Apr 30, 2012 10:33 PM by Nikki Ibarra

Skateboarding not allowed in bike lanes in San Luis Obispo

With gas prices still high in some parts of the Central Coast, many people have had to use other forms of transportation.

For one local college student, he's been skateboarding to work for the past couple of years; and, just last month, he got a $203 fine for skating in the bike lane.

According to San Luis Obispo police, there is no bike riding or skateboarding downtown. The downtown area is considered between Santa Rosa Street to Carmel Street, and from Mill Street to Pacific Street.

Skateboarding is allowed on sidewalks outside of the downtown area.

For the past two years, William Fink went to work on his skateboard. Now, instead of using that board, he walks a quarter of a mile from his house to downtown. "Never once had I had an issue with a cop stopping me, talking to me, or warning me, or anything like that," said Fink, a student at Cuesta College.

His weekly paychecks are going straight to the city, to pay off the fine he got for being a "pedestrian on a bike lane."

"It doesn't harm anything. I'm out of everyone's way, and I don't understand how it could be a problem," added Fink.

William was skating right outside the city limits, but it was where he was skating that got him fined.

"Bike riding is considered a vehicle under the vehicle code, and a skateboard is not. You're considered more like a pedestrian when you're on a skateboard," said Lt. Keith Storton of the San Luis Obispo Police Department.

The police department said skateboarding is okay, if you're on the sidewalk. But anywhere downtown, no skateboarding is allowed anywhere, and that goes for bikes, too.

"Ever since I've lived here, I've noticed people skateboarding all over, all the time. I didn't think anything of it. It really blew my mind when I realized this is illegal to be riding my skateboard around," said Fink.


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