Thursday, April 12, 2007

NSL May Close Skater Park

Bountiful tried to put in a skate park, but didn't due to active citizen/neighbors. Now Hatch Park in NSL may close because of the problems of vandalism and a general disruption of the peace.

We hate to say we told you so.

15 comments:

Davis Didjeridu said...

I feel much of the concern about skate parks is misguided. There are hooligans, vandals, and criminals that plague all parks. What I find good about the skate park phenomenon is that it is actually involving young people in their city/county government. What I find sad is that they are the ones that usually disappointed by government leaders who do not appreciate their dedication to the issue. This breeds the kind of cynicism and distrust of government many young people share today. I specifically remember when some teens in West Bountiful tried to build a skate park about ten or so years ago. One city councilwoman was quoted in a Clipper headline as saying the idea was "unsavory" to the teenage petitioners.
I do not think cities have the responsibility to provide recreational facilities for all potential consumers. However, when civic involvement can be promoted along with recreation, I feel it is right and good for cities to be involved. As far as this specific issue goes, the good skaters should band together, with their parents, and make some public and not-so-public statements that disruptive influences will not be tolerated at the park. Shutting the park down will only shift a legal recreation activity to illegal skating on private property.

Tyler Farrer said...

D.d,

I hear what you're saying. In fact I don't think most skaters are causing the trouble, but it is a concern. I drive by this park everyday, and I see many age groups that use it. There are a few that are unsavory, making us wince when we take our children there.

What the city is doing here, and rightly so, is saying, "I'll turn this car around right now unless you and your sister can get along".

Now the neighborhood that protested Bountiful's plan to build a skate park suggested that the park would not have the supervision required to keep unsavory elements out and they were scoffed at by Mayor Joe Johnson. Hatch Park is right next door to NSL City Hall, and the Police, and they are having a tough time watching it.

Frankly, the NIMBY's in Bountiful were right, and Mayor Joe was wrong.

WP said...

'Unsavory-ness', isn't it really about what is beauty, in the eye of the beholder?

Let these "unsavory" kids by many definitions have a place to do their thing. The kids from the other side of the cultural or social spectrum do. Several years ago I was rather offended when I attended a 10th grade football game at Viewmont. Using the same criteria I could make a case that football should be banned because of the dress, (skimpy atire), of little girls and their behavior with some males of the species. I think I saw several bare midriffs with Victoria Secret undies showing above the belt line.

I'll take the kids at the skate park any day.

Tyler Farrer said...

"Unsavoriness" in this case is defined as that which would elicit a visit from the police (i.e. vandalism, and disturbing the peace.)

Nuff said.

Allie said...

I'll take the kids at the skate park... as long as they are not throwing their garbage all over the grassy area where my children are playing...as long as they are not using crude language for my children to hear, and as long as their glass from their soda bottles do not end up broken in the sand where my children are digging.

I don't have a problem with skate parks if the people who use them appreciate what they have and show some respect for other people who want to use other areas of the park without having to worry about the safety of their children.

Tyler Farrer said...

Allie, that's exactly right! I couldn't have said it better.

Natalie said...

My boy, Junior, tells a story of an event he witnessed at the skatepark. To quote, "This skater-kid was riding down the rail on his board, and he fell. And his skateboard flew up into the air, came down and hit him right in his chotch. And then he said the F-word."

Classic.

In my visit to the park last week, I saw no glass in the playground, but I did hear the F-word three times.

Was anyone at the city council meeting where they discussed the skate park? I heard that the mayor's husband testified in favor of the park. Inquiring minds want to know.

Tyler Farrer said...

My wife says that my daughter has picked up cigarette butts a couple of times.

I just want the park to be family friendly.

Matt Hardy said...

The Mayor’s husband was there and he was in favor of keeping the skate park. He had parked next to the skate park for several hours observing how the kids behaved and did not see any bad behavior, swearing, vandalism etc... I am in favor of turning the current skate park area into Basketball courts and moving the skate park farther west closer to the freeway. This would be away from the children’s area and much farther away from any homes. I don’t think we can just get rid of it, it is used as much or more than any other facility we provide to our kids.

Allie said...

Hmmm, a basketball court might be interesting...

I don't have a problem with moving the skate park, but I still think that the people who use it ought to take better care of it. Maybe it could go in "time out" for awhile? :)

Allie said...

I have to say, the last several times I have been to/driven by Hatch Park, the skate park has looked pretty good. Maybe the people who use it are deciding to take better care of it???

JasonBunting said...

"Bountiful tried to put in a skate park, but didn't due to active citizen/neighbors."

Should read:

"Bountiful tried to put in a skate park, but didn't due to ignorant and bigoted citizen/neighbors."

I love when ignorant people talk negatively about skateboarders. As if everyone that plays basketball, football, etc. are just the most upstanding people on the planet. Get real. I am 33 years old and know plenty of other 30-something parents that were very interested in seeing the skatepark in Bountiful both for themselves and their children. It is a shame that ignorance drove people to prevent it from being put in.

"We hate to say we told you so."

Oh, because you just know that skateboarders are evil and vile huh? Grow up and stop being so ignorant. I have met more than my fair share of vile people that are huge football and basketball fans. Does that mean we shouldn't have football fields or basketball courts?

It amazes me that people continue to perpetuate bigotry about skateboarding and the practitioners thereof.

Tyler Farrer said...

Well now I'm a 'skater bigot'. I shouldn't be surprised, but I am.

Do I think most skaters are causing the problem? No.

Do I think there is a problem? Yes, very much so. When the kiddies litter around the swings, I get after them. When the skaters vandalize the park, I get after them.

I'd say I'm more of a bigot towards vandals than skaters, but take your pick.

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Cameron DeVan Pack said...

Does any one here have a degree in urban planning or parks recreation and tourism? If the people who were elected to city offices were qualified to be there we wouldn't have half of these problems. Cigarette butts, broken glass, F-words? We are talking about a skate park in the year 2009 as if we were still living in the 1950's. Some skateboarders do "bad" things, some clergymen do "bad" things, there are "bad" cops, "bad" parents, and even "bad" bloggers. We are bloggers and even though you can find "bad" things here, you are still here. Skateboarders wont go away. Let's build a quality cement park and figure out how to run it properly.
Syracuse, Layton, Farmington, Salt Lake, Heber, Cottonwood, Orem, and St. George have skate parks and have not turned into Sodom & Gomora. There is more crime in our public schools than in our public skate parks.