kids have been getting in trouble for vandalizing, trespassing on private property, and disturbing the peace of public areas. But skateboarders still skate at the same place every day getting in more trouble every time they go. Some skaters are lucky, because they have a skate park near them they can skate at. Although Skateboarding has been popular over the last few decades, it has become clear that cities across the nation have taken some active steps to try and limit where skaters ride, or perform their tricks. According to Findlaw.com, “Skateboarding laws generally restrict or prohibit skateboarding as a recreational activity -- specifically the time, manner, age of person skateboarding, and location in which skateboarding may take place. One town may allow skateboarding during certain times of day (for example "from a half-hour after dawn to a half-hour before dusk"), while another town may limit skateboarding to certain areas (for example "on sidewalks in residential areas only"). This evidence proves that cities must refocus their goals, and provide a place for kids to skateboard, rather than try to dictate where they can or can’t ride.
The main cause of this issue, if you haven’t already figured it out, is the lack of skateparks. By building more skateparks it would affect not only skateboarders everywhere, but property owners who have a problem with skaters destroying their property. Another thing that skateparks do is reduce crime. In 2009 The Tony Hawk Foundation (THF) conducted a survey of police officers who patrolled municipalities where THF had helped construct a skate park. 102 officers in 37 states, and reported that “ while almost half cited a decrease in overall youth crime sense the skate park opened, several officers mentioned the skate park has not affected overall youth crime.” The cities in the U.S with the most skateparks in them had lower rates of violence and property crimes. On the other hand, cities with a lower number of skateparks had more violence and property crime.
Skating in a skate park is a lot safer than skating in the streets. According toskatepark.com ”In 2006 42 people died from skateboarding. Of those 42, 40 of them weren’t in a skate park and 27 of them involved a motor vehicle. In other words, of these 42 deaths, 40 of them could have been prevented had they been skateboarding in a skate park.” This information confirms that if cities were to be more diligent in creating a space where kids could skateboard specifically, than there could potentially be less injury and crime occurring in neighborhoods.
In conclusion, i think that skateboarding facilities designated within each city across the US would benefit not only the kids, but also the cities themselves. It could cut crime, and destruction of property. As you read this letter, I hope you are motivated to create something that could possibly change the way we think about teens who simply want a place to do what they are passionate about.