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Provo Canyon Longboarders Look for Compromise



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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- The end of the road is near for longboarders who ride the public trails in Provo Canyon.

After receiving several complaints, the county issued a board ban last month. The banishment becomes permanent on Aug. 10, making it a misdemeanor for violators. Longboarders, who enjoy riding the trails without having to face the dangers of street traffic, are still hopeful they can find another solution.

"We'll do whatever we can to make sure we can stay on the trails," said Kurray Gardner, 26, who has been longboarding for more than five years. "There's not really anywhere else we can board where we don't have to deal with city lights, cars and more people."

More than 100 people rallied Saturday at Provo Canyon in protest of the ban. Most sat on their boards and tried to quietly get their point across.

Brian Shuey, who organized the rally, said the longboarders plan to show county officials a list of alternatives to the ban that will allow longboarders to stay on the trails and keep the area safe for pedestrians.

"All we're really looking for is a compromise," Shuey said. "We are not unreasonable, and we understand there have been some problems in the past."

Bicycling and inline skating are still allowed on the trails.

Boarders signed a petition to the Utah County Commission expressing their opposition to the ordinance. Shuey also collected safety suggestions from other boarders, including one to make a separate lane for longboarders and building county-run longboarding parks similar to skateboarding parks.

The most important thing, Shuey said, is for boarders to obey the ordinance once it takes affect.

"If we violate the ban, there's a good chance they aren't going to listen to us," Shuey said. "If we play it right, we can get our trail back. We need to prove to them we can follow rules."

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Information from: Deseret Morning News

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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