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Council bans skateboarding near libraries

Ordinance affects Shute Park and Main libraries

The Hillsboro City Council has approved an ordinance that prohibits skateboarding at and near the entrances to the city’s two library buildings.

Library staffers expressed concern that skateboarders using the areas outside the Hillsboro Main and Shute Park Branch libraries were creating hazards for library patrons entering and exiting the buildings.

Photo Credit: HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: KATHY FULLER - The entrance plaza at Shute Park Branch Library is an attractive area for skateboarders, but library staff have expressed concern for patrons safety when skateboarders are present.Linda Lybecker, assistant library director, said the problem began at Shute Park just after it reopened following renovations in March. Skateboarders would disperse when asked to by library employees during the day, she said.

But there were concerns after hours, when library patrons wanted to return books at the front of the building.

“Patrons wanting to return library materials at the book drops after open hours have expressed reluctance to walk to the book drops when the space is in use by skateboarders,” a report to city council said.

A Sept. 9 report to the Parks & Recreation Commission indicated “the use of skateboards on both wooden and paved surfaces can cause damage and increase ongoing maintenance and replacement costs.”

Mary Loftin, community resources manager for Parks & Recreation, said the Library Board and the Parks & Recreation Commission considered the rule change and recommended its approval by the city council. The Parks & Recreation Commission had to approve the rule change because Shute Park Library sits on city park property, Loftin said.

“It’s a safety issue,” Loftin explained, adding that the new ordinance does not restrict the use of skateboards (or scooters, rollerblades, roller skates and the like) on pathways in Shute Park itself, just near the library entrance.

The ordinance states that skateboarding is no longer allowed “in any area of Shute Park that provides for ingress and egress to the library, including sidewalks, walkways, plazas and decorative walls, and any other paved surface that is north and east of the asphalt parking lot adjacent to the library.”

At the Hillsboro Main Library, skateboarding is prohibited “on the premises of the Main Public Library including the parking lot, walkways, and any other hard surfaces.”

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