El Pais, one of the most read and most circulated newspapers in Spain, is reporting that Madrid City Council is seeking to ban skateboarding on the streets of the city.
This is according to a draft Sustainability Mobility Ordinance recently published, intending to create "a better road coexistence and more protection for pedestrians and people with reduced mobility, as well as measures for the promotion of the bicycle".
This means that from early April you would no longer be allowed to ride a skateboard on the pavement, in the roads, or in any pedestrian areas - limiting skateboarding only to parks. Which, for the vast majority of skateboarders, will be hugely undesirable. Interestingly the council have stated that people on rollerskates and unpowered scooters can still use the pavements, but only at a pedestrian pace.
According to El Patin some groups have already formed to voice their unhappiness at this surprising proposal made by the Madrid City Council. From Congress With Love have created a petition where those concerned by the proposal can add their name in opposition to it, we will link this at the end of the article. There is also a page on the Madrid City Council website which allows those with opinions on the draft proposal to voice these, potentially allowing it to be moulded into a more palatable outcome for skateboarders.
Whilst this doesn't seem to be a specific attack on the act of skateboarding, it is nonetheless a worrying development for the scene in the Spanish capital. Although there's probably no way of quantifying the amount of money skateboarding brings to the Spanish capital by means of tourism, it would be interesting to consider what impact this would have on people wanting to travel to the city to skate. There's also no details in the proposal in regards to how such a policy would be enforced, something we will do our best to keep an eye on.
In the meantime please do take the few seconds required to sign the below petition (click the image to be taken through) and help the Madrid locals keep skateboarding in the streets!
Featured image: Julian Lorenzo, backside heelflip. Ph. Alegria.