Martinsville Skateboarding Ordinance Works For Church

Martinsville, VA - Two months after Martinsville's restrictions on skateboarding went into effect, the city is seeing a big difference. And that has many people celebrating including members of First Baptist Church.

Reverend John Fulcher can point out each and every mark left behind by skateboarders over the years. While the paint, wax, scratches, and dents may not be fading, Fulcher hopes the memories of skateboarders damaging First Baptist Church soon will.
"The building does, we shouldn't get too attached to it, but it means something to us. And you don't like to see it damaged," said Fulcher.
But Fulcher says for about two months, they haven't spotted a single skateboarder or a new mark. They don't know if they can attribute it to the ordinance, the news coverage, or the skateboarders' newfound understanding.
"I'd like to think they've stopped in part because they've realized they were doing some significant damage," said Fulcher.
The ordinance has proven to be helpful outside of church property too.
"Our office has gotten no complaints at all since that went into effect," said Leon Towarnicki, City Manager.
City manager, Leon Towarnicki, suspects many of the skateboarders moved on from uptown to just a few block away.
"At least at this point what I've seen is an increase usage in the skate park," said Towarnicki.
"I hope they've found a safe place to skate, to practice their sport, their craft, because there is an art to it," said Fulcher.
Fulcher says now they have about ten thousand dollars of damage to worry about.
"Eventually I hope we can repair the damage, but it is fairly extensive," said Fulcher.
For now, they plan to wait before fixing to make sure the problem doesn't return.
Towarnicki points out that the skateboarders could come back when school gets out for the summer. But if they do, they could be facing a $50 fine.