Friday, June 16, 2006

A Stumble in the Park

In an earlier post ("Rolling Forward on Skateboarding"), we discussed how most participants in the recent Project for Public Spaces workshop seemed to agree that some sort of "official" skateboarding facility downtown is desirable to help direct current activity.

This week, we are already seeing the results of our current lack of attention to this matter. A good deal of damage attributed to skateboarders occured during the past few days, as the pictures here show.

Note how the new railings leading up to the Marriott Hotel (above) have been stripped of paint and how these steps (below) in Pacific Plaza have been chipped by the impact of metal wheels . This is just some of the damage reported to us by BIA Maintenance, City of Tacoma gardening crews and the Tacoma Police Department.

We're told now that "No Skateboarding" signs have been ordered and will be posted in the park, but that's obviously a limited fix at best. The BIA Security Advisory Committee has invited skateboarding advocates to meet with them next month to discuss ways to address this continuing problem.

In the interim, we invite your comments. Tell us about damage you've seen or suggest solutions that can be put into place with some realistic hope of success. Leaving this issue alone will only lead to deterioration of our common urban spaces and degradation of our downtown.


  1. I wonder if the long rail leading along the tracks and away from Pacific Plaza has been used by boarders? I was seriously surprised no anti-skateboarding bolts were put on the plaza steps like those on the steps in front of TAM. Seems like it might be necessary to curb grinding 'til a real skatepark solution can be realized.

  2. Kevin is right, the "anti-skate boarding bolts" should have been installed when the site was contructed.

    See the museum of glass bridge where lots of work has been done. Here, the concrete had to be extensively repaired.

    There are ways that rails can be designed as well as retrofitted.

    The design of this space has made it vulnerable to alot of damage as there are many long cement steps.