A century or more ago few activities offered more thrills on a winter night than sledding, or “coasting” as it was known at the time.
North Third Street in Klamath Falls, Ore., was the most popular spot. However, increased automobile traffic represented a greater danger to children on sleds than the horse-drawn wagons before them. In January 1915, police tried to clamp down on the sledding, especially after nightfall, by arresting three young men. But a police magistrate ruled there was no specific ordinance prohibiting the sledding.
A few days later, when even more young people were on the streets with their toboggans and bobsleds, police took 18 youngsters into custody. Again, the police lacked authority to hold them.
Hundreds of people petitioned the City Council to designate the hours of 7 to 11 each evening as coasting hours on Third Street. Despite objections from homeowners in the area, the Council allowed coasting to continue.
Other streets have been used in Klamath Falls over the years, but street sledding is quite rare nowadays. It’s not clear whether the coasting-hours policy was ever officially rescinded.
Source: "Sledding To Be Put Up To Council Tonight." The Evening Herald 25 Jan. 1915 [Klamath Falls, Ore.] : 1. Print; “Right To Coast Given Public.” Ibid. 26, Jan. 1915: 2. Print.