UNM Forms Skateboard Committee
October 10, 2011 - Dorene DiNaro
In response to recent concerns by UNM students and staff about safety issues relating to skateboarders on the UNM campus, the Interim Dean of Students, Kim Kloeppel, formed a campus-wide administrative committee and a student group to address concerns not only regarding skateboards, but also the use of all non-motorized vehicles on campus.
Kloeppel says that there are several issues but the most prominent include personal liabilities and injuries to pedestrians, accessibility issues for students with disabilities, and damage to UNM property.
“Skateboarders and bicycles are using various locations on campus such as sidewalks, handrails and benches as a skateboard park for recreational fun, and it poses problems for all students, especially those with disabilities,” she says.
UNM currently has a policy in place regarding bicycles and other non-motorized vehicles which says that users of non-motorized vehicles must at all times yield to pedestrians, use due caution, and exercise concern for the safety of self and others. It also prohibits several acts including acrobatic maneuvers, stunts, trick riding, using excessive speed, and skating or riding on any non-motorized vehicle on handicap access ramps.
The committee is recommending that a multitude of approaches be put in place to tackle these issues such as stricter enforcement of the policy including fines, banning the offenders from campus, reviewing the previous policy on dismount areas, and limiting ramps and ADA designated areas for use for those with disabilities.
“The safety of our students is always at the forefront of our minds,” Kloeppel says. “We hope to have steps in place to deal with these issues in the next few months.”