Port Angeles to consider lifting ban on scooters, BMX bikes at skate park

PORT ANGELES — Scooters, roller blades and BMX bikes will be allowed at Port Angeles Skate Park if the City Council adopts a code change this month.

The proposed ordinance before the council would lift a prohibition on scooters and bicycles at the popular facility at Erickson Playfield.

“In the last few years, more kids have started to ride scooters,” Maya Gentry told the City Council last Tuesday.

“I am one of them. When I realized that scooters were not really allowed, I wondered if the rule could be changed.”

Maya said she met with Parks and Recreation Director Corey Delikat and Chief of Police Brian Smith to discuss the possibility of changing the rule. She listed several reasons for lifting the scooter ban.

“One, younger kids usually ride scooters, so more people would get to use the park,” Maya said.

Maya added that scooters cause no more damage to the park than skateboards or bicycles.

“Three, usually the only problem we have is when older riders don’t want younger kids at the park, and most of the younger kids ride scooters,” Maya said.

More supervision

“Four, younger riders have their parents with them more often, which means more adult supervision at the park.”

No council member objected to the proposed code changes at a first reading Tuesday.

The ordinance, which was recommended by the city Parks, Recreation and Beautification Commission, will be considered after a second reading Nov. 21.

In 2015, the city temporarily closed Port Angeles Skate Park after receiving complaints about safety issues and concerns over damage caused by BMX bicycle equipment.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Delikat said there had been a “major shift in the industry” that supports multi-use facilities that allow other forms of non-motorized recreation.

“It’s also really difficult for the Police Department to enforce just one type of apparatus in the facility,” Delikat said.

“Much like other skate parks across the U.S., there hasn’t been any contention that bikes or scooters have added any more wear and tear to the skate park, and that includes Erickson Playfield.”

After meeting with Maya, Delikat said he, Smith and Rotary club officials decided that it was time for a change.

“The reason why the Rotary was included is because they were a major player in getting that park built,” Delikat said.

“They, too, realized a change needed to be made.”

Other code updates being proposed are minor housekeeping items, Delikat said.

Renamed park

For example, the ordinance would reflect the name change of former Georgiana Park to Quinn Redlin Kintner Memorial Park.

Quinn Redlin Kintner was a disability advocate who pushed for accessibility improvements at city parks.

The wheelchair-accessible features at Shane Park were inspired by a senior project that Kintner completed.

Kintner died at age 20 in 2010.

The City Council renamed the park near Olympic Medical Center in Kintner’s honor in March.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsula dailynews.com.