Archive for the “Lower Woodland” Category

Do you want lights at the Greenlake skatepark?

The best chance of making this a reality is to attend a meeting next Tuesday, September 4 at the Greenlake Branch Library at 6:30pm.

This Seattle Parks sponsored meeting is to discuss the adjacent funded ball field and tennis court lighting upgrades.  These upgrades do not include or provide funding for the skatepark.  However, due to the direct adjacency of these upgrades, existing infrastructure, and organized skatepark user group, this is a great meeting to attend and advocate (politely since this is not even a skatepark meeting) on behalf of lights for the skatepark.  In the past, there has been opposition to anything related to the skatepark by a small group of nearby residents so Seattle Parks staff need to hear overwhelming support for future lighting improvements if it will ever happen.  Please help us provide this overwhelming support by attending the meeting and making some simple statements on behalf of lighting upgrades.  A broader demographic of support will be more effective so parents and kids are urged to speak.  Space may be limited for public comment so arrive early (meeting starts at 6:30pm) and sign up for comments.

Below are some potentially useful points to make during your public comment that would result from lighting the skatepark:

·         Synergy with surrounding lighted sports facilities (softball and soccer fields have lights closer to homes so skatepark lighting would be masked by these lighting sources)

·         Facilitate year-round skatepark use

·         Power is already installed on site

·         Other skatepark projects and/or organized funding campaigns may fund it

·         An advocacy group already exists

·         Provide increased support for skate camps and programming

·         Graffiti deterrence

·         It’s the equitable thing to do

·         Estimated 20,000 skatepark users currently only have one skatepark available with lighting

·         Increased use will promote greater community building and self policing of the skatepark

·         Upgraded light poles for ball field could be designed to support additional lighting banks for skatepark

Hope to see you (and your kids!) at the meeting.

Ryan Barth

Chairperson, Seattle Parks and Recreation Skate Park Advisory Committee

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This is the last time I’m going to give this jackass publicity.  But if anyone knows this person, as some of the emails that have come in suggests, please try to explain that this does nothing but hurt our ability to build more skateparks.  Thanks.

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woodland_burnThis is the sight that greeted the early risers this morning at Lower Woodland.

Sure, it probably wasn’t skaters, but it still sucks.  This is the kind of thing that made Crossroads lame to skate for a while before they fixed the concrete, and ultimately why they installed surveillance cameras.

Believe it or not, Seattle Parks is talking about putting them in.  Wonder why…

Personally, I’d rather skate through fire than get hit in the head by a BMX bike, but that’s just me.

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LW Earth DaySnoCon and Element are teaming up on Earth Day to clean up Lower Woodland, and based on the condition of the place during last few times I’ve visited, it’s none too soon.

They promise giveaways, some contest action, and free food.  All you have to do is grab a provided garbage bag and pick up after your careless buddies to qualify for the free love.

While you’re at it, bring some carb fluid and wipe out some of that awful graffiti.  Or put up some ‘NO BIKES’ signs around the railings, because nobody reads the small print on those existing ones.

Just because this event is organized doesn’t mean you can’t show up under your own initiative and go above and beyond the role of garbage collector.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

Click here for more info.

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As reported yesterday on the West Seattle Blog, The Delridge skatepark funding is about to get cut out of the budget by the City Council.  As usual, this is a huge blow to skaters in West Seattle, and more potentially bad news for a user group that has seen it’s fair share of disappointments.

The city has a significant budget shortfall largely due to a 30% decrease in property taxes, and it’s looking hard for ways to make up for it.  In times like these, development and acquisitions are often the first things to get shafted, which in general makes sense.  I understand that times are tough, and some difficult decisions need to be made.  But let’s be honest… cutting funds for a free activity for people of all ages during a time when folks don’t have a lot of money to spend on entertainment, seems really short-sighted.

What pisses me off even more, is that skatepark advocates have worked hard to successfully direct a bunch of money into the Seattle Parks Department system, only to have Parks do nothing with it.

For instance, Lower Woodland skatepark was funded via heavy lobbying during the Ballard Bowl debacle, and from a grant that this skatepark advocate personally went to Olympia to ask for.  When the skatepark’s overall size was reduced by Parks in an effort to placate angry Greenlake neighbors, there was over $100K surplus in the skatepark budget on opening day.  Instead of putting in lights, water fountains, or (gasp) paving the path around the park instead of using that pea gravel that gets all over the skate surface, the money just sat unused for so long it has now been earmarked for some other purpose.

Another example is the “skate dot pot”.  This fund was given to the Parks Department by the City Council to build skatedots as outlined by the Citywide Skatepark Plan.  Despite persistent effort made by the SPAC to develop these skatedots, not a single dollar of this money has been spent on skate dots.  The only money that has been used from this fund was a small amount to kick-start the Delridge project, which now looks to be dead in the water.  The only skatedot project that seemed like it might get legs is at John and Summit, a manual pad that Parks mistakenly estimated would cost $10K, is now languishing behind a slow moving Parks effort for months and only seems to even have gotten this far because of constant prodding from skaters.  Every SPAC meeting in the last year has included some discussion with Parks staff about getting the skatedot process going and nothing has happened.

So really…where is the real inefficiency here?  Skaters have been successfully securing funds for Seattle skateparks for a few years now and we’ve built one park.  It’s disheartening to work so hard as an advocate, only to have a lack of action on the execution side toss those hard-earned resources to the wind.  Perhaps we should start taking a close look and find out who is responsible for sitting on large sums of money that were specifically given to them by the City Council to build skateable terrain in this city, only to have those funds squandered and the re-absorbed into some general fund for mowing lawns.  Meanwhile, skatepark projects on the other side of the city can’t get off the ground because of budget cuts?!?  If I was this ineffective at my job I’d be fired, and so would you.

On the positive side, the Parks Levy has passed, which has some funding for skateparks, but not enough for the parks listed in the levy.  The levy funds are really only seed money to be spread over the next 6 years.  The Delridge skatepark process has actually been moving forward nicely with relative Seattle Parks newcomer Kelly Davidson at the helm.  But Delridge is not included in the levy, and looks like it may fall out of funding for the next two years.  The projects in the Levy will also have to undergo the same process that we’ve already begun at Delridge, with great success and overwhelming community support.  In effect, this latest chain of events threatens to set West Seattle skatepark development back another three years, just when we were gaining a genuinely positive momentum that has yet-to-be-seen on a skatepark project in Seattle.

I know we’re living in tough financial times, and that this new development is largely due to factors that lie far outside of the Seattle city government and Parks Department’s ability to make things better.  But things have been so screwed up up to this point that there is no headroom in the system in case of emergency.  What bugs me is that with one hand we’re throwing skatepark money into the fire, and the other hand is begging for more.  I don’t blame anyone for not giving Seattle Parks more money for skateparks when they can’t even spend the bread they’ve been given thus far, especially when there’s a huge budget deficit.

I urge you to write an email to the City Council budget committee today, because time is short.  Explain to them that you feel like we’ve really achieved something special in West Seattle with the Delridge skatepark process, and the community can’t afford to lose this opportunity.  Tell them that we’re engaged in the process, we’ve gained momentum, and that the Parks Department is actually responding to us on this project.  Let’s not throw a wrench into the machine right when it finally seems like it’s working…

Send it to:

Tom Rasmussen

Richard McIver

CC:

Timothy Gallagher

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Snowboard Connection is hosting a Toy Machine demo at Lower Woodland on Monday.

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Mikee rips it in the clover.It was a great day for Seattle skateboarders.

We had a great turnout despite the drab weather, tons of positive energy, and confirmations from both the Mayor and the Parks Superintendent that more skateparks are on the way, with a park in West Seattle at Delridge playfield being the next project.

The skating was furious. There were very few actual “pros” which ended up being better. The demo was performed entirely by Northwest skaters, many of whom were young kids: the future and now of Northwest skateboarding!Lower Woodland ribbon cutting.

The park surpasses all of our expectations. There is something for every type of skater and skill level. There are issues, and Wally himself admitted to me that he wished a few things had turned out more to his liking. But really the only thing technically wrong with the place is that it’s not twice as large.

Mo tests the outcome of his contribution to the skatepark.

Thanks to everyone for a great day, especially the SnoCon family, Marshall from Manik, and all of our sponsors. This park was a group effort and everyone involved really deserves a huge helping of gratitude.

More coverage here, and more photos here.

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wpsposter_11×17f.jpgUnless you’ve been living under a rock for the last month, you’ve already skated Lower Woodland skatepark. You’ve seen the construction crew leave, and the armies of kids descending on the park like ants on a Jolly Rancher. You’ve noticed that the flow bowl is actually pretty fun, and that there are way too many bikes, even though most of the bikers seem to be respecting the coping and riding without pegs. You may have even been approached by a police officer and told, very nonchalantly, to please leave until he/she leaves and then come back.

Has anyone spotted Kris Fuller lurking on the fringes, clutching a decibel meter and a copy of her failed lawsuit to try and halt this “incredible waste of taxpayer dollars”?

All jesting aside, Lower Woodland is already a huge success. Yes, T.F. Sahli was not even our third choice of builder, and the park was not built as it was designed. But let’s face it…it’s fun and Seattle really needed a proper centrally-located skatepark with bowl and street terrain, that had something for all levels of expertise. While I’m sure Grindline or Dreamland would’ve built a better park, it really seems like Wally Holiday and T.F. Sahli have created exactly the type of park that is attracting a ton of skaters, and proves that we desperately need more skateparks to address the insanely high demand.

The ribbon cutting and official opening day will be on June 7th, and will include an appearance of Mayor Greg Nickels who paid for the bulk of this park by dipping into his own budget. Sure, Ballard was imploding under the pressure of an entire community wondering why the Parks Department would simply remove such a popular and positive skatepark facility, but let’s give credit where credit is due. Lower Woodland is Mayor Nickels’ baby and he will be there to grab the glory. There will also be a pro team demo as yet to be announced, as SnoCon is still lining up the talent, and a bunch of free stuff will get thrown out. DJ Masa will also be repeating his amazing 7″ skate punk session he performed at the original Ballard bowl.

It definitely won’t be anything like last weekend’s Thrasher event at Marginal, but it’ll be nice to celebrate the opening of Seattle’s first reasonably-sized skatepark with a little bit of revelry, even if it’s going to be executed under the usual Parks Department safety net. See you there.

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I snapped these yesterday.  There are a few of those feared Sahli-brand sharp hips in the flow area.  Hopefully they don’t screw up the bowls…so far they look good.  Except, of course, for the galvanized coping.

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I took these photos today thanks to Seattle Parks, Wally Holliday, and Tom Sahli.

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