Community priorities and planning

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The city of Fredericton (New Brunswick, Canada) recently opted to enforce a bylaw restricting an individual to ride a skateboard on city streets. In the media, it was reported as a “nuisance bylaw“. I think it is important to note that in this instance, we are not talking about groups of skateboarders jetting out into traffic and attempting tricks and jumps, or building ramps on curbs, but that we are talking about an individual using a “longboard” as a mode of transportation.

Our community, local and regional, faces many challenges, including pollution, traffic congestion, obesity and poor health as a result of a sedentary lifestyle. As a community, we have identified these issues as important. We put money time and resources toward their elimination and/or solution. And then when an obvious solution lands in our lap… we arrest the provider and throw them in jail… amazing. Longboards, like bicycles, rollerblades, scooters (human powered) and our walking legs, provide solutions to the above mentioned challenges. Clearly our community leaders and administrators do not currently posses the ability to think creatively enough to recognize solutions when they present themselves.

Thanks to the skateboarder who has stepped up to the challenge to shine some awareness on our current transportation shortcomings. Our community leaders/administrators must think differently in order to truly create a healthy and sustainable city. We must all be interested and open to new ideas. It is natural for our “older” city leaders and administrators to have their limited perspective. It comes as no surprise that creative and innovative solutions will come to the forefront from our younger citizens. It is time for our “older” community members to learn from our “younger” citizens.

So here is to longboards as a mode of transportation being just the beginning of a long list of paradigm changes in transportation that we need to get started on. Our transportation system should gradually phase automobiles out as the dominant vehicle. Long term community planning can make this a reality.


Written by sjdixon

May 17, 2008 at 7:02 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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