The city just posted an update on the new skate park that will be built near our Recreation center [LINK]. What, now it’s near the rec center? Whatever happened to near the boardwalk??
Back in August of this year I posted two articles regarding this skate park.
- The first one was the rumor: RUMOR ALERT: Is a new Skatepark coming to the boardwalk area?
- The second was a confirmation, based on the Capital Improvement Plan 2014/15 Capital Budget: A Skate Park is coming in 2015: RUN FOR THE HILLS, THE END IS NEAR! (opinion)
So at last night’s city council meeting, a bunch of local skaters raised their concern over the type of park the city plans on building, as well as who was going to build it. I know nothing about skate park developers, so I am waiting to hear back from local skater group: Help Long Beach get a new skatepark for more info on that. But the type of park and location are the topics I’m interested in. Here is my take:
LOCATION CONFUSION: I first heard this skate park would be near the boardwalk. Now it seems like this park is actually going near the Recreation center; not in the current skate park location, but a new location. I don’t know….. seems like a bit of a disappointment, but I guess the city wants to better utilize the recreation center area more, so I guess this makes sense… but oh the missed opportunity here. I already did an entire post on the endless possibles regarding events, the attraction, the entertainment a skatepark near the boardwalk could bring. Read about all that here: 2014/15 Capital Budget: A Skate Park is coming in 2015: RUN FOR THE HILLS, THE END IS NEAR! (opinion).
Missed opportunity also with the iStar-factor: How no public concessions on the superblock were in place for development. Municipalities do this all the time: You want to build some major development? ok, but do this for the public on this little piece of land. I know this happens. (Meet me in person and I will tell you how I know.) The superblock would have been a PERFECT area for a skatepark, but instead we are going to get humungous open air parking lots and it will all look so typical and generic. Yeah, I wrote about all this already (http://www.seabythecity.com/?p=21317)
The attraction and presentation of our city is very important. Not just for potential residents, but for us living here right now! People off the LIRR are walking past Urine, Drugs, Vomit, Graffiti, Garbage only to walk to our beach and be greeted with a giant parking lot. They won’t get a chance to see the skate park because they are not going to the Recreation center at all. I know if I came off that train, walked to the beach and saw a skate park, I would think of Long Beach as a pretty damn cool town with lots of things going on here that you don’t see elsewhere in NY. This is the kinda stuff that actually attracts those young adults who are moving off Long Island.
I realize this skatepark isn’t being made solely to attract tourists to live here, but I just wish we had better planners, developers, thinkers and architects out there thinking out side of the box. To try to come up with a way to make things work in the right locations, not these second rate (rec center) areas where it will be lost. Skate parks aren’t for everybody, but while us older folks had Nunley’s, movie theaters and soda shops to hang out at, the kids of today need a place too. Besides, it’s highly entertaining to watch a good skater in a bowl.
MATERIAL CONFUSION: If you look at Facebook group Help Long Beach get a new skatepark, you can see what the local skaters want: cement. There seems to be concern that pre-fab material will be used, although the city did say they are holding public meetings regarding the design. Nothing seems to be concrete (pun intended) yet. My understanding is this: If the skatepark is not cement, the city shouldn’t even bother building it. That is the opinion I have, not as a skater, but as a one-time BMXer who used to hang out with skaters when I was younger. Cement is the way to go. I can’t wait to here more on this topic as we move forward.
Well, here is the flyer that the city just posted today: