Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Tougher penalties may be on the way for skateboarding vandals

Skateboarding vandals beware.

Tougher penalties may be on the way for skateboarding vandals

Skateboarding vandals beware.

City Council voted to amend a bill that would expand the city's ban on skateboarding, biking and rollerblading on certain types of public property and would increase penalties. The bill could be passed as early as next week.

The bill introduced by Councilman David Oh on behalf of the Nutter administration was tabled in October after a group of skateboarders argued the bill lacked clarity as to what and where they could skateboard. Under the bill violators would face up to a $1,000 fine and the possibility of 30 days in jail. Oh reduced the penalties after concerns from the skateboarding community and some Council members.

But Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell urged her colleagues to oppose the measure.  

“It’s unconscionable, unbelievable and its not the business of this Council,” Blackwell said. “It sends the wrong message to people who visit our city.”

The city has said vandals have caused thousands of dollars in damage to various memorials and public artwork.

“It is not a violation to ride a skateboard,” Oh said. “The community, police and artists have spoken to me and others and they are very frustrated with those who damage and continue to damage.”

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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