The Student Government Association has been working with Appalachian State University officials and the Town of Boone to potentially lift the skateboarding ban, said SGA President Dylan Russell.
The Town of Boone does not allow skateboarding on sidewalks or streets, according to Town of Boone Ordinance Section 71.10. Appalachian prohibits skateboarding on the entire campus as well. Skateboarding violations carry a $50 fine.
“We are trying to take the emphasis off of specifically skateboarding and move toward the idea of encouraging human-powered transportation,” Russell said. “With the removal of the skateboarding ban, it would lead to an overall improvement in the campus’ sustainability.”
Russell said that the university wants to work for and with the Town of Boone and discuss collaborative ideas to continue the progress of lifting the ban.
Carson Rich, SGA director of sustainability, said that in general, the idea of human-powered transportation is not well understood on campus.
“The idea of increasing human-powered transportation is somewhat of a culture change to many,” Rich said. “The more students we can get onboard with the concept, the better our campus’ sustainability will be.”
Appalachian was ranked the 18th greenest college in the nation by Sierra magazine. Rich said that the human-powered transportation concept includes walking and using bikes, scooters and skateboards.
A data-driven pilot plan that both the university and town could use is a work in progress, said Eric Frauman, chairman of Appalachian’s Transportation Subcommittee, a component of the Sustainability Council.
Frauman said that the rising popularity of skateboarding for commuting purposes locally and nationwide has prompted revisiting the ban.
Appalachian Skatepark, which was located at the Watauga County Recreation Complex, closed in 2009, leaving the town with few legal skating venues.
“The Town of Boone will ultimately require Town Council approval to lift the ban,” Frauman said. “It will take student initiative, including student government and the skateboarding community, for the issue to move forward at Appalachian, since the majority of users are students.”
Story: GERRIT VAN GENDEREN, Intern News Reporter
Photo: LACY MATUSEK, Intern Photographer