No bikes in Port Angeles skate park, city says
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Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Eight-year-old Kenny Oman of Port Angeles skates in one of the bowls of the Port Angeles skateboard park at Erickson Playfield on Saturday.

By Tom Callis
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Skateboarding may not be a crime, but bicycling is another story — at least in the city's skate park.

Police said they are stepping up enforcement of the park's no-bike policy because of concerns that two-wheeled thrill seekers are causing too much damage and sometimes displace skateboarders.

Last Thursday, officers began stepping up their presence at the park, talking to users about the rule excluding bikes, said Deputy Police Chief Brian Smith.

Such “emphasis patrols” will continue indefinitely, he said. But beginning Monday, Smith warned, any violators can expect to receive a 90-day no-trespass notice or even a fine.

“It's been a continual problem that comes and goes,” he said.

“We're going to approach it this time a little more comprehensively.”

Fines

Fines are determined by Clallam County District Court, but Smith said they could range between $60 and $100.

The increased enforcement was prompted by a complaint from Doc Reiss, past president of the Nor'Wester Rotary Club, which sponsored the Race Street park.

“Somebody got a hold of me and complained that there were so many bicycles in the skate park that their kids couldn't get in,” he said.

“When it got to the point that skateboarders can't get into the skate park, that's when I wrote the letter.”

Reiss said he also is concerned of the damage the bikes' pegs, handlebars and pedals cause to the concrete, which is why they are banned from the park.

Corey Delikat, city streets and parks superintendent, said he shares the concerns.

“There's no major damage yet, but it's bound to happen,” he said.

“Once it gets broke,” Delikat added, “there's not a real good fix.

“Obviously, you can patch it . . . but it doesn't want to hold as well.”

Delikat said he is working with the Rotary Club to install gates that are impossible to bring a bike through.

Another gate, which could only be unlocked by authorities, would be installed to allow medic access, he said.

The $200,000 skate park opened in 2005.

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Reporter Tom Callis can be reached at 360-417-3532 or at tom.callis@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: April 30. 2011 10:13PM
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