The Farmingdale Village Board agreed unanimously Monday night to ban skateboarding on two residential streets.
And as they did, one skateboarder shouted: "Disgusting."
Effective immediately, the new local law forbids skateboarders, long-boarders and in-line skaters from utilizing Yoakum Street and Fairview Road. Violators are subject to a minimum of a $100 dollar fine for each offense.
While only a few residents showed up to share their concerns during the public hearing concerning the law, tensions were high.
"Is this not discrimination that you're choosing just skateboarding and not bicycle riding or joggers? Just picking out one entity when there are other sports that occur on these streets. In my opinion, my comment is 'that that is discrimination,' " said one speaker.
A Leonard Street resident who said long-boarders now using his block to skate was not his concern, but rather that the children will start using more dangerous roads.
"...Don't we think that if we ban those two roads it is going to push (children and teens) onto Bethpage Road or Quaker Meeting House Road or wherever there is a hill?" he said. "Those roads are a lot more heavily used than the two you are planning on closing and they're longer hills. I'm just foreshadowing something. It's going to snowball."
Mayor Ralph Ekstrand said that based on skateboarders' testimonies the roads in question are not a concern.
"The two streets you mention are not, for lack of a better word, daring enough for them. If we find that it is, then we would move in the direction to correct that," he said.
One of the few skateboarders in attendance said he will continue to skate in Farmingdale.
"There are several hills in that area that are very fun to ride down and I can assure you that if you make these two roads prohibited I'm just going to ride down the ones that are allowed. I don't see where you guys are even coming from. This is complete discrimination against skateboarders and nothing else," he said.
While some opposed the ban, others were in favor of it for safety reasons.
"You don't want a motorist to all of a sudden go down that hill and slam into a skateboarder. To go on that road and possibly have a motorist be responsible for a child's death or be paralyzed, that's an entirely different story," she said.
"In my opinion, this is the best possible legal liability reduction method," Ekstrand said stating that the ban was originated from complaints regarding dangerous activity.
"We've had several discussions about the skateboard law. We've hashed this out for several hours over two sessions….We the board feel that this is not discriminatory," he said.