No, you can’t :-(

… but Cr Paech will fight on!

 

 

Cars in the new shared zone of the northern Todd Mall are OK but skateboards are not. The Town Council has installed skateable street furniture there but – for the time being at least – skaters are not to use it.

 

For that to change a majority of councillors would have to support modifying Public Places by-law 53 which bans skateboarding on footpaths throughout the entire CBD (the NT Government’s Traffic Act bans it on the roads).

 

A change to the by-law looks like it will be hard won. Councillor Chansey Paech was on his own at last night’s meeting in wanting to welcome skate-boarding in the mall.

 

Mayor Damien Ryan, having suggested at the council meeting on July 29 that skateboarding was a go in the northern end of the mall – “now a street” – and that any signs banning it should be removed from the area, last night said nothing.

 

Cr Brendan Heenan said he wouldn’t like to see a change: the elderly and people with children could be hurt if they weren’t paying attention.

 

Cr Steve Brown said he failed to see how skateboarding could be “conducted safely” in the northern mall, but acknowledged the “quite large contradiction” of having specially designed skateable street furniture there. Council would now have to reinforce the message that it is not allowed, he said.

 

Cr Geoff Booth said he agreed with Cr Brown. Cr Eli Melky said he supported Cr Paech but the majority view would prevail. Cr Dave Douglas said nothing but at the last meeting agreed with Cr Heenan. Crs Jade Kudrenko and Liz Martin were both absent.

 

Cr Paech (at right) later told the Alice Springs News Online that he was “very disappointed” but he will not let the issue die:

 

“I strongly support the aspirations of local skateboarders to be able to use the board-friendly street furniture that has been installed in Todd Street.

 

“There has been a very positive reaction on social media to the initial advice that skateboarding was permitted in this area.

 

“Tonight I’ve put out a poll on social media to gauge community support for opening Todd Street to skaters, bringing some life into that end of the CBD and encouraging healthy activity.

 

“It’s a way for our community to reclaim our streets, making them active, vibrant, welcoming places.

 

“I’m disappointed Council seems more interested in banning skateboarders than problem drinkers from our public spaces.”

 

(Drinking liquor in a public place is, however, also banned by the by-laws.)

 

Speed limit change

 

Another move in relation to the new shared zone did get majority support from councillors: at present a 10km/h speed limit applies to the raised area only, marked by rumble strips at either end; otherwise the 40km/h limit applies. All councillors supported Cr Booth’s suggestion that 10km/h should apply to the entire strip.

 

 

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15 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Grace
    Posted October 21, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    I think everyone should go take a good look at what the skateboarding community has to offer, before there are decisions made.
    Skateboarding is definitely an art form and it takes great skill to master, it is also a way youth can express themselves. The furniture made for the purpose of skateboarding should be kept for skateboarders and extra seating options should be put in place, with addition of warning signs of the activities taking place in that area.

    @jhawkes, If the council refuses the use of the skateboarding furniture they should make an addition area that skateboarders can use. The skatepark has a limited amount of space and is over crowded with BMX riders, scooter riders and families with young children.

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  2. David
    Posted October 20, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Sorry to say but I think it is a bad idea, what happens if a skater decides he or she wants to use the furniture to skate on, but others want to sit there? Or what happens if a skater has a mishap and their board gets away and bangs into a pedestrian? I think it was a mistake by the council to instal this form of furniture.

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  3. Kiarnie
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Skateboarding is just another form of art, it’s creative, daring and takes real skill. Banning skateboards is not the answer, fairly sure you won’t ban bike riding and they could hurt people more. Seriously lay off the younger generation just because you think we are all ‘reckless’. Give them a chance to prove themselves.

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  4. Near hit
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 8:07 am

    I work in the new area of the Todd Mall and have on two occasions been taken by surprise by speeding skateboards in the street … being almost hit. Why should cars and pedestrians have to give way to skateboarders … which was the expectation in this case.
    Mr Paech … you need your head read on this subject.

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  5. TSpoehr
    Posted August 26, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    It’s a shame society is incapable of realizing the value of skateboarding being both a culture and recreational activity for many creative and energetic people.
    Alice Springs has a well-established skateboarding and photography culture. And our skaters should be taken seriously.
    Can we please stop putting up “No…” signs everywhere?
    At the very least – could decision makers research Edmund Bacon’s “Love Park” where skaters turned the seemingly bleak downtown plaza (sound familiar?) into a major tourist attraction or Tony Bracali’s designing active communities to promote healthy lifestyles – the lessons learnt about skateboarding in public space now being embraced by exciting cities and towns around the world.
    Imagine. Skate Red CeNTre – Alice Springs a skating destination. A possible economic venture.
    Just my thoughts.

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  6. Nothing but the facts
    Posted August 26, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    That’s hilarious @ 2 Melanie!

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  7. Janet Brown
    Posted August 26, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    @mross. What shopping trolleys? I believe most people will be questioning your interaction to this article as shopping trollies now have brake blocks that stop movement past certain areas hence none in the Mall.

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  8. Melanie Ross
    Posted August 26, 2013 at 11:11 am

    I think I’m more in danger of being run down by Janet’s shopping trolley than a skateboarder, haha.

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  9. Paul Parker
    Posted August 20, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    The NT Government did try crocodile insurance protection.
    Perhaps to be able to skateboard in the mall, and avoid confiscation or a fine, each skateboard and or rider needs to display a copy of valid (easy to confirm) insurance coverage?

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  10. Janet Brown
    Posted August 20, 2013 at 8:03 am

    I am interested to know who many of you will accept the financial responsibility of personal injury to pedestrians for injuries. A duty of care do any of you understand that concept. The mall is for people it is not referred to as a skate mall. But if you want skateboards there I suggest you all get together and pay the insurance. And my understanding of insurance I would believe that if you put in skate boarding in a public place no one would offer insurance as it would be classed as extreme probability of major injuries. But as I said you want this you find an insurance company and pay the price for that policy.

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  11. Observer
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Everytime I look down the redeveloped Mall it is empty of people, so there is no danger of people being hit by skateboarders.
    If they or anyone else can find an alternative use for the mall, let them.

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  12. John Adams
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    I cant really see the difference between skateboarders in this area and the mountain bike riders that share walking paths in the hills around Alice. Also it seems odd that we are considering returning to open speed limits at the same time trying to stop young people using the mall which it would seem functional for that purpose.
    I think people are missing the the point that skateboards are a legitimate form of transport.
    The old men of council seem to invoke the nanny state when is suits them and complain about big government when it doesn’t.

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  13. Janet Brown
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    So what is being said footballers, netballers maybe people hitting tennis balls off the walls can play in the mall. A skate park down the road a bit is there for skate boarders. I hate walking around town with bike riders travelling to fast on the walk ways walking in the mall area should be a pleasure not a traumatic experience to ensure you don’t end up in hospital.

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  14. Matt
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Jo, who decides who public space is for? It is not for you or me to say who is welcome and who is not, but (in this instance given the By-law) for the council.
    I am with Chansey on this, thinking that skateboarders are part of the community and should be welcome, but respect the right of the council to decide.

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  15. Jo Hawkes
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Can’t agree with this idea, Mr Paech. It’s not a recreation area for speeding skateboards.
    It’s for locals and tourists to amble along and window shop. The first person to get hit by one of these will definitely sue the Town Council, and rightly so.
    Skateboarders have designated areas, and that should be good enough.

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