Police see rise in complaints against skateboarders, bicyclists in downtown area


FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — Passing through Downtown Frederick, it’s not uncommon to spot bicyclists or skateboarders riding through the city streets. 

14-year-old Thomas and a friend are on the sidewalk of North Market Street, filming one another’s skateboard skills. 

“We just come down here to have a good time, clear our minds instead of being inside all day on screens and stuff,” Thomas explains. “But the minute we’re out here skateboarding, it’s a problem.”

The Frederick Police Department reports a rise in the number of complaints about non-motorized wheeled vehicles, including skateboards, scooters, and bikes, in the downtown area.

“We had a few issues with our outdoor dining with some kids on skateboards doing tricks and so forth, and had to ask them to move away from the diners,” explained Lt. John Corbett, commander of the Special Operations Division within the police department.

And more recently, Corbett says, complaints have been reported in regards to city parking garages.

“BMX-style bikes,” Cobett said, “They’re bouncing them off the walls and leaving the rubber skid marks on the walls, and it’s just unsightly.”

According to a city ordinance, these non-motorized wheeled vehicles are not allowed on city property, like parking decks and sidewalks within the historic district, which stretches from South Market Street and towards North Market Street and East Seventh street. The ordinance applies to anyone over the age of 10.

But these vehicles are allowed on the streets. 

“We don’t want bicycles up on the sidewalk, we don’t want skateboard up on the sidewalks and we don’t want them in the parking decks,” Corbett explained.

Within Carroll Creek Linear Park, bicycles are allowed, except during an event. Moving forward, the department will step up enforcement, which can carry a $100 fine and confiscation of the vehicle.

“We would always prefer education over citation,” Corbett insists.

For Thomas, he’s open to a conversation with police or individuals who approach with a complaint. 

“We’re skating on this one sidewalk and this lady came out and she was super nice,” he recalls. “She was like ‘Hey, can you not do this here?’ I was very open-minded to that especially when they come at it with a gentle approach.”

For more information on the city ordinance, please click here.

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