Boarders get a free ride

A skateboarder rides in the empty Adams Avenue Parking Lot during the President’s Day holiday Monday. The college has allowed boarding on campus for the past few semesters after looking to rewrite an existing ban on them.

Although Orange Coast College may not have the largest campus, getting from one side to another and finding time for something to eat in between a tight class schedule can be difficult.

OCC used to strictly enforce anti-skateboarding policies before The Loop was introduced to the school two semesters ago.  Now, the policies are being revised and looked over after a trial run that allowed students to ride skateboards on campus with no penalty.

“In the month of December, we took a skateboard request to the (Coast Community College District) board of trustees. They granted us more time to address the policies,” Rich Pagel, vice president of Administrative Services said.

The district staff is in the process of looking over the old policies to revise and update them. OCC is the only campus in the three-college district that currently allows skateboarders to ride without being penalized.

The school is also trying to make the campus more skateboard friendly by adding permanent signs that offer instructions on The Loop. They will start to go up in the near future.

Even though the school is allowing skateboard users to ride from class to class, there are still rules that riders must follow for the safety of others and themselves.

“There will be new permanent signs on light poles and there are going to be sidewalk decals that indicate a dismount zone,” Pagel said.

Students are still required to ride in designated areas, obey dismount zones and to yield to pedestrians. Those who plan on riding can look to the temporary signs to see where The Loop is across campus.

When the trial run began in the fall semester, there were a couple of complaints about students riding their skateboards down narrow hallways, according to Pagel. The hallways are a dismount zone.

A recent report of an incident regarding skateboards was an injury of a student. The student’s board got caught on a piece of wood which caused him to fall off of his board and injure himself.

According to Chief of Campus Safety Jim Rudy, he was riding in a dismount zone near Pirates’ Cove.

The school is working on more projects to make OCC a more bike, scooter and skateboard friendly campus.

According to Pagel, Costa Mesa is working on bringing ridesharing of bikes and scooters to the city and he wants OCC to be a drop off zone once a final decision on a vendor is made.

“Before, we were constantly asking the students to get off of their skateboards and you would walk across campus and ask 10 students to dismount their skateboards but it’s nice now that students can ride their skateboards on the route and not have to be asked to dismount,” Pagel said. “I think I can see the behavior changing on campus.”

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