In other provinces, laws are regulated by municipalities. The bike paths around the city are also a major battleground for skateboarding — renting bikes, inflated mobility scooters, and more are allowed to roam freely on the trails, while skateboards are currently banned. But veteran skateboarder, counselor and radical man Sterling Downey is determined to change that; He submitted a motion to city council last month to give skaters freedom on bike paths. It was adopted unanimously. Aref Salem, an executive committee member in charge of transportation, said the city is working to get special recognition as a metropolis that would give it the power to dictate things like speed limits and skateboarding rules on its territory. In April, Quebec Transport Minister Robert Poëti said he was considering changes but would not commit to giving more details, Global News reported. Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre personally supported the idea and the pilot project was launched in the summer of 2014, with daylight skateboarding being completely legal. Skating in peace this summer had a euphoric glow, knowing that it was impossible to do so and that skaters were welcome – like what I imagine sipping the first beer after a long solitary ban. An official city sign with a skateboard in a green circle stood above Peace Park, something I never thought I would see in my life. The skateboard enthusiast was not penalized on either occasion, but the officer told him he had to walk and carry his board instead. Outside of Peace Park, however, skateboarding still exists in the no-man`s land of near-legality. Prior to Peace`s legalization, Boots had received more than $7,000 in tickets for excessive noise and “street furniture abuse,” which rose to $600 per ticket in the late 2000s.
“You can skateboard on the sidewalk, but most people don`t know that, not even the police. I got tickets for skateboarding when I was on the sidewalk, but I looked at the laws and went to court and fought and hit the ticket,” Boots said. There is also a rule for careless skateboarding, for skateboarding “in a way that interferes with pedestrian traffic.” So you can still get a ticket to stay on the sidewalk, but it`s allowed – it`s like a careless ride ticket. “So I recently got into skateboarding because I was looking for a way to get to work without having to worry about my bike being stolen. Boots had some advice for skaters trying to legalize skating in their own communities, adding with a laugh that it took him ten years to legalize skateboarding in the park of a square block. Snowboarder and filmmaker David “Boots” Bouthillier made a documentary about Peace Park in the mid-2000s and developed the plan to legalize ice skating and organized the first legal Go Skateboarding Day that year. I sat down with Boots to talk about the state of skateboarding legalization in Montreal in 2015 and the transformation he experienced at Peace Park. “I think skateboarding is finally getting rid of the stigma that surrounds it. It`s becoming more and more accepted by the public and people are realizing that it`s something positive and can be a creative solution to some of the city`s urban problems,” Boots said. Cyclists are allowed on the street, sidewalks and bike paths, why aren`t they skateboarders? Downey asked in a recent interview at Peace Park. He explained that he sold the idea that skateboarding was an “active mode of transportation,” not just a recreational activity. City councillor and mother of young snowboarder Justine McIntyre also tabled a motion to allow skateboarding on Montreal streets, which received city council approval in October 2014, although the proposal would require changes to the provincial Highway Safety Code.
“The mayor agreed that skateboarding on bike lanes should be legalized, but this has not yet been adopted. There is a process. So the city says, `OK, yes, we can legalize skateboarding,` now they have to change all the laws and make everything possible,” Boots said. “Since the city supports skateboarding on bike lanes, they say the police won`t give you a ticket, but again, they could always do that.” Toronto allows in-line skating and skateboarding on sidewalks and on some city streets. Montreal`s David Bouthillier told CBC`s Daybreak that he was fined several times for skateboarding on the city`s sidewalks. After the successful premiere of his skateboard/social commentary documentary Peace Park in August 2013, Boots turned to SAT to try to legalize skateboarding at the park again, after a previous unsuccessful attempt in 2004. Although skateboarding is now technically allowed, it is still not officially legal at Peace Park, which means everyone has to remember that Peace Park is not a skatepark. Follow a few basic rules (throw away trash, no graffiti, be pedestrian friendly) and next year, skateboarding could be officially legal at Peace Park. Montreal City Council on Monday unanimously adopted a motion by Verdun City Council and snowboarder Sterling Downey calling for skateboarding to be recognized as a form of active transportation similar to walking or cycling and amending a bylaw to allow their use on the city`s bike paths in all boroughs. Also on: www1.ville.montreal.qc.ca/banque311/content/liste-%E2%80%93-parcs-de-patin-%C3%A0-roues-align%C3%A9es-et-de-planche-%C3%A0-roulettes He said the city should allow skateboarding on streets and sidewalks.
“It`s just a different mode of transportation and that needs to be reflected in the laws we have,” she said. Currently, anyone caught skateboarding on a street can face a fine of $30 to $60 under the province`s Road Safety Act. Last summer`s incidents involving police officers won`t deter Metwalli from skateboarding this year, but he`ll be more cautious. Montreal police can fine snowboarders, though André Durocher, an inspector with the troops` highway safety division, said officers are aware the practice is widespread and try to err on the side of common sense. In 2014, police handed out 66 tickets for rollerblading and skateboarding on city streets. The councillor is pushing for a bylaw change in her district that would at least allow in-line skating and skateboarding on dedicated bike lanes. Downey said it`s finally time for Montrealers to recognize skateboarding as a legitimate form of public transportation. Skateboarding itself is not a crime anywhere to my knowledge (as these stickers from the mid-2000s suggest), but police can lay charges of destruction of public property, trespassing, excessive noise, or public nuisance for skating in the wrong place. But some days you can get your tip and post it on Insta and have a pizza with your friends without worry. It`s a Pandora`s box of skateboarding tolerance. “If we could legalize skateboarding [on the street], that would be great.
It`s a great way to get around, it`s free and it`s safe. Thanks to the efforts of snowboarders like Boots, Montreal is now a pioneer for skater rights, a crazy and revolutionary development for the East Coast city. While there`s still a lot to do, skateboarding`s prospects have never been more attractive than in the city of potholes and poutine. In most cities, the act of skateboarding in public spaces exists in a state of legality, a tasteless purgatory in which the same action can have a range of consequences, from fines to high-fives. There is a growing shift across North America to lift bans on in-line skating and skateboarding on city streets. “The film created a lot of awareness about some of the park`s problems and suggested skateboarding as a solution to some of those problems,” Boots said. Skateboarding on bike paths is now legal in Montreal. The City Council voted Monday night in favor of a motion allowing skateboarders on bike paths. Previously, skateboarding outside of designated skateparks was considered illegal. The movement to legalize skateboarding has literally taken to the streets, and skateboarders are winning crucial community battles block by block. One of the biggest victories was the complete legalization of skateboarding at Peace Park on St.
Laurent Boulevard, a historically shabby strip that separates the city`s east and west ends. Once a dirty haven for the homeless, crack sales, and murders (which never stopped skaters from hitting its utopian granite rocks), the park is now a positive and thriving environment on the Main. “The stars really started to align when Saputo saved the Big O. It was a big step forward for skateboarding,” Boots said. “That`s when things started to change in the city, the first sign of a new era for Montreal and skateboarding. When we tried to legalize skateboarding, we thought, “Well, even Saputo recognizes the importance of skateboarding and the preservation of historic skateboarding sites.” So, congratulations to Saputo and Mark and Barry.