Peter Whitley, a skateboarding advocate who has been promoting development of one or more new parks for some time now, shared this articulate viewpoint with us recently:
- We feel that the under-705 skatepark concept presents enormous possibilities and would fit well with other under-bridge skateparks we've seen along the west coast. Here are just a few of the advantages:
Presents a legitimate place to recreate and socialize
Offers year-round skateboarding even in poor weather
Has great access to parking, public transportation, and stores
FOR THE COMMUNITY
Presents a centralized place to see skateboarders in action
Displaces other illicit activity in the immediate area
Provides constant, regular, positive activity
Creates a sense of safety (through activity) for pedestrians on their way to the Dome or
Attracts consumers to Dome area
There are, of course, some liabilities and we should not be shy about addressing them:
Poorly designed and/or implemented skateparks do not attract experienced (older)skaters which can lead to a "teen pit"
Immediate area around skatepark can present opportunities for bad behavior if it isn't secured or is concealed
Site amenities should include devices that encourage non-skating participation (benches, "safe" vantage points, etc.) for maximum community involvement
Tacoma City Councilmember Bill Evans has been meeting with Whitley and other members of TacomaSkateparks.org and has begun building support within the City and with Metro Parks. Perhaps it's time for the larger downtown community to join the dialog.