The New York City Inline Skating Guide

Safety



Throughout this guide, "street skating" is used in the literal sense; i.e., getting about town on one's skates.

Despite their variable condition, the streets of Manhattan almost seem designed for skating. There certainly seem to be a lot of people in this town who use their Rollerblades for basic transportation. You may raise a sweat and suffer bus exhaust, but it saves you the $2.50 for a subway or bus token.

Just remember that while Manhattan drivers are surprisingly apt to honor amber street lights — probably in fear of killing jaywalking pedestrians — they're downright terrible at signalling lane changes or even turns. In other boroughs, drivers will be less likely to slow for amber lights, or even red lights.

And while I have enormous respect for the ability of cab drivers to avoid hitting cyclists, skaters and other cars, the movement of taxis is (perhaps as a consequence) notoriously unpredictable. And then there are the take-out food delivery guys, who all too often ride their lightless and apparently brakeless bicycles the wrong way down one-way streets.

The moral of the story is... well actually, there are several of them:

Please take note that at least ten skaters are known to have died skating in the city since this skate guide first was posted on the web. Five were victims of falls in Central Park, all of whom died of head injuries. Those outside the park while the others were either struck by or run over by vehicles. Evidence suggests that several of these skaters would have survived if they had been wearing helmets, and at least three were killed because they were doing something foolish in the wrong place. Two of the helmetless skaters who slipped and fell in Central Park did so within short distances of emergency service personnel, but the nature of the head injuries was such that the quick medical response did not matter.