Scotia residents push for skateboarding in village, skate park

Oliver Talbot, 11, left, and Sheila Marino, 10, ride their skateboards near Lincoln Elementary School in Scotia Friday.

Oliver Talbot, 11, left, and Sheila Marino, 10, ride their skateboards near Lincoln Elementary School in Scotia Friday.

If it’s not pouring rain, snowy or icy, Oliver Talbot is probably outside riding his skateboard. It’s the 11-year-old Scotia resident’s favorite thing to do. 

However, under current village codes, the only place he can ride without getting in trouble is his family’s driveway. 

The rule just didn’t sit right with Talbot: “I thought that was ridiculous.”

So, he circulated a petition to urge the town to change the codes so he and many others can ride their skateboards on public sidewalks or roads. 

He said he likes riding his skateboard and learning new tricks. 

Oliver’s mother, Kim Talbot, said he likes to skate with other kids at Lincoln Elementary School. 

“The parents were very excited about the possibility of it,” she said. 

She said skating for Oliver is an outlet to cope with his anxiety. He began skateboarding around the age of 8 and now has an electric skateboard he rides. 

Kim Talbot also said getting people to support the petition made her realize just how many people in the village like skateboarding.

But Oliver isn’t the only one pushing the issue. Matt Potter has a petition circulating in the village as well. 

Potter said that skateboarding was an issue back when he was growing up. He wants to change the codes not only for his own 9-year-old son who began skating at age 7, but for every other kid in the village who likes to do so as well.

Potter said he’s spoken with the police department already and has its support. In fact, he, like the Talbots, hasn’t come across many people who disagree with their petitions. 

“For the most part it’s overwhelming positivity,” Potter said. 

Town and Country skateboard shop owner Jacon Koehler said he supported one of the petitions even though he said people have not been hassled by the police for skateboarding on public sidewalks and roads. While he also supports the idea of a skate park, he wants to see more details on how it would work and how it would be funded.

“The last thing I would support is having taxpayers pay for a skate park,” he said. 

Scotia Village Trustee Justin Cook said getting the petitions going and then presenting them to the board is really the first step to making any change. 

“It would show the village board there is broad support,” he said. 

Cook said he was an avid rollerblader when he was a kid and doesn’t understand why skateboarding or roller skating isn’t allowed. 

“Skateboarding is popular, it’s a recognized sport,” Cook said. “I don’t see a reason why we need to prohibit skateboarding altogether.”

He also said the civic process is one many young people can get involved with. People could also be involved in creating the new code, Cook said. 

Both Talbot and Potter are also looking to build a skate park in the future so people have a safe space to skateboard and try new tricks. 

Cook said that idea will take a while to come together. He said they will need to figure out funding, a place to build the park and get village support for that, too. 

“It’s going to take a village to help that come to fruition,” Cook said.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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