Balance what’s best for skateboarders

By Terri Trainor

La Jolla resident

Recently read Dave Schwab’s article regarding a skate park in La Jolla, and felt a little sorry for the legally trained mother mentioned — who got so riled up over the prospect of a little skateboarder noise that she began attending meetings to share her “not on my block” philosophy. It must be difficult being a mom these days, with the pressure to buy a kid a skateboard and let him/her loose on the neighborhood. After all, why should the parent give any thought and consideration to where said skateboard would be used? Isn’t that the job of the kid?

I’ve seen the decisions the poor kids make. They show up at one of the busiest parking lots in town (Fay/Pearl) and patiently wait for someone to come and pick them up. They endanger themselves and make things difficult for anyone wanting coffee, a bagel or some yogurt. The businesses in the Starbucks parking lot were forced to go to the expense of hiring a daily security guard to dissuade this poor choice.

But where else are the kids to go? They aren’t old enough to transport themselves to the nearest available skate park in Point Loma. And no one seems to think of instituting a car-pool arrangement so that all the kids who possess skateboards can enjoy them.

Skateboarding seems to be a treasured La Jolla tradition, one that’s not going away. I think everyone wishes that the local kids had a decent and safe place to skate. I’m sure many businesses in town are nervous about some neglected skateboarder, sans helmet, taking a header onto the concrete of their parking lot.

At times, we all need to balance what’s best for us personally with what’s best for the community, especially its youngest members who have yet to find their own voices. Some of us may have to accommodate some extraneous noise. Or some parents may have to create a shuttle-n-chaperone service to the existing skate parks. But if you’ve ever bought a kid a skateboard, perhaps it’s time to ponder how to relieve the juvenile recipient of such a gift of the burden of determining where to use it.