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Ward 8 News: Securing Sports Ramps in Calgary

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skate ramp
 
 

For the past 30 years, Calgary has been the only major municipality in all of North America that banned sports ramps on private property. In the mid 1980’s it seemed like my predecessors on City Council viewed skateboarding as a “fad” and a nuisance to the community. I think it’s pretty clear that times have changed which is why last year I brought forth a Notice of Motion to engage with Calgarians and to look at changing the rules. A large part of my job as a City Councillor is to make laws to keep our city safe, and I take this very seriously. That being said, another part of our job is to recognize when certain bylaws are no longer serving our city and neighbourhoods. Approximately 34,000 Calgarians of all ages skateboard in our city. This doesn’t include Calgarians who love other wheeled sports like BMX, scooters and in-line skates.

After a significant amount of engagement with residents all across the city, we found that most Calgarians who participated were supportive of sports ramps on private property. Through the collaboration of the Calgary Association of Skateboard Enthusiasts and City Administration we found proposed dimensions and materials for the sports ramps. We also thoroughly tested the sound volumes on a number of different ramp surfaces to ensure that the decibel level didn’t exceed our existing Noise Bylaw. If you’d like to read the report presented to the Committee on Community and Protective Services, you can do so here.

Ultimately, I truly believe that fostering a space for kids to play and discover a new sport is quintessential to making our neighbourhoods better and until very recently, skateboarding was the only prejudiced sport in the view of our Land Use Bylaws. There’s no doubt that since its inception, skateboarding has had a rebellious reputation, but I’ve been witness to the creativity, freedom and inspiration that can come for the sport. I personally know passionate Calgarians who skateboarded all throughout their youth and have since become prolific musicians, managers of incredible restaurants and respected film directors.  When I asked them what inspired them to continue to push themselves in their careers more often than not their answers centered around lessons they’d learned through skateboarding.

 

 
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.

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