Councilman Fights to Legalize Skateboarding in Downtown Cheyenne
Cheyenne City Councilman Richard Johnson is working to repeal a section of city code which prohibits skateboarding in the downtown area.
"I've been fighting this battle since 1988 when I was 14 years old," said Johnson. "I've basically had this argument with almost three different mayors."
Johnson, who started skateboarding in 1985, says he understands some downtown business owners may be reluctant to get on board with the idea.
"One thing people don't seem to realize about skateboarders is they want to be left alone, so they go seek places that there's not a lot of traffic," said Johnson. "They don't want to be bothered, just like they don't want to bother downtown business owners."
Johnson says even if skateboarding becomes legal downtown, it would still be illegal to skate in places that have 'No Skateboarding' signs, like the Depot Plaza.
"Anywhere that there's a 'No Skateboarding' sign, even if it's not on the books, it basically could still be classified as a trespassing charge," said Johnson.
Johnson says while there is a skate park in Brimmer Park, it's not a convenient location for many teens.
"Say you live over by the base or say you live in Sun Valley or Saddle Ridge or even up north," said Johnson. "If your skateboard is your only means of transportation, you literally have to skate several miles to reach the central facility."
The City Council's Public Services Committee will take up the issue when it meets on Tuesday, September 20 at noon.
"I didn't go fish for votes, this is just something I'm passionate about," said Johnson. "Fifteen-year-old Richard would really be upset with 42-year-old Richard if he was elected to City Council and didn't do anything about this."