BEMIDJI -- Skateboards and scooters don't mix well at Bemidji's skate park, according to those who frequent the facility.
Those in attendance at the Bemidji Parks and Recreation Commission meeting Tuesday delivered that sentiment to officials, citing how when individuals break the park's rules, it creates a safety hazard.
"The most dangerous thing about skateboarding at the park, hands down, is colliding with scooters," Bemidji resident and park user Mike Reeves said. "The big thing is scooters don't make any sound, and most riders are shorter, so even though our park has good visibility, usually we don't see or hear these kids coming around a corner."
The skate park, which opened in 2010, is 18,200 square feet and is located in City Park, west of Norton Avenue Northwest and south of 23rd Street. During its open hours, which are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, the skate park prohibits wheeled devices such as scooters and bikes.
Reeves and others in attendance, though, said the rule is regularly broken by children who ride scooters around the park.
"At the time the skate park was done, there wasn't even a discussion on whether scooters should be allowed," Parks and Recreation Director Marcia Larson said. "At the time, I don't think scooters were as big, so the park focused on skateboarders."
Ideas were floated Tuesday about setting specific times for the youth, or scooters-only time at the park, but those were rejected. At the same time, though, the commission acknowledged rule enforcement can be difficult because of limited staff.
Another strategy, involving exploring an expansion of the skate park, did gain traction, though. Larson said there originally were plans for a second phase of the skate park during the design process and it could be looked at again.
"I think it would be something we'd have to go back to the drawing board on," Larson said. "What we'll do at the next meeting is I will bring out what we have from phase two, and look over site designs to get some general cost estimates. We can talk about what we might want there and some of the limitations we might have."
The commission also came to a consensus Tuesday to continue prohibiting scooters at the skate park, a move those in attendance were supporting.
"If I were to skateboard in downtown, on campus, or anywhere else, the police would likely get involved," Reeves said. "I think scooters and bikes are allowed anywhere, but we're limited to this one spot."