The city's sidewalk surfers have only a few more days in which to take to the streets with impunity in downtown shopping areas. Beginning Monday, police will begin enforcing a 20-year-old city ordinance banning the use of "wheel toys" such as skateboards, bicycles and roller skates in commercial areas.
The ordinance has not been enforced aggressively for several years. The Police Department decided to dust off the statute after shopkeepers complained that the downtown area was becoming a mecca for daredevils on skateboards.
Lt. Bob Brown said young skateboarders are attracted to the area by the presence of surf shops and architecture that is conducive to skateboarding.
"You know, the modern architecture with banked planters and what have you," Brown said. "The kids like to go careening off those."
Several pedestrians have been injured by skateboarders during the past year, necessitating enforcement of the ordinance, Brown said. After conducting an educational program in Covina schools, police will issue misdemeanor citations to offending skateboarders, who will have to appear in traffic court or pay a small fine.