Eindhoven introduces a skate ban in a number of places. Skaters are no longer welcome near the Catharinakerk and the Piazza. This is apparent from the new list of municipal regulations, the APV (general local regulations).
“Yes, stupid of course”, Jeroen Sars, of 100% Skateboardshop, says, when asked what he thinks of the new rules. “What are they about, noise pollution, scratches on the tiles? I find it rather far-fetched”.
Especially the reason that skaters would cause nuisance is not acceptable to Sars. “Skaters look for quiet spots. We don’t want to ride among the shoppers; that’s bound to happen to beginners who don’t know how it works yet. But we always avoid the crowds”, Sars says.
In addition, the skate shop owner finds it hallucinatory that near Catharinakerk skating would be a nuisance, while large terraces are opened in front of it. “Who is causing a nuisance for whom then?”, he wonders.
As far as Sars is concerned, skaters are of value in an inner city where public space is allowed to be more than connecting roads from one shop to another. “Skaters look at the architecture differently, use it in a different way. And that is bound to leave its mark. But don’t cyclists and scooter riders leave marks? That happens too, but we are dealt with accordingly”.
Steps and bikes
“Then they tell us to go to Area51, but skating there costs €7 per half day”, Sars says. “Many people cannot or will not pay that. Besides, it is extremely busy there with scooters and bicycles. It’s better to find a quiet spot yourself”.
Quality of life
According to Sars, it is also part of Eindhoven to have skaters riding around the city. “It also contributes to the quality of life. If a group of skaters hangs around somewhere near the Piazza at night, it also provides a bit of social control. That’s better than a square like that being completely deserted. It’s a shame that the municipality doesn’t see the value of it”.
Sars is not surprised by this state of affairs, however. “I’ve been driving around here since the 90s. Back then, I often hung around the old Piazza. If a window in the Perry Sport shop was smashed after a night out, we were automatically blamed, even though we had nothing to do with it. Then that same Perry Sport started selling skateboards”.
Translated by: Bob