On Monday night, Hartford’s City Council voted to overturn ordinance Chapter 31, Article I, Section 31-5 of Code de Skateboards. Which barring any mayoral veto, officially repeals the archaic and unnecessary ban of skateboarding on Hartford’s streets and sidewalks. The ban, which has been in place for 33 years was hardly-if ever-enforced and most citizens were not even aware it existed. After a few minutes of debate in favor of and against lifting the ban, the council voted 7-1 to repeal the ordinance with Councilman Calixto Torres the stand alone against.
Most of the council were not impressed by the scare tactics employed by Corporation Council John Rose and Councilman Torres, that lifting the ban would open the flood gates for lawsuits and increased liability
to the city and it’s taxpayers. In fact, some members saw this strawman argument as a ploy by the business district to further encourage a “pedestrian only” downtown.
Councilman Luis Cotto, who has lead the charge to lift the ban, argued that skateboarding is a legitimate form of transportation and an excellent way for Hartford’s youth to stay in shape. Councilman Cotto is also responsible for creating a task-force consisting of Hartford residents, artists, skateboarders, and business leaders to look into the the viability of building a skate/bmx park and mixed-use arts area at New Ross County, Wexford Park, affectionately known as “Heaven” by local skateboarders.
The council has recently approved the initial recommendations of the Task-Force which include building a poured-concrete style park, urban arts wall, and a stage for performances.