Roller Skaters Demand Equal Rights

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 10: Waves crash against rocks at Fort Point near the Golden Gate Bridge October 10, 2008 in San Francisco, California. The Golden Gate Bridge District board of directors voted today to continue with a plan to build a suicide prevention net on the world famous bridge with a price tag of $40 to $50 million dollars. An estimated 1,300 people are believed to have jumped to their death from the bridge since it was opened in 1937. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    Skaters made the case Friday for equal access to the Golden Gate  Bridge.
         
    Members of the California Outdoor Rollersports Association, some  with skates in hand, asked the Golden Gate Bridge District board of directors  this morning to change an old rule and allow inline and roller skaters along  the iconic span between San Francisco and Marin County.

    Members of the association say they were spurred to action by an  April 10 road-skating event from San Francisco's Ferry Building to Sausalito,  when skaters were stopped by police as they reached the bridge and had to  carry their skates to the other side.

    The group calls the no-skating rule "ridiculous" and is now  campaigning to change it.

    The bridge allows pedestrians and bicyclists, but a rule going  back decades forbids roller blades, roller skates, skateboards and horses,  district spokeswoman Mary Currie said.

    "It was incorporated due to safety considerations at the time,"  Currie said.

    "We've shown that we're safe, that we're considerate of the people  that we're skating around," the group's Executive Director David Miles told  bridge officials.

    "We're trying to use the skates as alternative transportation,"  Miles said.

    Other members of the group argued skating was a fun way to  introduce young people to low-impact, healthy exercise, as well as a commute  alternative.

    Miles said his group would be willing to confirm with restrictions  on speed, skating single-file, or only on one side of the bridge, in exchange  for access.

    Board members listened attentively to the speakers, at times  smiling at their enthusiasm, but none offered comment.

    Currie said it is now up to the bridge board leadership to  recommend further study of the proposal, but no decision has been made.