JEROME — Two skateboarders zoom down a switchback on Mingus Mountain over the Labor Day Weekend. It happens so fast, motorists wonder what they just witnessed.
They dip their bodies and bend their knees as they maneuver the twisting switchbacks leading into Jerome.
The daring duo is on SR89A near the Jerome overlook and an SUV is following them.
Several hours later that same day, two skateboarders descend from the top of Mingus Mountain toward Prescott wearing helmets with no other protective equipment other than gloves.
They disappear down the twisting road emitting a scraping sound as they slow themselves down on the hairpin turns.
To document their accomplishment of conquering the steep curves of Mingus Mountain or Oak Creek Canyon, numerous skateboarders have posted their videos on YouTube.
Right to Skateboard
“It is legal” to skateboard or longboard on SR89A on the switchbacks on Mingus Mountain, according to Lt. Russell San Felice of the Jerome Police Department.
But once the skateboarders reach the Town of Jerome, “it’s not legal,” because the town has passed an ordinance against it in its business district, the officer said.
However, the skateboarders and the vehicle behind them cannot impede traffic or the highway, explained San Felice. They have to abide by bicycle rules, travel on the right side of the road and provide room for vehicles to pass them.
“It is lawful, but it is very dangerous and we don’t recommend it,” explained the lieutenant. There are blind curves on those switchbacks and police have seen a lot of aggressive driving behavior by motorists on the Mingus switchbacks that makes it even more dangerous…
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