Portland, Oregon has had such a surge of downhill skaters in recent times that residents in the neighborhoods we skate are getting concerned. Tucked in and around Washington Park is the Arlington Heights neighborhood, which is frequented by many people recreating on foot, bicycle, and skateboard. The MAX transit system allows access to the top of a hill which leads through the neighborhood, back into Washington Park, and back to the MAX transit. That’s all fine and dandy because in Portland, you are legal to skate on the road with a couple provisions.
But, skaters and bicyclists are blowing stop signs or going past the speed limit. Some people are riding the hill without proper protection or the ability to stop safely. Skaters are riding the hill by themselves, separate from the community of riders who understand the potential danger of riding on the road, sharing it with cars, trucks, and buses. Basically, the spot is getting blown out and the situation needs to be rectified.
The concerns of the residents of the Arlington Heights neighborhood are being addressed by the city through meetings with police, parks and recreation, transportation, criminal prevention, the neighborhood association, and a representative from the skating community. A website has been set up to educate the skate community. That site is skatefriendlypdx.com and this is the first educational video geared at keeping skaters riding safely and legally. There is also a youtube video contest that ends on August 20th, so check it out and enter for a chance to win a Landyachtz complete set-up.