Skatepark Discussion Continues

Because we can never discuss skateparks enough, and reaching over 100 comments can be hard on readers, here is a new story to continue the conversation.

To review, Brattleboro is in search of a site (or sites) for a skatepark. There are four official sites chosen by the selection committee, and a fifth potential site discussed at Living Memorial Park during Selectboard visits. There is also a possibility that no site will be selected, as well as suggestions that more than one site be allowed.

As no decision has been made yet, discussion and debate continues…

Comments | 12

  • 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

  • Once the grounds are broken and laid down

    I was never in favor of a skatepark at the expense of the freedom to skate around town, not unlike we can do with bicycles.

    I was always in favor of a skatepark because of its attractions for community social and economic development, and the attractions it offered out of town visitors.

    So I guess we can kiss the freedom of skateboarding goodbye.

    If we have to box them in, corral them like wild stallions, I was glad to see Chris mention here the “suggestions that more than one site be allowed.”

    Once construction begins, it makes equally good sense to build two parks, not one. It may not escalate the costs anymore than they will be anyway once the grounds are broken and laid down.

  • Last and First Impressions

    I’d like to contribute a response to Peter Whitely’s invitation to share a vision of ‘your perfect skatepark.’ I’ve been thinking about this a long time. My impressions come from being a skater, a young skater’s dad, a school teacher and coach, having skated many parks and spots, and includes various other assorted perspectives (snowboarder/surfer/nature fanatic…etc)

    There is great merit to the idea of having more than one park. There are many basketball, and baseball arenas in town, which not only serve differing neighborhoods, and levels of intensity, they also dissipate the crowds that could form were there only one venue.  The footprint discussion seems to be ever shrinking, and the crammed-in factor is a major disincentive for an enjoyable experience.

    Besides, unlike those other sports I just mentioned, skateparks come in many styles and forms, so in answer to the question of vision, it’s seems natural to have more than one, especially as each of the locations picked by the site selection committee have different characters, and limited space.

    Given that it is unlikely that young children, and/or their parents would be comfortable left alone downtown for an extended session, the Elm St lot could have a smoothly paved concrete surface, and elements can be added and juggled, geared for the more experienced skater. Some street features, as well as a few ramps, could offer a more gnarly place to play, in keeping with the tone of the location.

    The areas with already thriving mixed uses could be home to more undulating terrains. A small bowl, a run that dips and twists, circumscribing the space, would make for both an interesting and accesible venue. Progression is such an important piece of the puzzle, and I’d want a park built so that the shakiest beginners have features in which to launch, as well as grow in confidence and skill.

    Trumping all considerations, the place should be welcoming. It should be open, as in not locked away, and not made safe only by virtue of an authoritarian patrolling component. Pride of ownership is the best guarantee of a park being successful.

    Since this is ‘my vision’ I’m going to to take it all the way and say further that my perfect park is also community funded. Whether the funds comes from private, local, state or federal money, or a combination, it’d be great to know those who claim staunch support for youth, have put some money where their mouth is.

    Another ideal is that the venue(s) exist in conditions and a climate where getting to the park legally and safely on a skateboard is possible. 

    And the last piece of my vision of ‘a perfect park’ is spirt. This is mainly defined by the support that comes out of camaraderie, as well as having a well built facility that matches the levels and ambitions of the users. Since my comments are in the realm of the ideal, and the decision to be made next week is all about getting real, I’ll close with one of my earliest entries to this campaign. It speaks to this notion of spirt, and spells out the dream that has thus far been so elusive.

    • Getting to the park legally and safely on a skateboard

      As Spinoza indicates: “Another ideal is that the venue(s) exist in conditions and a climate where getting to the park legally and safely on a skateboard is possible.”

      There is no reason why, especially for adults, skaters should be prohibited from getting to the park on their skateboards. Oftentimes skaters ride, carry the board, ride, etc. when navigating through streets (as do bicyclists, who at times ride or walk their bikes).

      This town needs to relinquish assumed responsibility of protecting skaters from themselves as they do with bicyclists who face no such prohibition. Guidelines, recommendations, some zoning restrictions are okay; totally prohibiting adult skateboarders their thoroughfare and passage is not. This means people who are 16 and older.

      Additionally, age should be treated with some permitted allowance as to who can be considered self-reliant and responsible skaters on streets (there are 14 year olds who are more mature than 24 year olds).

      • Maturity

        (there are 14 year olds who are more mature than (X)4 year olds).
        Insert your favorite decade here.

        • Octōgēnārius

          (there are 14 year olds who are more mature than 84 year olds).

          • And...

            I should be so lucky to even probounce, much less bet there… 🙂

    • totally support this...

      “…it’d be great to know those who claim staunch support for youth, have put some money where their mouth is.”

      This is the right way to go. We asked for a site selection process and got one. BASIC did their work against numerous obstacles and odds. Kevin and I are strongly on board with this regardless of the final location(s).

    • Second Image

      The second image would fit perfectly in up at ULMP, Elm Street already has skaters rearing to go, was passed by four boarders yesterday in this same area looking for someplace to go maybe, go where the need is greatest first, they’re are already skating in this area!, then follow up at a later date with further expansion we could afford as time goes on.

      Even a smaller version of the skate park at Crowell will displace a valued playground area and green space causing a costly move to relocate the reduced proposed playground on the other side of basketball court in direct sunlight with zero site lines even if the beautiful park evergreen hedge was cut down & removed it is still up on top of the slope at that point with poor visibility, this would be nothing less than completely poor planning for this park in my opinion.

      • What will you do...

        Thank you for your continued efforts to find a solution to this aging dilemna. I’m sure all the skateboarders in the area really appreciate your energy and commitment, I know I do. What will you do to contribute once a location is chosen by the Select Board? Or does it depend on where that location is?

        Also, where were you when this took place?

        BASIC final skatepark design vote redux

        or this?

        BASIC Community meeting Nov 9 2010 C

        Thanks again for all your support, see you Tuesday!

  • Skateboard park.

    Skateboarding is a great sport and a great spectator sport as well. I look forward to watching it myself. As I am 63 I’d probably get carried off to BMH on the fist fall if I did it. Lets support physical fitness and healthy living, give it a chance.

  • 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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