If you’re a skateboarder and you regularly enjoy hitting up Canberra’s landmarks for a skate, prepare to be disappointed.
The National Capital Authority (NCA) is making some of our national institutions skateboard proof.
Yep. Skateboard proof. I didn’t even know people skateboarded at our national institutions, let alone consider that to be a popular spot. According to media reports from earlier this week several of our institutions already have skateboard deterrents on them.
My view on the NCA isn’t a secret – I think it’s a party pooper that always seems to spoil other people’s fun when it isn’t actually causing any harm – i.e cutting all the love locks off Aspen Island Bridge.
However, I did think carefully about the idea of people skateboarding on our national institutions because they’re kind of a big deal (the buildings, not the skateboarders – though some of them may try and tell you differently). I don’t like the idea of people skateboarding at the War Memorial as it seems quite disrespectful to our troops, past and present. However, I don’t really have a problem with skateboarding around say, Old Parliament House, as long as they’re not getting in anybody’s way, being unsafe, or damaging the monuments.
There’s no indication that the skateboarders are doing any of these things with the NCA telling Fairfax Media that memorials and institutions are for looking at, not skating on. I could completely understand this if it was followed up with the damage being caused, or the case of a skateboarder injuring a bystander.
The NCA went on to say that skateboard deterrents are installed across the capital on handrails, planter beds, fountains, and retainer walls. I have no idea what a skateboard deterrent looks like – I imagine something spiky to prevent grinding however I haven’t come across anything like it.
What do you think? Should skateboarding deterrents be put in place across town – national institutions or not, even if it’s not causing any damage?