Skateparks and Noise. Here Is The Data.

I gotta tell ya, as someone who graduated a recording engineering program many years ago, sound is very complicated!  I have lived next to, used, and helped build skateparks since I was a little prepube, and I have always been a huge supporter of the skatepark at Crowell or Living Memorial Park. I never thought skateparks were as loud as oppositional neighbors across the country always made it seem, however I was pretty surprised to see how similar or even quieter they are to noise levels produced by Baseball fields, basketball, playgrounds, and traffic.  Unless someone can refute this data I think it’s time that noise levels stop being used as an argument against a skatepark in mixed recreational parks near neighbors.  Some of these web addresses aren’t producing a hyperlink, so just copy and paste them to your browser!  

Here is a gerneral sound chart for every day noises.  Spoiler alert: your chainsaws and vaccums are louder than a skatepark!

“Most people’s experience with skateboarding noise is associated with the act of skateboarding across city sidewalks. The majority of this noise does not actually come from the wheels rolling across the surface of the concrete, but rather from the cracks in sidewalks and other rough surfaces and inconsistencies.”  Sound levels from this example are around 70db from 50 ft away.

“Because vehicles and other city noises were louder than noises coming from the skate park, the average noise measurement doesn’t represent the noise of skating. However, looking between noise peaks caused by vehicles and sirens, the skate park (at a distance of 70 feet) appears to generate sound levels ranging between 50 and 68 dBA.” This has a chart of SIX DIFFERENT SKATEPARKS at various levels away.

“Concrete had the lowest noise levels and steel the highest but at 100 feet from the park there was little noise above the surrounding ambient noise no matter what surface.”  You have to scroll down to view this data, which is extensive and varied.  Db levels from 30 ft range from 65 to 70 with 50 participants in a concrete park.

This is a video of someone with a db measuring tool.  This probably not a valid study, however it does give a good idea of how these studies are done.  The video compares traffic (75 Dbs) a skatepark (71.9 Dbs) and a baseball game (68 Db)

Finally, the BASIC study, which I’m sure everyone has already read through, right?!

Somone light a candle and let’s have a moment of silence for the passing of one of our most beloved arguments.

Comments | 110

  • ....people who don't like

    ….people who don’t like listening to 70db or more 12/7 or chainsaws could become accustomed to wearing stylish ear protection on a regular basis too if they live nearby, they might come to find it fashionable and actually like it if they don’t like communicating much or possibly take up sign language.

    • Nope!

      If you look at the data you’ll see that chainsaws (116 Db) are almost 50 db’s louder than a skatepark (70 Db))! That’s a pretty significant difference. That’s not a very fair comparison. If you don’t need earplugs for the traffic (78 Db), basketball games ( no data:( ) or yelling children in the park (78 Db) you aren’t gonna need them for a skatepark! You are already being subjected to 70 Db or more every day!

      • I appreciate your research

        I appreciate your research Scott and again I do not think noise is the most serious concern facing the skate park project in Brattleboro at most of the sites where safety, site logistics, environmental concerns, crowding/limitations ie appeal, conflicting community support,and possible skate park supervision completely supersede this point in criteria, in my opinion and I have to say it’s ranking was of no greater significance for any other of the SSSC criteria developed which I wish you and Spinoza had attended one meeting of because it seems you have a lot to say.

        I will be more serious here, I believe the duration and repetition of consistent noise, accompanying vocals, skate park hours in respect to surrounding neighborhoods, echo effect off residences in close proximity have not been considered as much, just as if you were to leave a chainsaw idling in the park all day (much lower noise level) it would be annoying after a while ( and you would feel compelled to go turn it off (even if it wasn’t your sole property or go cut some trees down there (which I would want to stop you from doing) where you making the noise is not so much of an issue for you because it’s not bothering you), especially as other noise levels die down and it becomes more intrusive. I think it would be advantageous if you want more support for BASIC to exacttly outline some basic skate park rules no so much defined currently people can rely on to be in place and consider ways for the skate park to generate money on it’s own, ie supervision and passes.

        • So here's the thing. This

          So here’s the thing. This posting was strictly about noise related concerns about the skatepark, so I feel this is an inappropriate place to discuss other skatepark related topics. Also, I did attend one of the SSSC meeting, the one that went to the elm street lot. I spoke up and was dismissed outright both at the site and at the meeting in HG.

          Now look. I have experience living next to a skatepark for a significant time, and I have been providing data that clearly indicates the noise levels from a skatepark would not exceed, and would even be lower in some cases than the current level of noise being produced (both at crowell and LMP). Unless you have some type of data or experience I don’t think it’s fair to a reasonable debate to keep injecting speculation into the mix. I’ve talked to neighbors there about basketball games, children crying, and traffic, and so far have not been able to find anything backing up your concerns that a skatepark would have a siginficant impact on the overall noise at crowell or LMP because there are already so many similar noises at similar volumes.

          Even if the chainsaw metaphor is appropriate (you provided no data comparing skateboarding noise levels to an idling chainsaw so we don’t know if that’s a comparative volume) skateboarding doesn’t work like a constantly idling chainsaw. Runs only last around 30 seconds and the park will be empty at times. Not to mention that the park will be silenced every time a car passes by (That’s how many cars it took to silence the skatepark I lived across the street from: 1. The data also supports the idea of traffic being louder than a skatepark). ALSO, the most basic act of skateboarding (wheels on the concrete) is so quiet that you won’t be able to hear that from your home, even without any traffic.

      • about data

        Data is important in helping people understand an issue or problem. But more powerful in actually winning, or creating the change you want to see, are the powerful elements of perception and the ability to persuade, including that the data matters, and why it does. That is; what people believe matters, in a very big way.

        People hold the perception skateparks are noisy (among other negative perceptions), despite quantifiable data from several easily reproducible studies(I am deaf, so it was not ever my concern). Every university in the world has libraries chock-full of robust data rigorously derived. It is not what wins political battles involving injustice and social change; it is how to persuade enough people to create the change you desire.

        The skatepark supporters simply had the wrong strategic advice and too often ignored critical elements of the best advice available toward advancing a public skatepark. You have been successful in *convincing* the town a skatepark is a community asset, go forward and use those same methods to win again.

  • sounds of silence

    I agree that noise shouldn’t be an issue. All three locations generate noise.

    Elm Street has traffic and kiln noise, plus rushing water.

    Crowell has noise of kids playing, basketball, and traffic.

    Living Memorial has recreation-related noise, explosions once a year, and traffic.

    If the park was being proposed for a previously quiet spot, the addition of noise to an otherwise tranquil area such as a woodland would indeed be an issue.

    But if I move next to a hospital, I can’t really complain about sirens. If I move above a restaurant, I’m in no position to complain about the sounds of bottles being dumped. If I move next to an airport, I have to expect takeoffs and landings. And if I move next to a park, the sounds of the people enjoying the park are part if the deal.

    Terrain, size, location in town, access, parking, and so on are valid concerns about each of the sites on the list, in my view.

    Maybe we can come up with a house-swapping program for those who cannot find peace next to a recreational area. I’m sure some would love to be that much closer. It could be that a skatepark increases their home’s value to potential buyers who want to live nearby.

    • Navel oranges to Blood oranges?

      Are complaints about occasional/infrequent siren generated noise coming from a home buyer who chooses to buy next to a tiny community hospital like BMH the same as concern over plans that BMH is to become a “world class” regional trauma center with a heliport intended to serve Southern Vermont, Western MA and Southern New Hampshire? What about a homebuyer who complains about noise after buying next to TJ Buckley’s vs. concern over potential noise after learning of plans to convert TJ’s to a “hard rock” café, or concern of plans that a local small craft airport will eventually serve internationally bound 747’s?

      It is standard planning and development process to sufficiently address PIA (Potential Impacts to Abutters) via open community outreach strategies. These are specifically intended to address the perceptions and beliefs that the public (especially abutters) may hold related to any planning of new development. The goal is to prevent any potential protracted hindrance to the progression and implementation of the development plans. This is ostensibly why the town of Brattleboro leadership and management paid to educate over 100 town board and committee members about PIA related problems shortly before the plan and development “review” became a protracted hindrance in the progression and implementation of the skatepark plan. This is a more democratic (and much more effective) method than saying, “You chose to invest in a home here, but we are planning changes, so lump it.”

      • Right.

        That’s my point. All three proposed locations have current noise levels that this project will barely impact. It is not a major change to any of the locations in terms of noise.

        This isn’t adding a heliport trauma center, or Hard Rock Cafe, or airport for 747’s. Those would be major alterations of the current spaces and neighbors would then have good reason to argue that the use had changed substantially.

        So, I am evaluating the noise impact to neighbors and I find it to be minor in these locations.

        Not up to me, though, and I’m sure others disagree wholeheartedly. : )

        • God is in the details

          I see your point cgrotke. I was responding to your comment that folks have no valid complaint if they buy a home which is already located near a source of some regularly expected routine noise. I used exaggerated examples to emphasize that people are in a position (or certainly should be) to seek and receive answers to their concerns when change is being implemented that could affect them, particularly in a town that espouses the value of home and quality-of-life.

          Potential changes in noise levels due to development is a very common PIA concern and the report of the sound study that was conducted in Crowell (I am not aware others been done at Elm or LMP) stated clearly that “sound” can be objectively measured. However, “noise”, as a subjective experience, cannot. In fact, the report stated, ““ Noise is a qualitative distinction…’ and ‘Noise is defined as loud, unexpected, or annoying sound….generally unexpected and possessing unpleasant aesthetic characteristics…fingernails on a blackboard, a heavy truck’s engine brake, etc.” I was not sure how you evaluated current noise levels at these locations or determined any noise to be minor, then concluded this project will barely impact abutters? Abutters (and many others) believed it was a potential problem and their efforts to clarify this were ignored.

          I (as one not worried about noise at all) recall some of the concern of many users of Crowell park (not just abutters) was related to the description of a “world class” recreational facility that would draw people “from around the region” with as many “as many as 20 users at peak time” (from BASIC’s Conditional Use Application, which was also determined unnecessary by the powers that be at the time) that may include “inline skaters, bikes, skateboarders, and pedestrians.” Clapping, cheering, additional traffic related noise, and electronically amplified sound were also PIA concerns that have never been addressed to this day at any of the proposed locations, that I am aware of?

          Also recall that the issue of a whether a skatepark constitutes a “major change” or a minor change was a major public concern and was never even addressed using available language and criteria that could have clarified the implications of this additional PIA concern. In fact, it was ignored by the, then, town leadership while the permit application was being “processed”, also by the DRB, as well as in the site selection process (whatever the heck that was for the Crowell “plan”). For example, Brattleboro Zoning Ordinance Section 1555.a states, “An application for land development subject to site plan review shall be determined to be major if it meets any of the following criteria:

          1. New construction of a structure is over 5,000 square feet;
          3. The proposed land development is determined to have a significant effect upon either traffic generation or traffic patterns in the area of the development or will create a negative impact in an extended heavy traffic area;
          4. The land development may affect public rights to, or enjoyment of, any historic or scenic area;
          5. The development may significantly impact the Town’s streetscape, natural landscape, or rights of abutting property owners.”

          Doesn’t have to be a heliport, trauma center, 747 landingstrip, or major music emporium to be determined “major” change in use according to Brattleboro Zoning Ordinances.

          • Over the years I have

            Over the years I have witnessed Crowell Lot also serving as a place for motorists driving through the region to have a pleasant break unwinding for a moment at this designated scenic byway on the Molly Stark Trail and site of interest characteristic of Brattleboro historical wealth only to find their are no public restrooms except surrounding woods.

            Are we really prepared to create the kind of increased draw for this small neighborhood park when boasting this kind of major attraction as the skate board park would represent enticing outside travelers who will want to take advantage of it’s free access while being convenient to major routes and interstate. How will they respect this area just passing through, who will pick up after them? How will this effect the quality of life for surrounding residences? Do we want this to be a regional skate park or something more on a local/community scale in a recreation park or urban center that can accommodate it, possibly supervised?

          • I'm not sure why anyone -

            I’m not sure why anyone – tourist or otherwise- would assume that a small park/playground would have restroom facilities.There are many such places in Brattleboro and except for LMP I don’t believe any of them have restrooms.This argument seems like a stretch to me- to find yet another reason to not consider Crowell as as an acceptable site for a skatepark. Who will clean up after tourists? Who cleans up after tourists anywhere in this town? People sometimes litter- not just tourists- all of us. It seems that you are assuming that if the skatepark is built then no one will ever supervise it, pick up trash, etc. I believe there has been much talk about making sure that the park IS supervised -perhaps by a crew of volunteers- perhaps by another solution.
            This is just ludicrous. Can we just build this park? Somewhere? Most towns see a skate park or any recreational facility as a plus -a good thing for the town and it’s residents. What is wrong with this town that it’s viewed as something so negative. Anything that gets kids outdoors, trying something new, being active can only be a good thing. Can we please just move forward with this? It’s time.
            Now, if we can just get rid of those pesky tourists with their trunks full of noisy skateboards…

          • I think deftly establishing

            I think deftly establishing the notion that a skatepark can be a potential advantage to a town is BASIC’s strongest victory, thus far. I think the biggest problem in getting it done was the (town) leadership BASIC was linked with/dependent upon and a significant lack of faith by too much of the community that the process, up until now, was legitimate and the “plan” rigorously thought out. If that was not true, the construction of one would have been completed long ago (possibly in Crowell Park).

            I also think that prudent questioning and due caution is being exercised now by the town leadership because the town (nor BASIC) can afford the costly bungling that occurred in the past. It is definitely time to move forward, but not simply for the sake of doing so.

          • Remembering correctly

            Going back to when my children were toddlers, many of us saw the need and potential advantages of a skatepark before BASIC existed, and tried to make a go of the Crowell Lot. The Recreation Department board approved a plan at Living Memorial Park, the town’s main recreation area, and then after that, voters in town approved a bond for Route 30 development, with a skatepark as a feature. To many of us, the benefits have been clear all along. Now my children are grown, and I’m still seeing resistance which smears this good effort in the name of questioning, and diligence. I’m hoping what was the right thing to do from the beginning will be done in the end.

          • Planning roll out as a problem?

            I would suggest that anyone read the appeal brief submitted to the Vermont Environmental Court for reconsideration of “the plan”, the professional arborist reports, and the Peter Whitely Guide to Public Skatepark Development (at the very least) and then argue that questioning and diligence were not in order under the last proposed Crowell Park plan, or for any future plan to build a skatepark in town, lest, we repeat this drama. I still struggle to believe that anyone could possibly entertain the idea that ignoring such fundamental elements of sound public planning is not fully to blame for Brattleboro’s endless skatepark quandary? Yes, questioning could disappear, but silence and submission to good intent does not produce a successful project outcome.

            Like this debate, the proposed Fire and Police station, also a noble effort with very obvious benefits to the town, generated opposition and calls for closer reconsideration of options.

            Anytime a large and costly development project, or a plan to develop in a residentially zoned neighborhood, is proposed, there are public concerns and PIA that needs to be considered and effectively managed to build community buy in. Should we be shifting the focus of the problem from bad people obstructing and smearing good efforts, to how planning and development process is rolled out in the town?

          • PS

            I am happy to make the appeal brief available to anyone who is interested.

          • apparently not, Zippy.

            “Should we be shifting the focus of the problem from bad people obstructing and smearing good efforts, to how planning and development process is rolled out in the town?”

            My cache of private e-mail communications accusing me of being an evil youth-hating individual continues to grow rather large, even today.

            It is stealth, furtive communication, and squashing information and public concerns that is, in MY opinion, precisely what undermined the last skatepark “plan”.

            Again, I would suggest that rather than calling people evil doers, some folks might actually read more on the issues they are still upset about. Stop private e-mail assaults and work to build a knowledge base that will help you effectively win! And … align yourselves with similar people. The people support you!

          • Exactly why I make the point,

            Exactly why I make the point, BASIC has never really considered putting a “Supervised” skate park publically on the table or outlined/commitment to any kind of coordinated volunteer program post construction/ park revenue w /passes up front which would automatically relieve some of the persistent arguments, insecurities and complaints against many of the proposed sites presented by the SSSC but then mostly systematically rejected or demoted by BASIC such as ULMP and Elm street publically stating they would not garner their support ie last on their list.

            All the other assets and amenities these (ULMP & ELM) sites possess would certainly advance recognition of their potential if only put in the right perspective of benefiting the community as a whole. If the critical component of supervision was a given, it would be less likely arguments of drug infiltration, isolation and other fear factors would hold up dissolving some BASIC’s reluctance that overshadows many reasonable solutions that could with some ingenuity create a more than suitable, positive location if not for the diversion and unyielding preference on the part of BASIC’s gravitational push (the warping orbit of the Hubble telescope maybe) back to Crowell Lot revisiting the undeniable disapproval imbued & unfortunate confrontation of the past that has existed there. There has been a real opportunity missed or passed up for compromise as I see it.

            The town is not going to fork over quarter of a million dollars ( have stated they will not pay for skate park in any manner) to remedy the flood plan abatement measures required at Lower Living Memorial Park when they could for a fraction of the price consider the idea of creating a responsible position for someone acting as a general supervisor to oversee park rules are respected (paid for by park pass and annual fundraising events)and serve an emergency on site safety link for skaters young and old.

            Yes this whole ordeal is pathetic, the overwhelming selection of Elm Street Location by the SSSC process should have , well been selected and respected!

          • blocked from the waist down

            This post proves the point that noise is in the ears of the beholder. And not just measured in db.

            I’m sure you believe you are being helpful, just as a skater believes the sound that comes off their wheels is a byproduct of a healthy outlet. Yet the binary nature of world tells us over and over, as you do, that things are not as they seem.

            In general, public skateparks are unsupervised. I know because I’ve been to more than I can count and a lifeguard or ‘extra set of eyes’ is almost never part of the equation. And the park, the public park, was always meant to be free to users so that all can participate without need for money.

            All this vitriol may seem to you as if it’s good conscience and brainstorming shared at-large, but it has the tenor of a man wanting to put a priest at the door to a rock show because the devil’s music is brewing within.

          • This post proves the point that noise is in the ears of the beho

            Absolutely correct, Spinoza. That is exactly why noise is a very common PIA concern … not sound. Sound can be measured, noise is subjective and can incorporate many sounds.

            Concerns over noise (not a single sound) in a neighborhood zoned as “residential” must be EFFECTIVELY and openly discussed and *convincingly* addressed as part of good development planning and process. Abutters don’t have a right to STOP development, they have a right to have their concerns addressed. If they are denied that, they seek relief through other channels. This never happened in the case of a skatepark planned to be developed in Crowell Park.

          • Soul Coughing

            If I get your drift , I’m sorry my comments are unpleasant to your literary ear channels but it’s refreshing you can see what constitutes noise can be subjective. Not claiming priesthood here, just possible suggestions, compromise, maybe atypical solutions which aren’t main stream I guess but could suit the circumstance challenging Brattleboro, “step up side, let the man on through, let the man on through, but don’t jamb the door because you could be the one locked out of the equation”! What does Peter Whitley have to say about the Elm street site, maybe people should know?

          • You mean like Judas Priest,

            You mean like Judas Priest, the heavy metal band?

          • It seemed to me that the

            It seemed to me that the point of your previous post was that tourists frequently stopped at Crowell to a) rest;b) use a restroom;c) maybe let their kids blow off some steam at the playground and that,if the skate park were there these tourists would then use that skate park and perhaps leave some kind of mess behind which nobody would clean up. My questions are a) why would tourists leave a mess in the skate park but not on the playground or basketball court;b) there still isn’t going to be any restrooms there-regardless of whether the skate park is located there or not and c) unless tourists are specifically visiting a place for the purpose of seeing and using the skate park I’m not sure many of them would be toting along a board.
            I’m confused about all the ‘amenities’ you refer to at the Elm Street location.
            There are no bathroom facilities; no shade; no water fountain (unless these things are included in the skate park plans). It is close to other places that kids go: NEYT; the Boys & Girls Club and there are local buses nearby that run sporadically until 5:45 PM. But “amenities”? Not sure that’s a selling point for the Elm site. To me, admittedly an outsider in this long standing game- it seems like there is a lack of respect but I’m not convinced it’s coming from the skaters side of the situation.

          • You should read my cache of

            You should read my cache of private hate e-mail 😉

          • Bet it's a large cache.

            I can imagine!

            You have, after all, behaved in a hateful juvenile manner.

            It’s like you and rootrunner hate the idea of kids in your park, but can’t bring yourself to understand your own hate. So it must be everybody else, right?


          • Back to school


            Did you know that the black waitress who was serving the Greensboro Four told them they were making “our people” look bad?

            Think about that.

          • Yo Zip! Your use of the

            Yo Zip! Your use of the English language and your debating skills are spectacular. I disagree with your stance and your tactics, but your ability to ask questions and rephrase arguments is impeccable. I say this because I’m surprised that you would bring up something so serious as the civil rights movement as a comparison to what is in the end a kids game. I’m game though, sure!
            We have a need in town for a park that is no more dangerous, loud, or socially disruptive and damaging as baseball fields, basketball courts, or swingsets. Why is it that baseball fields, basketball courts, and swingsets are allowed at community owned and maintained mixed recreational use public parks, but the only viable place a skatepark can go is somewhere like the Elm street lot?
            I’ve never accused you guys of hating youth or fun, but I do feel like there is an unrecognized bias towards skateboarding. Whether it’s because you feel a skatepark would be more loud than the other parks (debunked), you think it’s more dangerous than the other activities (debunked), or that it would cause a die off of trees (not debunked, but the plans were redesigned to recognize your concerns and preserve our natural resourcees).
            If baseball fields, basketball courts, and swing sets are allowed at mixed use community owned parks then skateparks should be allowed too. Until I see any data that can indicate any kind of difference in the negative impact to neighbors I will be unable to believe your opposition is the result from anything other than bias.

          • Dude, you can't be serious...

            can you?

            Clearly you did not think long enough, hard enough, or certainly read enough to understand.

            I’m sorry you are consistently unable to realize your goal of a skatepark in town.

            Read more, think more, look deeper, yo!

            (respect is earned, not taken upon demand)

          • Key to winning...

            ” Your use of the English language and your debating skills are spectacular. I disagree with your stance and your tactics, but your ability to ask questions and rephrase arguments is impeccable.” – SDixon

          • Please read Peter Whitley's Guide

            “Until I see any data that can indicate any kind of difference in the negative impact to neighbors I will be unable to believe your opposition is the result from anything other than bias.”

          • How about this statistic

            How about 5000 tons of concrete permanently poured over the feet of park trees displacing an enjoyed green playground area? the Elm Street location is already paved and waiting fro fresh wheel contact.

          • who are you?

            Do you think you’re the Greensboro Four?

            Because I think you’re George Wallace, narrow minded, misusing scripture, justifying queer logic in your own mind, somewhat delusional.

            Who does that make me?
            the waitress?
            african americans?
            the whites?
            Is this a civil rights issue?

            Because i’m really someone who wonders why people are so twisted up about a skatepark? And wonders what makes them so irate that they fight a recreation space for years on end?

          • "Do you think you're the Greensboro Four?"

            It’s not what I think about the question that I asked you, FrankC. I had hoped you would think about the question, but clearly that has yet to happen. That question had nothing to do with comparing the civil rights movement with anything in Brattleboro (which too often has little, if any, movement at all on most small issues, let alone something like a real and powerful social movement, beyond lots and lots and lots of committee work that too often produces no change but maintains the status quo in town). Protracted and unfruitful discussion, rather than meaningful action, can equal death, as we have seen even on the plan to build a little skatepark.

            Mine was a question about a singular comment that a black waitress made to four young black college students at a Woolworth’s lunch counter who were refusing to adhere to domination. I wondered if you might see relevance in that question, beyond an opportunity to continue calling people more names.

            Now, may I ask you: Why do you believe there is no skatepark in Crowell park today, or anywhere in Brattleboro?

          • Wow. Are you actually

            Wow. Are you actually equating the civil rights movement with the building of a skate park? Really?

          • Yes KAlden, you have outlined

            Yes KAlden, you have outlined my points as I presented them well enough. However I think your missing the crux of my concern being the increased use of the park when introducing additional outside skate park traffic, foot and otherwise. This forces the situation as if it were a tight/binding shoe that doesn’t fit in a cramped area surrounded by trees in a large portion of Crowell Lot suddenly leaving it three sizes too small if constructed there. By insisting on such an increase that compacts space, reducing and displacing existing park uses, does not tread easy in my opinion leaving wear and tear that in turn will cause a significantly increased impact felt by those using what’s left of the green space. Why on planet earth should a valued green space or scenic byway be replaced with concrete in the first place when we have other options? Elm Street can work with some tweaks, imaginative design and I still think ULMP is a viable site void of the threat to park trees. BASIC has a flawless record of community problem solving/PR and respectful behavior?? sorry not from where I sit, boy I guess you haven’t visited their Facebook page over the years and counted the times they used the term NIMBY in a derogatory manner.

          • Boogie men are real

            The available record speaks for itself and many people prefer not to look at the record because it might dispel the notions of evil and hatred of children by many professional and educated people, most with children and grandchildren, as the real problem in town.

            Like many people in town claim, a skatepark in town has been wanted and pursued over decades, right (long before much of the evil came to town)?

            Astonishingly, the root of the problem continues to be identified as “evil” and “hatred” lurking in our midst because people openly and rightly questioned the veracity of a rather odd “plan” to plop one in a residential neighborhood playground (where many pretty smart taxpayers with resources lived) and did so with evidence that found the plan was clearly hooey.

            Now, let’s try that hatred of youth and evil argument one more time?

          • I can speak my own thoughts -

            I can speak my own thoughts – I don’t need you to put words in my mouth. I don’t believe I ever said that BASIC has ” a flawless record of community problem solving/PR and respectful behavior.” What I said (and certainly meant) was that it seemed to me that the skate board community was not being afforded the same respect that the ‘other’ side feels it deserves. The fact that -after decades -there are still contentious ‘sides’ about this matter does not speak well for anyone’s ability to come together and find a way to build the skate park. I have read some of the BASIC FB pages and , yes, tempers have flared and rude comments have been posted. BUT, the same is true of those people not in favor of the park. Plenty of rudeness and quick tempers to go around. Regardless of how many articulate and pretty phrases you want to wrap this in the message that the town is giving is that skateboarders are not wanted here.
            And, regarding the “hooligans” who may come to hang out in this imaginary skate park – have you looked around Brattleboro lately? Plenty of ‘hooligans ‘ to go around. No skate park needed to entice them.

          • All right, please don't get

            All right, please don’t get upset with me K as I try to express my opinions, I’m not accusing you of anything, I never said Hooligans, there is a difference between suffering the expense/toll of increased crowd pressures with such an attraction and it’s affects on a valued green space underfoot then saying we are to be invaded by unruly hooligans. Is a person who litters an unruly Hooligan ? ,No he just doesn’t care about the condition of the environment he occupies at that moment and “uses” it for his own purposes, but we still have to clean up after this person or persons who has made the decision to put the burden on others to lighten his load then multiply that again and again, it stands as a definite impact.
            My family supports a skate park in a place that will be a benefit to the entire community at large without depriving/restricting use for others of a space they currently value, maybe this is unattainable now with such disagreements looming about. I still believe the Elm Street or ULMP could be this common ground, but BASIC does not, what does that actually leave you for choices?.

            How has this happened? well the skateboard club in my opinion is by all means strategically attempting to control, dominate and manipulate the “community” skate park selection situation by dis-configuring and disabling the viability of sites they once entertained as acceptable, yet just as quickly have turned ugly on with dismal ultimatums/predictions and an old goal in sight putting out front the new poster boy, a recent grad from the BASIC School of Disrespect, congrats Scott ( Yes, I thought I’d give them a taste of their own medicine which is anything but a remedy, my mistake).

            It seems their maneuvers are void of resolve by thoroughly rejecting high ranking potential sites made available to them demanding an unrealistic realm of perfecto conditions and expectations that if properly addressed could represent a fresh start to actually reach some degree of unity for all of us together but is now a lost opportunity. Let’s not forget the SSSC process which was open to public scrutiny for six months discussing criteria, I tried to make suggestions, not many joined me other than committee members.
            Certain leading members of BASIC obviously don’t want this or to achieve wider support. They have purposely applied a self imposed irreversible elimination of sites that could have worked with open dialogue, recognition of attributes to the community with remedied solutions, but rather have narrowed the scope and vision(once kept open for other perspectives with the formation of the SSSC process) now with zero intention to compromise, instead returning/avenging by systematic default what course they hope will slip them through the back door after everybody’s gone home, back into Crowell lot second in line under the protective radar (after Lower Living Memorial Park, the least likely candidate, thus far proves too expensive a venture, yet is their first choice they can’t afford, go figure). Yes, like a reoccurring nightmare back to the Crowell Lot ordeal, a can of still active, wriggling, problematic worms mostly riddled with costly issues (not just $$) as it concerns skate park development some people just don’t want to face up to. Breaking News; We live here, make it our home, care about our local environment and how it’s treated, share the neighborhoods and community, do strive to contribute to positive advances here, and are not going anywhere anytime soon that I know about, take this debate seriously as it affects us directly and will be left potentially living amongst it’s unpredicatble baggage, so we do have something to say about it!
            Now please excuse me while I go try to do something more positive, less nauseating, anything else>>>>

            PS. Scott if you have dropped in to read this comment on your post, Thanks for speaking out with this post and same in recent Commons op. ed. but now that you have taken on this responsibility, please bother to get some of your facts straight of your personal analysis of skate park development history here in Brattleboro you are just embarking on and suddenly an expert on details you use to assert your opinions.

            # 1 SOPC you often refer to has not existed for over two years, it’s founding member a great upstanding, accomplished, respected caring neighbor and extremely active citizen and civic leader for his age, died well over a year ago never knowing the fate of Crowell Lot to be he was trying to preserve as a neighborhood playground and green space, so please have a little respect for you elders and people you don’t know in our community but can easily make assumptions about them recklessly, yeah you did take a flying leap off your board on that one!. By the way we (SOPC) never promoted Eliot Street Playground more than any other potential site as you seem to be implying
            # 2 If you are going to use my name in a defamatory manner to make your weak arguments distorting the facts before the public, I ask you to do a little research first outside the bias of BASIC that supposedly proved the arborists were in the wrong, read the extensive detail covered and outlined in the arborist’s report, an ISA certified document, maybe BASIC burned this long ago with any bridges that can connect us. You can’t tamper, compromise or further manipulate cropping/hedging Critical Root Zone limitations Willy Nilly in a designated place to suit your skate park’s ambitious plan in such a small area that already threaten tree survival to this extent on paper and in real life, especially older well established park trees, it’s non negotiable, an incompatible use of space for their sake and drastically reduces the size of the skate park there, but you’ll find this out the hard way I suppose. Would you say, hey you wont be needing that leg of yours so we will lop it off and give you a crutch to get around, your still standing aren’t you!

          • My apologies

            My apologies, rootrunner -you did not use the word “hooligan” in your post. That word was used in a comment by Zippy. But I stand by the rest of my comments.

          • Just to clarify, "Hooligans"

            Just to clarify, “Hooligans” was a direct quote of Peter WhitleyWho identified them as a potential problem to be considered and planned for when planning a public skatepark.

          • Hooligans

            Regardless of who uses it, “Hooligans” disparages the Irish people.

          • I'm sorry, but this seems

            I’m sorry, but this seems strange. Why is it that a skatepark needs to include a discussion about constant supervision when basketball courts, swing sets, or baseball fields don’t?

            Also, what amenities does the Elm st lot possess (aside from the bathroom underneath the bridge?)

          • Didn't come from evil

            “Why is it that a skatepark needs to include a discussion about constant supervision when basketball courts, swing sets, or baseball fields don’t?” -SDixon

            “Skateboarding culture has deep roots in anti-institutionalized behavior …skaters may feel justified in dishing out the verbal abuse, as the skatepark has undoubtedly become their place … skateparks can attract a number of kids who are there only to hang out with their friends … not to skate. As more youth inhabit the area, especially with no adults present, the situation can sometimes go awry. Hooligans from the area might see that the skatepark is the place ‘where anything goes.’”

            – directly quoted from Peter Whitley’s Guide to Public Skatepark Development.

          • Daaaang.

            Well that’s a pretty good rebuttle. Ok, then. This quote is from a section of an essay, or a guidebook rather, where this individual is arguing that skateparks should be included into mixed use recreational areas. There is good reason for this, which I believe is hidden between your ellipses.
            These quotes are from a section of this guide arguing that skateparks should be included into mixed recreational use public parks, instead of a place like the Elm Street lot. Those “hooligans” from the area might see the park as a place where anything goes because it is located in an unsupervised area of town where anything goes. It is also very important to note that “hooligans” is not referring to the skateboarders, but to actual hooligans.

            A. Are you arguing that the skatepark should be placed in a mixed use recreational public park?
            B. If I replaced “Skateboarding” with “basketballing” would the quote still hold merit? And if so, why isn’t the topic of constant supervision included when discussing putting something like a basketball court in a place like the crowell lot, or LMP?

          • Oh, dear me, we do have a problem

            I have read Mr. Whitley’s guide front to back, taking notes along the way, and going back to it again, several times. I contacted him years ago and told him what a wonderful guide it is and how I respected his work.

            Can’t for the life of me figure out why it was so largely ignored in a proposed town project funded, in part, by Mr. Whitley himself and the Tony Hawk Foundation? It was a guide written for achieving SUCCESS in developing public skateparks. Why do you think there is not one sitting in Crowell Park today?

          • or Brattleboro, for that

            or Brattleboro, for that matter?

          • ?

            “Could it be Satan?”

  • Free Offer to Scott Dixon


    I did not realize your first post on here, “Too Urban”, was an piece from The Commons. But, I just reread it in The Commons.

    Let me reach out and extend this sincere offer to you: I am inviting you and Adam Hubbard to meet with me to discuss this article AND talk about how you can improve your chances of WINNING your arguments and achieving your goals.

    This is a sincere offer. I will even provide coffee, tea, lemonade, Chai, or whatever you like. You can come to my home or we can meet elsewhere (quiet place). It truly pains me to see your efforts repeatedly demonstrating what NOT to say or do when you are trying to get from point A to point B. Why? Because I believe this project holds all the potential you say it does. I have learned a lot about what skateboarding is, how popular it is, the value of a central location in a mixed use recreational facility (however, I do not believe simply because Crowell offers that option, what was proposed is a good choice for ultimate success – for several reasons). It’s clear BASIC has “danced with the devil” already and lost, and continues to. Why not try a new strategy? I have won several big fights in my life. I have also lost a few and know how really bad that feels. Thus, I empathize with you and Adam. Your efforts continue to fail. Maybe we can produce something better if we talk? You don’t have to like me. I don’t have to like you. But this continues to go nowhere, fast.

  • nails on a black board

    I hate the sound of skateboards. I don’t want that sound in my neighborhood. Please stop trying to force it into a very peopled space. Noise plus noise means more noise…one sound does not cancel out another. Skateboards create a very irritating sound.

    • creating very irritating sounds

      The same could be said of many people…

    • Throughout history every

      Throughout history every closed minded person in the world has uttered (or written) the words: ” I don’t want that (fill in the blank) in my neighborhood” Skateboards and their riders don’t create any more an “irritating” sound than a basketball hitting the ground repeatedly; a group of children loudly playing or the creaking of the chain on a swing set.Maybe it’s just the sounds of kids enjoying themselves that is so irritating?

      • Again

        Again, I think the constant diversion to the noise issue is getting a little bit old and is only an effort to distract attention to some of the more pressing issues, which I personally will not go into “again” for the one millionth time. It has nothing to do with being closed minded more to do with distorting people’s concerns into those woes of crying NIMBYS (a derogatory, catchy acronym, a golden panacea used to death by them that automatically puts and reduces other’s concerns to just one word on the defensive), but has this really worked) but if you want to see limitations set in place just turn back to BASICS’s obvious new strategy ALREADY ACTIVATED.








        • Why Not Talk About Noise Levels

          I think the noise levels at a skatepark are relevant. However I also think there are other issues with the Crowell Location that make it inappropriate. But I’ll just address noise levels here. I do think this Noise Study done in Seattle by professionals is enlightening.

          Note that at the lowest average level that their skatepark registered, the average decibel level was at the maximum allowed in a residential neighborhood by city code. And went upward from there into max allowances for both Commercial and Industrial. The peak levels were much higher than the maximum allowed.

          I suppose one can argue that this particular skatepark will be designed to be quieter but the problem for the residents not to mention taxpayers seems to me to be that once put into place it’s pretty darn hard and disruptive to remove a skatepark if it proves to be too noisy. Seattle is a big city and I would suspect that their maximum allowed decibel levels for residential areas are not that conservative.

          All these arguments about skateboarding being on par with a basketball court or the sound of the chains of a swing squeaking seem pretty far-fetched when looking at a professional study done by a city the size of Seattle.

          A couple of issues I’ve never seen really addressed to my satisfaction are the lack of bathroom facilities and how will the issue of people using the skatepark into the wee hours of the evening be controlled. Memorial Park seems such a better location to me but I have no stake in the location of this park other than that of a taxpayer and interested party. I just think that pooh-poohing the concerns of residents about noise is kind of unfair as it is a very legitimate concern based on all the internet research I’ve come across. Like I said, if it could easily be removed and placed somewhere else, fine, give it a try. But you can’t do that with a skatepark and it would be smack dab in the middle of residential area. Granted this particular residential area may be noisy already but isn’t that all the more reason to give these residents a break and no pile on more noise. I’m quite perplexed as to why the skateboard group seems to still be pushing for this location instead of looking at other sites.

          Look at the figures in the Seattle study and use the approach of better safe than sorry when locating this skatepark.

          • There is no 'better safe than

            There is no ‘better safe than sorry” in this situation. Residents have made objections to the possible noise at all of the sites that are now in the running. ( not that any of them is actually ‘in the running’ since it’s likely this park may never be built) Unless one chooses to live in a cabin in the deep of a forest or on top of a mountain there is always going to be noise. And sometimes it’s going to be more noise than we want. That’s one of the prices we pay for living among other people. I have to listen to the man across the street endlessly mowing his lawn at 7:30 AM every weekend – annoying? Yes. My neighbors on the other side frequently have big backyard cookouts in the good weather. Lots of people talking loudly, music playing, loud laughter, cars starting up and leaving late at night. It’s the price I pay for living in the neighborhood I want to live in. The truth is that nobody knows how noisy the skate park might be. We won’t know that until or if it’s built. But, I’ve spent some time in other small towns with parks in residential neighborhoods and -to me -and the people that live there- the noise is acceptable and a small price to pay for the benefits to the youth of their town. I guess it comes down to what we think is important for the kids that live in our town. More recreational facilities or more peace and quiet?

          • I really appreciate and agree

            I really appreciate and agree with your opinions and the way you have reasoned within these arguments. The only thing I would disagree with is that we do have an idea of how loud the skatepark is going to be. We’ve lived next to skateparks, we’ve helped build skateparks, and we’ve used skateparks all over the country. As this ever-growing list of resources and data shows skatepark noise is consistent and measurable. I am only bringing this up because the more people know about an issue the less likely they are to use fear and speculation to support an argument.

          • Thanks, Scott. I realize that

            Thanks, Scott. I realize that you do have and have provided first hand knowledge of the noise levels of various parks. I guess what i actually meant was that until the park was built and being used people wouldn’t know how the noise level affected them. My guess is that it would not be anywhere as intrusive and quality of life destroying as some people surmise it will be.
            I’d just like to have a park where my grandson can skate when he’s a little older; along with all the other kids who would love being able to do that.

          • The Difference

            The Difference being what you describe comes and goes, a skate park does not, it’s permanent, unless you find some form of alien concrete eating ground worm, but again, noise is not the biggest set of issues in this situation, no one has complained about noise being a factor at the ULMP site, ELM Street is in a commercially zoned area.

          • Of course the noise will come

            Of course the noise will come and go. As with any recreational facility there will be times when more people are using it and times when fewer people are there. The actual physical skate park will always be there but the activity level will vary. I bet there will be times when NOBODY is skating at the park.
            Again, I can’t help but feel that you’re reaching with your rebuttals.
            Scott seems to have provided ample information on what the noise levels have been at various other skate parks. Have any of the people opposing the park actually spent anytime at a skate park or even bothered to talk to people in other towns who have lived with and near a skate park? Wouldn’t that be valuable insight to have?
            And, actually, one of the people commenting on the ‘incessant noise’ that skate boarders make does live in the Elm Street area. So,again -maybe not so much where the park might be but whether the park should be at all.

          • Again, it's not so much about

            Again, it’s not so much about noise for me personally, more the argument there won’t be any. I support a skate park in an appropriate location, I also support the preservation of Crowell Park as a scenic green area and neighborhood playground without overcrowding. I’m not against a skate park, have gone to great lengths to examine two other sites ULMP and Elm on a BCTV film still available for your viewing, I don’t just sit at my desk and shoot from the hip, I have attended and spoke at many, many meetings at Tree Advisory Committee, School Board, SSSC, DBR, Select Board, held a public forum, RESITE ect. ect met with many experts.

          • In Country

            Have you visited any skateparks? Have the members of the SSSC visited any as far as you know?

          • I would have thought that

            I would have thought that visiting other skate parks and talking to the people who live in those areas would have been high on the list of things to do before deciding on any potential sites here. Why wouldn’t the committee want first hand information and insight from the towns that have already built a skate park? It seems that much of the constant rehashing of this project could have been avoided with some first hand knowledge.

          • It seems like people are

            It seems like people are thinking this debate just started last week! This has been going on for four*^%(@# years at least, my son’s an avid skate boarder until injuries have kept him out of commission, he has toured skate parks on the East coast, frequent skater at Rye Air Field (indoor) near where his Mom lives and spent a year up and down the West Coast with friends at urban skate parks in Portland and San Francisco ect. we’ve been invited up to Burlington by my niece to that skate park, she’s a roller derby queen!. Brattleboro has it’s own particular set of limitations and circumstances just on providing the location alone that can truly accommodate it, can we concentrate on this for a moment, what do we actually have left that most people can agree on?. What is it you exactly y want us to know about skate parks Spinoza, except that they don’t fit in Brattleboro anywhere except Crowell Lot?

          • Give respect to get respect

            I’ve been on this project since 2001. In the summer of 2001, some students of mine from BUHS told me how they got harassed, ticketed, and had their boards taken away for skating the banks behind the bank.

            At the time I was also teaching a class at the Rec Center, and decided to go to the Rec Director and ask about what would be needed to get a park for our town. For a few years, there was a back and forth conversation which mostly consisted of me attempting to describe how what we were after was a lot more than playground equipment.

            During this initial period, a group of skaters and advocates met semi regularly and we began to pull together a coherent plan, which eventually was presented to the Rec Board. The canvas offered to explore the idea was, logically, the town’s main park.

            Statistics , costs, models—even a scaled clay bowl model were worked up, based on other parks we skated and knew well, and the pitch was made. From the perspective of citizens who wished to bring about improvement to town, the process, such as it was, was being followed.

            The story from the early days has been told, so I won’t go into it. But I do need to say your assumptions are incorrect on many levels. I’m open to several locations. And I have gone to site visits with the SSSC, and that’s exactly is why I have raised the question about their (and your) direct exposure to the real thing.

            I just wish you would stop the projections, and vilifying those of us who put forth an effort, or share an informed opinion. Contrary to what you claim, I don’t think I have all the answers. And I see how we are facing a complex dilemma.

            I’ve kind of given up on this town as a progressive, tolerant, and forward thinking environment. I just hope a sense of stewardship, and a remnant of obligation to provide an outlet for this kind of activity will somehow prevail, when all is said and done.

          • Spinoza, I have to tell you

            Spinoza, I have to tell you I’m not so concerned about receiving unattainable respect from BASIC at this point, that went into atrophy the day I became involved labeled as one of the many crying NIMBYs by BASIC Leadership of the day and completely dismissed by town leadership who backed, reinforced and encouraged such behavior to persist without resolution creating a mounting atmosphere of intolerable discontent I was in the thick of (vilified). I have been more concerned about presenting factual information that was also dismissed and still is to this day right along other’s input, but the powers to be rather chose to promote and favor the subjective insinuations of how others should be feeling or what they should see as suitable and acceptable to live with in their environment belittling the importance of their concerns publically expressed to those who really didn’t care and would bypass to push this project forward without hesitation at the expense of denying neighborhood quality of life issues not taken into consideration.

            So yes, I have been on the defensive observing backdoor politics to assert personal preferences behind this issue since day one until the new select board made the decision to address what had undeniably appeared to be getting out of control admitting affected members of the community were purposely shut out of the process to get things done regardless of the predictable fallout to ensue without the adequate examination of impacts respected. This debacle being exposed for exactly what it was came about only because community members retaliated of course and would not go away intimidated or subdued, along with the fact BASIC were unable to significantly reach their funding goals at Crowell Park over the past three years with community and other support sources dwindling.

            In this respect, achieving a better democratic approach involving the whole community on this issue that has had the opportunity to be thoroughly vetted, I happen to think that’s progressive considering we wouldn’t have alternative sites available if not for those who persisted and yes it upsets me when these sites are shot down just as quickly as they become real possibilities. If you are affiliated with BASIC and are publically stating this or that negative aspect about a site predeterming it’s fate as automatically setting BASIC up for failure, then this can only result in that self fulfilled prophecy. Haven’t we had enough of this kind of set up for failure concerning the way Crowell Park had been selected. I did not expect these kind of publicly stated negative reaction toward ULMP and Elm that squashes possibilities and now represents a missed opportunity for compromise, but it is what it is, and serves no one in particular, especially those skaters ready to skate waiting downtown near Elm Street already in place less then a block away or the incredible future expansion and amenities ULMP could offer if supervised that ensure park rules and upkeep will be as respected as is possible.

            I guess it could be payback from BASIC and how they felt about the disapproval for Crowell which however was backed with valid reasons/evidence they had difficulty disproving, but does this really get us anywhere, absolutely not. Seriously, what are our options now with such disagreements, well we just have to leave it up to a higher authority to call reprimanded order and step in to settle the skirmish of unrelenting decisiveness void of direction and make decisions for us because we can’t collectively come together, lacking respect to the efforts of the SSSC public process, resolve, and compromise when rating Elm Street # 1 by a wide margin which was backed by the School Board, that’s not on me, I’m sorry, you have a grim misconception of my efforts to reach compromise.

            I am proud I was one of those instrumental in taking part and bringing about awareness and attention to this community injustice starting four years ago, I just can’t go into the complexities of or sluggish developments of anymore after four year of the same, but I will tell you it’s not so cut and dry. Your efforts early on are duly noted and appreciated and most of all respected by me anyway, but I certainly will not take the sole blame for contentions that have arisen with such confrontations set up from the beginning to follow, I thought after the SSSC process open to public scrutiny we all could compromise on a location but anything but this has occurred in the aftermath and conclusion of a very long process as BASIC with their little more than half the funding of what they claim in actually at hand in the bank, will not move beyond Crowell Park as if cemented in place, even resorting to the scaled down version of a skate park there (which may become boring to skaters) that offers no guarantees trees will remain standing after skate park development could be underway in amongst the older established trees residing there.

          • maybe you could take the

            ……maybe you could take the initiative to ask them yourself, you can start with SSSC member Joebob from BASIC and BASIC’s chair who attended almost every meeting.

          • Who has ever said that there

            Who has ever said that there won’t be any noise? Obviously there is noise whenever and where ever people congregate to play sports, enjoy a playground, take a swim,etc.Lots of information has been presented to support what level of noise could be expected. And while noise may not be the issue for you (although it certainly seems to be) it is clearly the issue for many others. When people play there’s going to be some degree of noise. No way around it other than not giving people places to play. This long and ugly battle about something as simple as a skate park speaks volumes about the priorities of this town. It certainly isn’t providing a safe, fun, new recreational opportunity for our kids.

          • Thank you Rosa

            Thank you Rosa for your comment.

          • Most of the sound data in

            Most of the sound data in this article you posted falls in line with the same data I posted. I’m surprised I didn’t come across this article or I would have included it! It is important to note that their findings on Db levels of skateparks is actually lower than most of the data I showed, and the skatepark noise in this article is still much lower than other noise levels found such as the traffic, the automated dumpster, vents and a helicopter.
            Also the skatepark was found to be COMPLIANT with noise laws, it was the QFC store that was found to be too loud (because of the loading dock). From your article:
            “The average data suggests that the skateboard facility is compliant at 55dB from the nearest adjacent property…while there may be intermittent bursts of noise emanating from the facility, it does not pose a considerable problem in terms of consistent noise pollution.”
            I’m not trying to pooh pooh on anything. I recognize that noise is a valid concern for the neighbors. Because they have no experience with living near skateparks they don’t know what to expect. That is why I am posting this data, and sharing my extensive experience with living next to and using skateparks to demonstrate with replicatable evidence that they don’t need to be concerned about the noise levels.
            Thank you for this article, this is a very valuable resource for my argument!

          • You're missing part of the

            You’re missing part of the picture. My fault, I should have mentioned the distance factor. The skate bowl is compliant at 55db on average, but that’s right at the max allowed. The peak levels are way over what’s allowable. However I forgot to mention one rather large point. You need to be aware that the Ballard bowl is about a city block from the nearest property. The nearest housing is about 4 times the distance it would be at Crowell. And much of the surrounding area is actually businesses set in a mall like area similar to where the old Home Depot building is. You have to factor distance into the equation. So in Ballard/Seattle you have a skatebowl that is right at the top of the allowable noise level but that’s at a distance of about 4 times that of Crowell from those residences.

            This is something that doesn’t seem to get talked about. I’ve heard of a few skate bowls/parks referenced in different media as being not noisy but what I’ve found is that looking further into those parks they are nowhere near as close to the adjacent residential properties as Crowell is. You need to calculate in the distance factor from residences if you are going to make comparisons.

            I only had time to take a quick look at your sources. I noticed that one writer said he could find only one park where there were noise problems. Sort of discredits his information to my mind as it only took me about 5 minutes to come up with over 13 parks with various noise problems.

            But all this aside why this insistence on Crowell. I think the kids the should have a park but I just happen to also think that taxpaying residents are due some consideration by the town when making such dramatic changes to neighborhood landscapes. Why not take a more positive approach and instead of fighting a battle already lost move on and find a more acceptable and less intrusive site so the kids can have their park. I don’t think this reluctance to move on from Crowell as a site is going to end in anything positive for the kids. It’s just needless bickering and hurling of insults and it’s really a little tiresome. If people want to be good role models for the kids focus on getting a better site instead of fighting over Crowell.

          • I think you missed my overall

            I think you missed my overall point that a skatepark is within the same volume, if not quieter, than the over all noise created by nearby playgrounds and traffic. That is literally all I’ve been saying.

            Also, you keep saying Crowell lot this, and Crowell lot that. I haven’t been advocating for the Crowell lot, I haven’t even mentioned it. If you really believe that we should take a more positive approach and stop all this fighting then actually do that. All I have been doing is providing data and experience. Period.

            Also if you only had a quick amount of time to look at my sources maybe you should wait until you’ve actually gone through all the data before commenting on this.

            Also if you’ve gone through this thread you may have noticed that we’ve already discussed in great length the main causes of noise issues from skateparks. Since you clearly don’t have the time to catch up in this discussion I’ll paraphrase it for you: Pre Fab parks and Rob Zombie.

            ALSO, I’ve been to the Ballard bowl. Since you are so knowledgeable about this location and noise levels of skateparks, I’d be really curious to know what the difference between pool coping and steel coping is, and how those differences can effect the volume of a skatepark. Which type of coping will the Brattleboro skatepark have? (This is a trick question so take the time to think about it!)

          • I'm a quick reader, so rest

            I’m a quick reader, so rest assured that a having only a short amount of time to go through the data means that it’s been read. The only thing I commented on in your data was the statement that the writer could only find one park that was considered noisy. I don’t think it’s out of line to say that seems pretty unbelievable when a simple google search turned up about 13 noisy parks in a five minute search.

            Your overall point seems to be in contradiction to the actual experiences of many residents near skateparks both here and in England according to web searches. Don’t you think when discussing noise levels the distance of the skatepark to residences should be factored in. I think that is why the Seattle study is pertinent.

            I don’t need to know the difference between pool coping and steel coping to know that once you lay a huge concrete plaza of some sort in a green park that is extremely close to residences and it proves to be too noisy it’s hard to undo. Crowell is my concern because to my mind the other two lots are more appropriate. Personally with all that space in Memorial Park I don’t see why something similar to that large skatepark in Dallas couldn’t be done. With the new technology I doubt that Memorial Park would be anywhere near as disruptive in terms of noise and you could site it far enough away from residences that the likelihood of it being noisy after being built hence a major headache would be slighter.

            However in the bit of reading I managed to do I did find some places where parks sited on hilltops seemed to be problematic with the noise so it seems it would be better in a lower parcel of land.

            Like I said, I’m not affected by the location at this point but I don’t feel like the noise concerns of residents are to be so easily dismissed. It’s a legitimate concern on their part to my mind.

          • When you post a rebuttal to

            When you post a rebuttal to my data and focus on how loud the peaks in their study were, but then tell me the reason for those peaks (the pool coping) doesn’t matter to you, I think that says something about where your understanding of what I’m trying to say is.
            I think it also says something when you post “a simple google search turned up about 13 noisy parks in a five minute search” without going into any detail about what the park was built out of, what constitutes a “noisy park”, and what types of locations those parks were built onto.
            I don’t have the patience to argue evidence and experience against speculation, especially when it’s on a thread attached to legitimate data.
            I’m going to try to say this one more time.
            Evidence would suggest that concrete skateparks are quieter than light traffic, outdoor tools such as weed whackers, chainsaws, and lawnmowers, and at the same volume +/- as other outdoor recreational activities found at public parks. This indicates that neighbors won’t have to worry about a skatepark being too loud, because it will be quieter than what the surrounding sound levels currently are.
            If you want to refute this, then provide some sort of data, end of story.
            You say that you support a skatepark being built in town, and you say Memorial Park may be the best place for that. If you really believe that you need to understand the people at Memorial Park are going to bring up the exact same arguments against that people near Crowell lot had. Noise is a big one. I have provided ample evidence and experience demonstrating this shouldn’t be a concern, however for some reason people keep spreading the idea that this information is invalid because they did a quick google search on something they don’t even fully understand or know about. If you really really support a skatepark in town then stop trying to argue against every bit of data and information that supports a skatepark being built in town. It’s that simple.
            Jesus *&^%$ Christ, I can’t handle this website anymore. Stick a fork in me!

          • Your reaction seems a bit

            Your reaction seems a bit over the top to me. I don’t think it requires an in-depth study before stating as a taxpayer and resident that it seems it would behoove the town to do a very thorough research into noise and quality of life issues before placing a permanent structure in such a closely situated residential setting. Regardless of whether the neighborhood is noisy or not, or perhaps better yet, to even weigh it more on the no side if the residents already deal with a lot of noise which apparently they do at Crowell. I don’t have to be a skatepark expert or try to be one, I could be discussing any sort of permanent structure that would add to the noise level in such a setting. And I don’t think the neighbors concerns should be discounted…at all.

            Isn’t Memorial Park large enough that the placement could be as far away as in Dallas or Ballard from residences. The more distance you have the more it seems to me that noise concerns would become a moot point.

            Sorry if this has ruffled your feathers but no, I will NOT stick a fork in you.

        • You do realize that it is the

          You do realize that it is the people who object to a skate park in their neighborhood who keep bringing up the excessive noise issue, right? No one who is in favor of a park being built (Somewhere! Please!)is initiating the ‘noise’ conversation- only responding to the continuous argument of a skate park being too noisy. And, I may be mistaken, but I think one of the people commenting on the noise levels lives in the Elm/Elliot Street neighborhood. So, apparently even that site is unacceptable to those who simply don’t want a skate park in their town. As I’ve said before there’s plenty of rancor and anger to go around – on all sides. I’m not a member of BASIC; I’m not a skate boarder; I don’t live in any of the neighborhoods that are being proposed for the park. But I have grandchildren who live here and I know the value of having many different opportunities for healthy outdoor activities for kids and adults to use. This town doesn’t seem to be able to EVER make a decision about anything. In the grand scheme of things getting a skate park built should be an easy decision to come to. Dozens of other small New England towns have built skate parks with far less controversy and foolishness than is on display in Brattleboro.

        • You're turning this into a

          You’re turning this into a spectacle.
          If you don’t want me to use your words within context to support a valid argument then don’t speak at public meetings. This might be a good time to point out I’m still waiting for an apology from you guys, specifically Wendy Crueger, for publicly accusing me of stealing hundreds of dollars worth of property.
          I have nothing to do with BASIC. I don’t go to their meetings. I don’t meet with them for coffee to discuss tactics.
          In this collection of data, and in my Commons article I never once made a suggestion on where the skatepark should be located. All I did was argue where it shouldn’t be located. All I’m trying to do is argue that skateboarding should be awarded the same opportunities that any other town supported recreational activities has.
          This is not a healthy atmosphere to have any sort of debate. I do not appreciate being so attacked for simply voicing my opinions in a professional manner. I am not going to run around in circles with you anymore. Have a good day.

      • I am sharing from my experience

        I am sharing from my personal experience of listening to skateboards on the street all manner of day and night. The sound of the wheels on the road is very irritating. Where ever this skate park finds a home, the sound of coming and going of skateboards will increase.

        I am curious if any of the pro-skate park folks live in the possible sited neighborhoods?

        • from 2009-2012 we held three

          from 2009-2012 we held three Go Skateboarding Day events, with 15-20 skaters on the basketball court, with plywood and steel features.There was cheering, slapping boards, grinding rails and giant leaps. you could not hear the skaters at the edge of the park. (the PA system could be heard). The neighbors were aware of the event and it created zero complaints. The event, could not be heard at our house, two blocks away on Spruce St.

          • That's interesting. Perhaps

            That’s interesting. Perhaps some residents could weigh in here to verify, someone who lives adjacent to the park. But that is encouraging. I know that when I once lived in a large city it was a noisy neighborhood and there were two kids literally a block away who would skateboard on the sidewalk daily after school. I could hear them in my apartment with the windows shut and not facing that side of the block. However it was an urban setting so my expectation of hearing noise was much higher and I would just grin and bear it or put on headphones until they had homework to do. Also they were on city sidewalks with a lot of texture to the concrete.

            However I think in a setting such as our town there definitely would be a realistic expectation by residents of less noise in most of our neighborhoods, its a residential town.

          • Again, I ask if the people

            Again, I ask if the people posting on here about how long a skatepark has been attempted in this town can seriously believe there is not something at play that continues to twart their efforts besides angry opponents who do not understand youth, what their needs are, the benefits of recreation and activity, or, at least now, the potential advantage of a skatepark?

            Regarding youth, it seems to me that honesty, truth, how it can best be established, the value of sound research, the concept of effective leadership, the social and health value of homes and neighborhoods, and how to WIN an argument and achieve their goals are as (or more) important to teach youth than screaming as loud as they can while making very weak arguments, stamping their feet, alienating even those who support them, and whining when they continue to lose over several years?

            It seems that all the committees and attending all the meetings that we can muster (over years, no less) is not working well for anyone. There are proven strategies to help win a campaign, yet here this is again. It’s amazing.

            “All the right questions must be addressed in advance: Once the cement is poured and formed, there is no changing it.” – Tony Hawk Foundation

            Clearly this key concept (and providing convincing answers to those questions) remains elusive in the efforts BASIC continues to employ. The SB is trying to do this, I think. But will anyone live long enough to attend all the meetings all the committees continue to convene in Brattleboro?

          • The Peter Whitley Guide to

            The Peter Whitley Guide to Public Skatepark Development is a great place to start. It is written to help advance a public skatepark, not sustain a perpetual resource sucking boondoggle.

          • Is this why one neighbor

            Is this why one neighbor living 80 ft. away had to conduct his own sound study (representing other neighbors) to weigh in at the Environmental Court Appeal (insisting that a large sound barrier be part of that mediation agreement you partook in) that disproved your claim of non existent intrusive noise levels that would occur and be generated eye level to his house and others which in fact the final plan of the skate park would place much closer ?. Do we really have to go back and visit that dark history? What about evening hours when there is a definite lull in traffic or weekend mornings when the park can actually be quite peaceful and families enjoy it as such. Yes, it will be quiet during those times when laying dormant for the colder months yet at the same time will be occupying but depriving use of this portion of the park during that prolonged period? You are saying skateboard activity will not stand out or be heard during these periods common to traffic lulls, you may have convinced yourself, but how do you manage to convince others living here on that one?

          • Into the Wee Wee Hours

            This was one of the items that came up when I was searching. Many different posts about this park. And note that it is in a busy neighborhood with a highway but one of the problems for these neighbors is that the kids are scaling the fence (Fence?) and skating into the wee hours. So they don’t get their normal quieter times of day. And falling into the old cliche of “it only takes one” note that a kid says he doesn’t care about curfew he imagines he will still scale the fence at some point for a little midnight or later run (fence?). And at 2am with a skateboard it quite likely would only take one. Again, nothing against the kids, or skateparks, just place this where it would be least likely to disturb people. This is starting to remind me of when my kids were tots and a family member always wanted to meet the family at fancy quiet restaurants for brunch or lunch or whatever. Talk about a set-up, needless to say it was always a disaster because the setting did not take into consideration the kids (who were dolls, really) age and ability to function in that setting so it didn’t disturb others. Talk about setting up a bunch of teenagers (who are good kids) so they do get a bad reputation. Recent studies show that the part of the brain that controls impulsive behavior doesn’t finish developing into the 20s.


  • Concrete parks and noise

    As a father of two avid skateboarders, it pains me that we’re still fighting over small issues. I’m currently on a skateboarding trip with my sons in Rye and Hampton, NH because we still don’t have a park in Brattleboro to skate at.

    For the last three years, I’ve taken my kids to Northhampton, Mass.; Chester, Ludlow, Manchester, West Lebanon, N.H., Springfield, Bondville, Rye, NH; Hampton, NH; Chester and the the Brattleboro Boys and Girls Club just so my kids can enjoy the thrills of skateboarding. I can’t even put an estimate on how much money I’ve spend on gas and food so that we can make these trips happen. It really saddens me that we’re all digging in our heels over this. There will be no “perfect” park. Whatever the Selectboard chooses – again – let’s move on.

    That being said …

    Here’s a video of my son skating on asphalt and cement in Hampton, NH. Notice the difference. I hope this gives some perspective.

    The only burning question I have (and I admit, I came in late in the game re: the whole debate over the skatepark location) but why are bathrooms at Crowell Lot a concern? There aren’t any right now. Why is this all of a sudden an issue? Like I said, I’m coming in much later than the rest of you. But I am curious as to why this is.

    PS: Chris & Lise … I’m back. 🙂

    • To my mind, infants and

      To my mind, infants and toddlers wear diapers and so do a lot of seniors. Sorry for the jest at the expense of seniors but am I kidding? I’m not totally sure. Seriously I’ve never understood how a public park can not have restrooms. In most towns I’ve lived in it’s required if the population use is over a certain number.

      • Re:

        It would be great if there was at least an outhouse. I’m all for that. But a bathroom is not a reason to hold up a skate park at Crowell Lot either.

      • With the exception of LMP

        With the exception of LMP none of the parks in Brattleboro have a restroom. The fact that Crowell doesn’t have bathroom facilities should have no bearing on whether or not the skatepark goes there. The much touted Elm Street site doesn’t have any facilities. In my 6 + decades on this earth I have lived in many places and spent time in probably hundreds of parks- that’s kind of a given when you’re raising 4 kids. I can count on 1 hand the number of those parks that had bathrooms. And the ones that did were large, multi use parks -usually with swimming pools -like LMP. I hope the lack of a bathroom is not going to become the newest “argument” against the skate park.

        • Re:

          *** I hope the lack of a bathroom is not going to become the newest “argument” against the skate park. ***

          KAlden, at the last site visit, a man, who I don’t know his name but his wife is on the site selection committee, asked if there was going to be a rest room. I remember him saying, “This is serious.” I know he and his wife had concerns about Crowell lot since the beginning, but I don’t know where they really stand.

          Again, was a concern over a bathroom at Crowell lot ever a concern or is this new? Why would that be another reason to not support it? It makes no sense.

  • To answer the bathroom concern

    The original plan announced involved installing a 15,000 sq. ft. “world class” skatepark that would “draw people from around the region” including skaters, bicyclists, inline skaters, and pedestrians and which would hold “special events”. This specific description is/was specifically identified in Peter Whitley’s Guide to Developing Public Skateparks as a big NO-NO when rolling out your plan to the public, because it will not gain the support of those living closest to the park.

    So, in addition to that critical mistake, the “Guide” (as well as SPAUSA)recognize that public bathrooms and available drinking water are big assets for planning any skatepark, for very obvious reasons. That was even clearer when the domination of public spaces by young males was raised as a concern and was met with the argument that more and more girls make up skateboarders.

    Even when the idea was first proposed for Crowell, it was short on good planning standards and was announced in a way that was not advised by the sources recognized as the most authoritative on building a public skatepark. Ineffective leadership was made worse by the fact that the park was surrounded by well-educated and conveniently connected taxpaying residents who love the very tiny green park as it is, including (but certainly not limited to) an architect and engineer with long established careers in major project design and management in urban areas, as well as small project design in small towns in Western Mass.

    It was doomed to fail because the planning and vision was poor, the public outreach for the proposed plan was poor, and the advocates unable to make their case convincingly (for Crowell Park); including that peeing and pooping by increasing the numbers of male and female users of a tiny little park in a residential neighborhood was not a concern worth planning wisely for.

    • Sick of the debate, but don't like your revisionism

      The project was launched before any such guide was published. The original skater catalysts behind the movement knew all along the biggest park in New England was Fitchburg, at +/- 12,000 ft. Chelsea Pier, in NYC is +/-13k. There never was any intention to build something vast and competitive. It was always about quality. ‘World Class’ and ‘State of the Art’, was meant to denote sculpted concrete. That construction material, which is the ideal, was the first point that required explanation. That’s where that phrase came from.

      With the changing guard, the rhetoric may have taken on some zealous elements with a desire to promote a quality asset, but the true intention was always known to the Rec Dept, and the Selectboard. And it was described that way in the original plans from LMP, and West River. It was to make a successful, popular, functional, daily-use home park…Not to build a summer time ‘ski-jump’ compliment.

      I’m sure you can parse and quote, and cite and tout your credentials until the cows come home. It doesn’t change the fact of your bias, you coming late to the game in the first place, and your insistence that your question were unadressed, even though they were addressed many times. Just the answers didn’t fit your at first preconceived, then consuming notions of where, how, why, when, who or whether to build a skatepark.

      • reframe

        “…the true intention was always known to the Rec Dept, and the Selectboard. ” – Spinoza

        That statement further supports the obvious; the lack of effective leadership and the chronic inability to convince a sizable portion of a neighborhood/town (including some well qualified to weigh in on the project and the process) that considering Crowell Park is a well conceived plan (as it has been presented thus far).

        Coming late to the “game” is very much allowed by the process, thank God. It is unfortunate, as I have always said. However, part of the reason that many were late to the game was because there was, very obviously, inadequate outreach to those most likely to challenge the “potential” impacts to abutters (PIA) Where were you and your people when over 100 attended a forum on this subject hosted by, no less, the town of Brattleboro leaders? Credentials, knowledge, networking, and resources can clearly matter, as they surely did in the opposition to the Crowell “plan”, when bungling advancement of a poor development planning is put forth. Conversely, had thorough public out reach occurred, you may have benefitted from it, rather than found your ongoing efforts squashed with aplomb by a network of capable people with no formal power, or support from those with it.

        Lastly, (whew!) the ongoing allegations that “opponents of a skatepark in the town” are simply uninformed citizens bent on acting out of an inability to objectively consider the facts (including ineffective leadership which with an apparent inability to comprehend existing codified zoning ordinances, sound planning standards and development review process, and the potential for project failure as a result of those), is part of the reason your goals remain elusive and mired in muck. You, and several others, could build on the support that you do actually have, if you would stop making such silly statements about evil boogie men and their intentions and look more closely at why there is no skatepark in Brattleboro, despite decades of failing efforts.

        • So long

          When you attack, and misdirect, it’s hard to just let it pass. Although I should. I see at this point, arguing is to no avail.

          Your quote from above, was NOT ONLY CHERRY PICKED, and mis-applied, IT WAS PARTIALLY QUOTED….THE REST OF IT BEING … “And it was described that way in the original plans from LMP, and West River. It was to make a successful, popular, functional, daily-use home park…

          That reference was to the plan at Living Memorial Park. And to the plan at Route 30, which, by the way was voted on and ratified by the whole town at Town Meeting. (As was the plan at Crowell, overwhelmingly approved by the School Board and Town meeting members)

          It’s easy to tear down. Building is the harder job.

          And to end on a personal note. The offer to school us poor ignornamuses now on how to WIN, appears as the height of cynicism, even cruel. But keep affirming how you’re a fan of the effort. It’s appreciated, I’m sure

          • Re: LMP and West River and Crowell and Elm St?

            Exactly. Do you believe it is “bad” opponents that are responsible for none of these locations boasting a skatepark today? Is it possible something is not being done as well as it could be on your end?

            I never called anyone ignorant. I question the enduring refusal to look at anything beyond contempt for youth and mis-guided anger of good people as the reason a skatepark does not exist, in the face of persuasive evidence, rather amazing.

            Where was all this moral high ground for the last four years when so many who dared question the source of the problem (with research and expertise) were insulted, mocked, pelted with vulgarities, slandered by a past BASIC president, all amidst near total silence of BASIC members and past town leadership? God, the total hypocrisy of your “personal note” is astounding.

        • Cruel, sleazy and effective.

          Cruel, Sleazy and Effective.

          Zippy, Rootrunner and Dora have done an excellent job of killing this menacing project. Thank god they saved us from those evil morons at BASIC, The Selectboard, The School Board, The Recreation and Parks Board, The Development Review Board, The Environmental Court, Representative Town Meeting the Tony Hawk Foundation and those all those foolish donors.

          Imagine how horrible this could have been? A skatepark in Crowell Lot!

          Now there will be nothing…

          They seem to like rub it too.

          Cheers to Zippy, Rootrunner and Dora!

        • I used the heart of your

          I used the heart of your quote to emphasize that if the Selectboard knew the true intent of the term “world class” while the public who challenged the “plan” (now) allegedly did not, they failed to clarify that and facilitate understanding in a community divided. That said, this is clearly why Whitley advised against using the words “world class” in an argument with abutters concerned about PIA when pursuing a public skatepark. The Guide was available at the time because I obtained it and read it.

  • Skatepark Success Criteria

    I am a skatepark advocate with 10 years experience. In that capacity I have provided vision, led discussion, and proposed projects across the nation. Projects that I led in my hometown have won place-making awards from national organizations.

    I have authored the Public Skatepark Development Guide. That book has been described by readers as “the skatepark bible.” To date it has sold through about 14,000 copies to communities across the world.

    You can read a version of it online, for free, at

    I am currently the programs director for the Tony Hawk Foundation. This nonprofit organization works internationally with communities exploring their skatepark options. We provide guidance on all aspects of skatepark development. We also provide skatepark construction grants. The THF board of directors was so impressed with BASIC’s project that they awarded Brattleboro a grant in 2011.

    You can read more about the Tony Hawk Foundation at

    We’ve been watching the skatepark developments in Brattleboro for a few years now and are familiar with the nature of the challenges. I would like to share my insight in the hope that it may clarify both our position on matters and help find a way through to everyone’s goal of providing local youth with a place that they can recreate safely and comfortably.

    Skateparks are easily misunderstood. There are lots of preconceptions about what is likely to occur there. Some of these ideas are positive and some are not.

    Skatepark advocates and proponents can have a tendency to emphasize the positive aspects of the new facility to a degree that those unfamiliar with skateparks feel that their concerns aren’t being fairly addressed, (much less resolved).

    These situations can be incredibly frustrating for everyone, and nobody knows that better than you. It’s discouraging and nobody is currently getting what they want. The future looks bleak for everyone.

    One piece of striking evidence that people are not communicating is when the solutions to your mutual problems cease being part of the conversation. I would recommend that everyone that is interested in seeing a positive outcome reflect for a moment on what the best skatepark for Brattleboro looks like.

    How many people are using it?
    How are they using it?
    What kinds of things are going on there?

    Envision your ideal facility for a moment. It shouldn’t matter if you’re inherently for a skatepark or not. Just entertain the notion that it’s humanly possible to create a facility that really works for the whole community.

    Hopefully you have that firmly in your mind’s eye. (I would think that anyone that was incapable of envisioning a successful skatepark should not be participating in any skatepark development conversation.)

    It would be terrific if you could share your vision of your “perfect skatepark” with the other folks here provided you can stick to these ground rules:

      You cannot disagree with or critique someone else’s “perfect skatepark” (even if they say “Brattleboro’s perfect skatepark is in Putney”).

      Your ideal skatepark should not impugn the character of Brattleboro residents, be they skaters or people that see little value in skateboarding. This is about an ideal facility.

    I’m going to start:

    1. Brattleboro’s skatepark will provide an essential recreational facility for local youth and others that love skateboarding, BMX-riding, and scooters.

    2. The skatepark will be located somewhere that is accessible to local youth by foot and will become a landmark that people will be proud of.

    3. The skatepark will be popular but not crowded. It will be frequently used but won’t overwhelm the hosting space with its activity. It will be vibrant but not cacophonous.

    4. The skaters, by virtue of being embraced by the community, will be good neighbors and stewards to the facility.

    5. The skatepark will be host to learn-to-skate days, picnics, and other fun community events.

    6. Periodically, notable skateboarders will come visit the skatepark for an hour or two and this will create excitement among local youth.

    7. The skatepark will, by virtue of having incredibly low maintenance, provide the greatest return-on-investment of any of Brattleboro’s recreational attractions.

    8. The skatepark will help local youth build a sense of belonging, establish their place in the community, and draw them away from places where they should not be skating (for their own safety and for the safety and comfort of those around them).

    9. The skatepark will engage youth that are not drawn to “traditional” sports and those that seek independent or creative recreational pursuits. This creativity will be manifest at the skatepark and will draw appreciation from non-skaters that happen to be near the facility.

    10. The skatepark and its immediate vicinity will be happy and cheerful.

    Your ideal skatepark may be different, and that’s great!

    The next step is to plot a course towards that ideal skatepark from where we are today. It’s not as difficult as it may sound.

    • Like your skatepark guide...

      …well said.

    • Thank you

      Thank you, Peter, for your continued support and for this outstanding effort to help bring some clarity to the vision for an outdoor skatepark that IS why most of us are STILL here, despite the many challenges encountered along the way. We WILL overcome them, as a community, and there WILL BE a Brattleboro Skatepark for all to enjoy!

    • .org?

      The .com address is redirecting to

      • I'm sorry, thank you. It's

        I’m sorry, thank you. It’s been a long weekend.

        We were just in a small town outside of Pittsburgh called Carnegie. For their population of 8,000 they have invested in a 17,000 square foot skatepark. The mayor told me that it’s probably the greatest thing they did for local youth in generations.

        Tony Hawk and other members of the Birdhouse team held a demo there on Sunday.

        All that to say, I’m very tired. I appreciate the correction and will edit my original post, if I can.

    • Zippy's skatepark ideal

      *Denotes that I have become aware of the value of this point since the Crowell Park plan was first proposed (i.e., progress)

      1) Brattleboro’s skatepark will be concrete and tricked out according to skateboarders needs*
      2) Brattleboro’s skatepark will be centrally located *
      3)Brattleboro’s skatepark will be in a mixed used recreation area *
      4)Brattleboro’s skatepark final location decision will include those who have advocated for it
      5) Brattleboro’s skatepark design and process will be open and transparent and cite the skatepark “bible” frequently
      6) Brattleboro’s skatepark will be located in an area where any proximal residents have had any reasonable concerns satisfactorily addressed with as much supporting evidence as possible/available.
      7) Brattleboro’s skatepark design, construction, and location will consider relevant expertise from various disciplines
      8) Construction of Brattleboro’s skatepark will not destroy any existing natural environment or require displacement of others who enjoy the multi-use facility
      9) Brattleboro’s skatepark will be a success over the long run

      • Awesome! Thanks!

        Awesome! Thanks!

        • Hi Mr. Whitely, We have

          Hi Mr. Whitely,

          We have completed as of June 2014 a long and thorough skate park site selection process open to the public here in Brattleboro with the select board forming/designating a committee to take charge of this public evaluation process ranking available sites against criteria eventually voted on by the committee and finally completed with much anticipation as to recognizing the Elm St. Lot as the overwhelming #1 choice for the skate park location among 4 other possible sites three of which are located in our main Recreation Park. BASIC’s chair attended most meetings and a BASIC member served on the board along with a cross section of interested Community members voted in.
          Because you have a direct connection with BASIC, I was wondering if you could reprint your comments and response formerly on their face book page concerning your recommendations for the Elm Street site so others in our community who aren’t BASIC members or don’t have access to face book like myself can be informed, thank you if you can help, really appreciate your insight. Les Montgomery

  • Thank You

    Barry, I like that list a lot!

    We appreciate your input Peter!

    • We, at the Tony Hawk

      We, at the Tony Hawk Foundation, want to see Brattleboro gets the best skatepark possible…

      …one that works for the whole community.
      …one that doesn’t compromise for the inflated fears of the few.
      …one that delivers on the promise of a positive, healthy, well-used facility.

      We’ve been doing this a long time and know what works. It looks like Brattleboro is in a great position to create a POSITIVE space for its youth.

      • Are expressions like

        Are expressions like this
        “inflated fears of the few”
        helpful in this situation? The answer “No, never.”
        I think that this could be re-worded so it doesn’t sound dismissive. Are you referring to just “those who have inflated fears” or do you think anyone who has concerns about the various issues mentioned belong in the “inflated fears’ category?.

        • Brattleboro Area Skatepark IS COMING!!!!!!!!!!!

          It’s always something, isn’t it? FYI- there will ALWAYS be someone who isn’t happy, no matter what…

          Thanks again, Peter Whitley, for your invaluable advice and wisdom in this decades old debacle. Hopefully, you and Tony and the Birdhouse crew WILL one day rock the new Brattleboro Skatepark in joyous celebration!

  • Forward is possible

    Thank you Peter Whitely for getting us back to the process. Sometimes I think the reason we can’t get this skatepark done in this town is that we have trouble just building a respectful conversation. Maybe that could be our first project.

    Regarding “inflated fears of the few”… that could mean fears that any of us have around any of the proposed sites. Maybe noise is an inflated fear for some. Maybe toxic buildings (that are slated to be cleaned up or removed) is an inflated fear for others.

    My own positive vision for a brattleboro skatepark is a place that excites the vision of the people of Brattleboro. Maybe it expands the use of a current recreational facility or it improves a part of town that can become a more vital part of our community.

    My positive vision includes building in a location that inspires people who won’t even use it to contribute because they see it as a net plus for the town.

    My positive vision for this project means that it will not have winners and losers but new friendships. I certainly have learned a lot about skateboarding and have enjoyed seeing parks in a variety of New England towns that have taken totally different approaches to anything considered or even available in Brattleboro.

    Let’s try and move beyond the accusations in all directions that did not hold up in the past and do not hold up now. Preserving green space is not solely a matter of oppositional neighbors – folks throughout Brattleboro are interested in preserving green space.

    People who ask questions about this public project are no more ‘anti-youth’ than people who skateboard are inconsiderate.

    The ‘toxic buildings’ at Elm Street are being dealt with (check with NEYT). Speaking of NEYT, it is is closer to the ‘toxic buildings’ than the Elm Street site. Why can’t the town have a vision of developing the Elm St location and improving it for everyone?

    Elm St could certainly be transformed with trees as well as concrete, benches, etc. A youth oriented park would tie in nicely with the Arts Campus envisioned by NEYT and the BMC.

    If a multi-generational playground is the agreed upon vision then Living Memorial Park is still the most viable in my humble opinion.

    If the site selection process drifts again into a structureless attempt at public opinion molding I don’t see progress being made. I do think it was unfortunate that no sooner did the Skatepark Site Selection Committee present its findings than the arguing resumed. If the followup discussion had had some of the same careful rules mentioned by Peter Whitely then we might be discovering a viable compromise rather than resetting the clock to zero.

    Attempts to divide and conquer public opinion will – I believe – backfire for the successful completion of the project. If a skatepark is to built on public land with public oversight and responsibility, then the only way to get it built is with bridge building – not innuendo and name calling.

    Public projects need to have all viewpoints expressed and respected, otherwise progress is impossible. The budget is presently so tight in Brattleboro that public consensus is a must to achieve political and economic support.

    I sometimes wonder why an enterprising person does not start up a regional skateboard facility on commercial land? NEYT bought land, raised money through grants and donations and has been growing and reaching more and more youth.

    Burlington VT started with wooden skate structures down by the old train tracks at the north end of their waterfront and is now expanding that skatepark as part of a 6 million dollar urban project. Fighting over a site will not bring us together. We need vision, respect and cooperation. The funds will follow a community compromise that brings people together.


    • Thank you

      Thank you Andy for your very thoughtful look at this. I agree with you almost completely.

      For what it’s worth, NEYT was on the DRB agenda the other night (8/18/14) for some site improvements to their campus. As I recall, when asked if they had the ‘toxic building’ in their near term plans for removal, they said that while it may happen some day, it was in fact NOT happening at this time, as the funds were not available.

      You can watch the meeting on BCTV (link below) if you would like their exact wording, but it didn’t sound like that mess was going anywhere in the near future. (The NEYT application is the last one of the meeting)

    • Decision time

      Please be advised that the Selectboard will be having a discussion on the Skatepark Site Selection at their next meeting. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept 2, 2014 at 6:15 PM in the Selectboard Meeting Rm in the Municipal Center 230 Main St.

      Please let your neighbors know of this meeting if they have questions or concerns regarding the proposed sites

  • Tonight's the night!

    Don’t forget, come to the Municipal Center in the Select Board meeting room at 6:15 pm to show your support for the Brattleboro Skatepark! What will YOU DO to contribute to this invaluable project once the location has been chosen?

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