Sign sign, everywhere a sign.
But why? Why does the City of Port Orchard or Kitsap County have the ability to put up these signs? Can they can regulate behavior such as skateboarding?
Unfortunately, it looks like the answer is yes.
A City gets it regulatory authority from a governmental document called a City Code. Codes and ordinances exist to protect citizen’s rights, neighborhood esthetics, property values, and to enhance public safety. City codes contain specific sections which are basically the laws of a city. The laws are enforced by City Code Officers, or the City’s Police Officers.
In 1997, the City of Port Orchard enacted POMC 11.04.080 which regulates the use of skateboards. It reads as follows:
11.04.080 Skateboards – Restrictions
(1) It shall be a civil infraction for any person to use a skateboard in violation of the provisions of this section.
(a) No person shall ride a skateboard on the public streets, sidewalks, alleys, walkways, docks, buildings or parks within the central business district defined as the area bound by Port Orchard Boulevard on the west side and Maple Street on the east side and the south side of Bay Street to the waterfront. Also Cline Street to Division Street, Sidney Avenue to Division Street and Port Orchard Boulevard to Tremont Street.
(b) Whenever any person is riding a skateboard upon a sidewalk of the city which is not in an area prohibited by subsection (1)(a) of this section, such person shall at all times exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian and shall operate the same in a careful and prudent manner at a rate of speed no greater than is reasonable and proper under the conditions existing at the point of operation, taking into account the width and condition of the surface. When riding a skateboard would endanger or unreasonably inconvenience pedestrians or vehicular traffic, such person shall stop and carry the skateboard.
(c) Whenever any person is riding a skateboard upon a sidewalk of the city, such person shall yield the right-of-way to all pedestrians and shall maintain foot control with the pavement within 10 feet of any pedestrian.
(d) No person shall leave a skateboard upon a sidewalk or street in such a manner as to obstruct pedestrian traffic or vehicular traffic emerging from alleys or driveways.
(2) Violations – Penalty. Upon determination that a violation under this section has been committed, such violations shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding $50.00. (Ord. 1682 §§ 1, 2, 1997).
The City Says No
The City has made it unlawful for individuals to ride a skateboard almost anywhere within the City limits – certainly within the core of the city. As there is not a tremendous amount of recreation for kids in that area, that is unfortunate. Even more so if you or your child end up getting cited for the infraction. Port Orchard Boulevard does look enticing to board down, but unfortunately, it is off limits.
At Witt Law Group, we represent individuals with all types of infractions, including skateboarding. We also handle criminal defense and personal injury cases in Kitsap and Pierce Counties. You can contact us at either our Bremerton or Gig Harbor office.