City Skatepark Wars
posted by July 26 at 18:08 PMon
In this week’s paper, I had a small piece about the most recent delay in the relocation of the SeaSk8 skatepark, which was formerly located just east of Seattle Center.
On Monday, City Council was supposed to vote on a plan — previously approved by the council’s parks committee — to relocate SeaSk8 next to the Vera Project, on the north side of Key Arena. The vote was postponed until August 6th, due to some indecision about whether the fugly Du Pen fountain, which currently occupies the site, should be ripped out in favor of a skatepark.
The Du Pen family wasn’t happy about the fountain’s removal and several Council members received emails citing Du Pen as one of the few spots in the Center where families can hang out.
Newsflash: THERE’S ALREADY A HUGE FOUNTAIN, LIKE, 50 FEET AWAY!!!
It’s also worth noting that Du Pen gets used as a skate spot anyway, when it’s not full of water.
City Council rep Tom Rasmussen says he hadn’t heard about the controversial plan for Du Pen’s removal until the weekend before the vote. “I open the paper this weekend and see it’s going to go smack in the middle of this sculpture in Seattle Center. That’s when I expressed concern about this site. The council’s gotten really frustrated because we haven’t gotten a lot of good [skatepark relocation] choices presented to us.” Rasmussen has been a big supporter of skateparks in the past, and is all for a Seask8 rebuild, but he says he doesn’t want to see the Du Pen fountain ripped up
Council member Richard Conlin agrees that the Du Pen site isn’t optimal. He points to a scrapped plan for a site on Broad Street— which fell apart due to pressure from the Center’s Century 21 committee— as his first choice. “I supported the Broad Street location,” Conlin says. “I thought that was the ideal situation.” Although the Broad Street site isn’t happening, and the Du Pen site is less than optimal, Conlin says he’ll push for a resolution during the August 6th Council vote. “We’ve got to do this [and] I believe we have the votes at this point.”
SeaSk8’s latest delay has drawn a fiery response from Seattle’s skate community. The folks at the Skate Park Advisory Committee have done an admirable job of lobbying the city and have worked too hard for SeaSk8 to die again. Hopefully, the city can get it together and finally rebuild the long-promised and too-long delayed skatepark.
On Sleestak, a local skateboard website, blogger “Bobcat” offers up a unique way to solve the SeaSk8 problem:
Here’s my solution fuckwads: Give us a 1/4 of that barely used parking lot north of the opera house. Since it seems to rain in Seattle (oh the horror!), that would be an excellent place to put skaters and keep us out of the main Seattle Center rotting core.