Saturday, July 21, 2007

Margery Niblock

Councilors Collide

City Councilors Kevin Donoghue and David Marshall, who represent Portland's peninsula neighborhoods, in the interest of embracing a healthier lifestyle, have taken to late-night bicycle jaunts. Their ride on the evening of July 6 ended with each needing a new tire, after their rear wheels locked together. Neither one of these men has a car, so this was a major obstacle to their getting around the city. Marshall is an artist, who can be seen on Portland's streets painting landscapes.Wheel_2

I was kneeling on the ground by the mailbox, taking photographs, when Kevin appeared, holding a bicycle wheel. Sensing a political "scoop," I questioned him and found out about the bicycle mishap, which I've just shared with you.

I asked where he was going and he said he was on his way to get a new wheel, at the bicycle shop at the bottom of Munjoy Hill. Being true to my nature as a pushy broad, I asked if I might accompany him on this journey and he said I could.

When we got to the destination, CycleMania, there was David Marshall, removing the rear wheel of his bike. He'd rolled the damaged bicycle over there, and he'd brought his little dog Mocha with him.

Mocha is an adorable hairy mini-dachshund, who travels with Dave in an orange milk crate, serving as a basket. Mocha_3



The guys entered the bike store, each with a wheel under an arm. It was going to be an easy "fix"; just get a new wheel, attach it, and you're ready to roll around Portland once again.



The happiness on their faces turned to dismay when the man behind the counter returned from the back room to announce that he only had one wheel in stock. "You'd better have a coin toss, fellas," was his advice to the civic leaders.

Councilor Marshall won with his call of "heads," and Councilor Donoghue left, still carrying his broken wheel, heading to Back Bay Bicycle, located about a mile away. This reporter declined his invitation to accompany him on that sojourn. "I'm too old to walk that far," I said.

I trudged back up the big hill to my home and furiously typed up the hot story for my editor, the noble Ed King of The West End NEWS.

I called Kevin Sunday morning, to find out whether he was able to get his new wheel at Back Bay Bicycle. He said he did. Not only did he leave the store with the desired wheel, he also met someone there who gave him a ride home. How delightful, a story with a happy ending! Pedal on, guys.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Press Herald

July 11, 2007

Skateboarding law on the bubble

By Justin Ellis

It looks like the city of Portland is taking baby steps towards decriminalizing skateboarding. Last night the City Council’s Public Safety Committee unanimously voted to recommend changing the law that makes riding skateboards on downtown streets illegal.

The recommendation still must be voted on by the full City Council before it can go into effect. The council holds its regular meeting on Monday.

If it does become law, skateboarders would be subject to the same laws as bicyclists who use the roads.

Councilor David Marshall, chairman of the public safety committee, said the city has two conflicting ordinances on skateboarding. Under one ordinance skateboarding and skating are listed as sports ( "such as ball playing") that are not allowed to be played in city streets.In another ordinance skateboards, like bikes (and apparently sleds?), are allowed on streets if they follow the laws of the road:

"Every person riding a bicycle or skateboard, or rollerskating upon a roadway shall be granted all the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a motor vehicle by the laws of this state declaring rules of the road applicable to motor vehicles or by the traffic ordinances of this city applicable to the driver of a vehicle..."

Marshall said it was unrealistic for the city to think they could get skateboarders off the street with a law, and difficult for police who are busy with other issues.

Marshall said the new law would treat skateboarding just like any other form of transportation."Instead of saying no skateboarding at all, it’s saying you can skateboard but do it in a manner that is safe," Marshall said.

The issue was brought forward by Shane McGarvey, one of the owners of Cream Apparel, a sneaker shop on Market Street. McGarvey and his wife, co-owner Michelle McGarvey, have been frequent advocates for skateboarding and sponsors of skateboarding events. Police stopped McGarvey earlier this summer while he was skateboarding to work and issued him a citation.

Marshall said skateboarding has been getting a lot of attention this summer largely because of the absence of the skate park on Marginal Way.

"If it passes the council it will represent a win for skateboarders," Marshall said.
Posted by at 11:46 AM

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