Skateboarding Now Permitted on Downtown Streets

Recognizing the growing number of people that use skateboards as a mode of transportation, the City of Victoria has made changes to the Streets and Traffic Bylaw, now allowing skateboard use on downtown streets. Skateboarding on sidewalks remains off limits across the city.

New signage now marks city streets, and a series of “Skate City” educational videos and materials are now available to guide all road users, communicate the new regulations, and share how to safely share the roads.

The bylaw allows the use of a skateboard, roller skates, in-line skates, or a non-motorized scooter on City streets with an expectation that users will adhere to the same rights and responsibilities as a cyclist. It is expected that all road users travel safely and share the road responsibly, and like cyclists, warnings or tickets including fines can be issued. An additional change to the Parks Regulation Bylaw also allows the use of skateboards and similar devices on roads in parks and along designated paths. The same rules of the road apply in the parks. The fines under the Streets and Traffic Bylaw are $125, while fines under the Parks Regulation Bylaw range from $100 to $125.

Now that people can ride a skateboard on downtown streets, here are some rules the City encourages skateboarders to follow:

  • Ride as close to the right side of the street as you can or in a bike lane if one is available
  • People riding skateboards on streets must operate in the same way cyclists do
  • Sidewalks are for walking. No skateboarding on city sidewalks or in crosswalks is permitted at any time
  • Ride single file not side by side
  • People riding skateboards must keep at least one foot on the skateboard at all times and only have one person on the board 
  • Skateboarders must wear lights when skateboarding at night time or when it’s dark out
  • Helmets are also encouraged

As part of the City’s promotion of safe skateboarding, free LED lights can be picked up at City Hall. Also watch for promotional stickers and posters that were created in partnership with the Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA) in your local skateboard friendly stores and shops. “Skateboard friendly” businesses wanting a poster or window sticker can contact
the Downtown Victoria Business Association or the City.

Since the early 1990’s, the City’s bylaw did not allow individuals to ride skateboards on streets within the downtown core. In addition, part of the previous bylaw allowed police and bylaw officers to confiscate skateboards. As part of the new bylaw, this has been repealed and skateboarders can no longer have their skateboards taken away from them.

Broad community consultation was done to inform the new regulations. Input was received from downtown businesses, residents, police, and people who drive cars, ride transit, cycle, skateboard and walk. Many respondents were from people who did not skateboard but were supportive of allowing skateboarding on downtown streets.  At the same time, high interest was on the safety of the all road users, expressing interest in high visibility, clear signage, and education about safely sharing the road.