The Wall Street Journal staff skateboard writer Conor Dougherty makes the case that Portland, Oregon may be the most skateboard-friendly town in America in his story Skateboarding Capital of the World.
In Portland, skateboarding has been woven into parks and streets in the same manner as cycling or soccer. Skateboarding is illegal in downtowns across the country. Portland’s downtown is marked with “skate routes” featuring signs with a skateboarding stick figure. In most cities, skaters consider it a big victory when a skatepark is built. Portland is building a network of 19 skateparks scattered throughout the city. Skaters even have one of their own in City Hall: Tom Miller, chief of staff to Portland Mayor Sam Adams, rode into politics through skateboard advocacy and has continued pushing for skateparks from the inside.
It’s a nice reminder that with the right kind of involvement from skateboarders some cities can do the right thing. Now, if only the same thing could happen everywhere else in the world.
[Link: The Wall Street Journal]