Politicians takes skate ban off the table: ‘Especially now it is important that young people come together and exercise’.
The proposed skate ban near the Piazza and Catharina church in Eindhoven is dismissed again. Parties in the city council did not have a good word to say about the ban on Tuesday night, and want the proposal to be taken off the table quickly.
Mayor and aldermen wanted to include the ban on skateboarding in the new APV, a list of local rules and prohibitions. According to the city council, skateboarding would cause nuisance in parts of the downtown shopping area. They would also cause destruction of street furniture. Soon after, a lot of criticism came from the skate scene in Eindhoven. Skateboarders started a petition to stop the ban.
So the skateboarders can now feel supported by the political groups in the city council. “The skate culture brings a lot to our city. It brings young people together, and they exercise. Especially in these times when mental health is under pressure, a ban sends a bad signal,” says Eva de Bruijn of GroenLinks. Linda Hofman of coalition partner CDA also has little sympathy for a ban. “This is going too far. You can also ask yourself whether there are enough places for skaters. 14 euros to go to skatepark Area51 for a day? That’s too expensive.”
D66, SP and PvdA, among others, were also critical. D66 party chair Jorien Migchielsen: We want to be a city for urban sports and we want to promote sports in public areas. Such a ban does not fit in.” PvdA council member Arnold Raaijmakers also understands little of the proposal. “I have spoken to shopkeepers. They experience no nuisance. The youth skateboarding in the Piazza after closing time. It gives people a safer feeling.” He is troubled by the way enforcement is apparently already taking place. “I spoke to a skater who was fined 160 euros for noise pollution. I expect that fine to be waived. That would be to the credit of the municipality.”
Next week the APV is back on the agenda. Then the city council will make a final decision.