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Pensacola city council members want to ban skateboarding

Pensacola skateboarders are pushing back against City Council members who suggested that the city implement a skateboarding ban.

When Councilman Brian Spencer proposed a ban at Veterans Memorial Park at a discussion on April 9, Councilwoman Sherri Myers suggested a larger ban, according to the Pensacola News Journal.

"I don’t see why it should be limited to just certain areas of the city," Myers said during the meeting, according to the News Journal. "Why the whole entire city should not have a higher standard of quality of life."

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Spencer said there were more than $1,000 in damages to the park from skateboarders, the News Journal reported. Ultimately, the measure to add the ban to memorial park failed 4-1 since the other members wanted a larger ban.

Jon Shell, founder of Upward Intuition, a nonprofit aiming to build a skate park in downtown Pensacola, said in a Facebook post that he supports a ban at the memorial park, but a broader ban is too harsh.

"We found it upsetting and disheartening to learn of such a broad proposed ban on skateboarding without having even been informed or consulted to help formulate a solution," Shell wrote on Facebook.

Shell added that skateboarders struggle with negative stereotypes and a lack of places to legally skate in Pensacola.

"Run-ins with police officers and business owners are becoming more common. Good kids start to feel like bad kids because of how the public perceives them and they are treated. I was one of them. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy," Shell wrote on Facebook.

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Shell has been raising mone through his nonprofit organization Upward Intuition since 2015 for a skate park to be added onto the Hollice T. WIlliams Park under Interstate 110, the News Journal reported.

"The Blake Doyle Community Park project will have tremendous community impact by creating a vibrant and improved space, in an area that has been abandoned and blighted for nearly 40 years since the construction of Interstate 110 in Downtown Pensacola," the Crowdwise funding site reads. "We have a great need for our youth not involved in traditional team sports, a ‘Forgotten Population’ among young people in Pensacola and our surrounding areas."

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