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Video: Portsmouth Town Council Bans Ramps, Allows Skateboarding to Keep Rolling

The Portsmouth Town Council voted to allow skateboarding to continue at the Island Park Playground, but helmets must be worn.

Skateboarding can now take place at the Island Park Playground, but no more jumps, rails or other equipment, says the Portsmouth Town Council.

"And, helmets must be worn at all times," Councilor Keith Hamilton said.

The council heard from skaters, teens, mothers and the police chief Monday night at Town Hall. To hear these comments, view the video at right.

In the past few weeks, kids skateboarding at the have been apparently stopped by police and told they could not skateboard at the playground anymore or on the street. Parents have questioned why and when this ban on skateboarding took effect.

The chief also wanted clarification on this "no skateboarding" sign. "What we're asking for is just proper signage for that and guidance if the council does wish to allow skateboarding on the basketball court," Police Chief Lance Hebert said.

After hearing from both the police chief and members of the public, Councilor Liz Pedro proposed banning skateboarding on all town property. This resulted in an outcry from the audience.

Councilor James Seveney rejected this idea, stating he would not vote for the ban.

Hamilton later motioned the "no skateboarding" sign be removed and a new sign be erected. The new sign will state "no ramps, rails or other apperatus" and that "helmets be worn at all times."

State law 31-19-2.1 requires helmets be worn at all times for skateboarders, ages 15 and younger.

The council voted 7-0 to approve the motion.

Claire Arrico March 31, 2011 at 10:29 PM
Maybe all these people who are complaing about kids using a PLAYGROUND TO PLAY IN. Should move to an adult community. All the kids want to do is play. Skateboard, basketball, baseball, all of these things do make noice and if you listen closely you might just hear the sounds of our children, grandchildren having some fun. If not a playground where would you like to see them? In our streets? I have been to different cities and many of them have a complex where the kids can skate board, play all kinds os sports, ice skate in the winter, and swim in the summer. Why in this community can't we have someting like this for our kids?
RCNICK April 01, 2011 at 01:33 AM
lets put in a pool too. my kid loves to swim?
DSilva April 01, 2011 at 10:16 PM
This was a fair compromise to the situation. Thanks to the Council members who listened to those who spoke at this meeting. Not just look at us, but really listened. So many of our meetings have turned into Council members using the agenda for their purposes and not to get feedback from our residents. Based on this, maybe their is still hope.
Claire Arrico April 02, 2011 at 12:05 AM
Yes maybe there is still hope. I remember one time many years ago the Seveney sport complex if voted in to get the land was going to be for everything the kids could enjoy. I know its a great spot for all they do have there. But wouldn't it be nice to have more? Maybe a skating area also, a place to rollerblade hockey, iceskate in the winter. Like the Middletown playground has.
a concerned parent April 02, 2011 at 03:13 PM
I'm not sure if I misunderstood, but I thought Liz Pedro put in a motion to support chief heberts statement which pertained to the use of ramps and other stuff brought in?

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