Archive for the “News” Category

Tomorrow there will be a meeting of the Committee on Civic Arenas to discuss the Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Seattle and the Oak View Group, who plans to redevelop Key Arena at the expense of Seattle skateboarders.

Please consider showing up to provide your personal commentary on this issue. Comments will be limited and it’s important to arrive early to sign up (1 hr is playing it safe).

It’s unclear how aware the committee is of the negative impacts the current plan will have on the skate community. Please help us make sure that they understand the issues and that more effort by the City Council is required to do the right thing for skaters.

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This one was so good it brought me out of advocacy semi-retirement! In Seattle, we just gave them the job and allowed them to sidestep the process, but this just shows what kind of people you deal with when you get into bed with Rob Dyrdek and Joe Ciaglia/California Skateparks:

Joe Ciaglia, a big player in the small world of skate park construction, has agreed to pay $65,000 to resolve allegations that he attempted to rig the bidding on an L.A. skate park project in October 2010.

It all worked out OK, and the park is probably Seattle’s busiest. But that’s after countless hours of community involvement, tons of calling of the BS by SPAC and other advocates, and construction by a trusted local builder.

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Hey everyone,

Hopefully you’re heading out to your local skatepark, since we have those now, or down to SeaSk8 at 2pm to celebrate GSD with your friends.

While we’re out celebrating our favorite sport by actually skateboarding, here are some recent updates on new skatepark construction in Seattle:

  • Roxhill is live on the city’s bid system starting today and bids are due on July 11th.
  • Judkins will be posted by Friday and it will bid July 18th.
  • Northgate (Hubbard Homestead) is in the final stage of documentation approval and is going out to bid “soon”.
  • Jefferson Park’s official grand opening party will be a part of the Jefferson Park Jubilee celebration on July 14th.  SLAG and Marshall are working on a fun program for the skatepark so stay tuned.  Also, the new lights are supposed to be in before the grand opening.


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Newsflash!  There are six skatepark projects currently in development in Seattle! Holy crap!

Roxhill skatespot (West Seattle – link): the fourth and final public meeting is this coming Monday the 14th, from 6-7pm at the Southwest Library (9010 35th Ave SW), which you should attend because the design process thus far has been problematic and has not provided anyone with a clear picture of what exactly will be built.

Jefferson Skatepark (Beacon Hill – link): the park should be open in the first part of December and confirmed that it will have LIGHTS!!!  It is unclear on how late the lights would be on but fingers crossed it is until at least 10:30 or 11pm.

Hubbard Homestead Skatepark (just north of Northgate Mall – link): design is complete and contractor selection should be occurring any day.

Judkins Skatepark (link): design is final and contractor selection should be occurring soon.

Crown Hill Mini Ramp (Crown Hill: link):  The miniramp and adjacent small bank/rail, ledge and perimeter rocks are fully installed and OPEN FOR SKATING.  Grindline did their usually incredible cement work and the miniramp tranny and coping is perfect.

Kirke Park Skatedot (7028 9th Avenue NW – link):  The design is complete and construction should be starting soon.



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Skate Like a Girl does important work, and it’s cool that Nancy and SLAG are getting recognized by Parks for their ongoing effort to build community around skateparks and skateboarding in Seattle.  They especially deserve credit for trying to raise awareness that skateboarding isn’t just for dudes, mostly because it’s true, but also because it helps non-skaters understand that skateparks serve a much larger user group than they probably realize.

Parks gives away an annual Denny Award and this year they are recognizing Nancy, which is awesome.

Congrats to Nancy, Fleur, and all the folks who have helped to make Skate Like a Girl so successful.

Check out the link to the award page at Seattle Parks Website here.

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At the Delridge Skate Park opening, a couple of us skate park advocates were STRONGLY encouraged to show up to these meetings to speak up for our community (read; more/improved skateable terrain). Apparently, we have about 10 MILLION DOLLARS in the budget for Parks and Green Spaces and no one from the skateboarding world has spoken up. The cool thing is that we don’t even need to stay for the whole meeting- we could just show up/sign up to speak for the Public Comments part of the meeting- the first 10 or so minutes and then take off. I live in West Seattle and have 2 young kids, so it’ll be hard to pull off, is there anyone else that can make it? Or maybe we can figure out a way to call in? I’ve seen that done for WA Healthcare Authority meetings. If I can juggle it- get my kids fed and start their homework, I’ll be there to advocate for improvements at the Alki Community Center/ Lower Playground. There are a bunch of kids who have fallen in love with skateboarding and need a good open flat space to get their skills to really enjoy Delridge SP! And Alki has been on the Citywide Skate Park Plan for a skate dot! Right now, there are no dollars penciled in for that part of West Seattle either.

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Don’t forget to attend the meeting for the Judkins Park skatespot, which will be designed by Grindline.

The meeting will be held at the Douglass-Truth Branch Library, 2300 E. Yesler Way.

Yes, Seattle Parks is building ANOTHER skatepark!!!

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The regularly scheduled SPAC meeting tonight from 6-8pm has been cancelled.  Our next scheduled meeting is Monday night September 12.

More importantly, the Seattle Parks Superintendant voted to save the Summit and John Skate Dot that came under fire from a small group of neighbors that live directly adjacent to the skate dot!  For those of you who attended the Parks Board Meeting you know that their primary issue with the skate dot is noise.  Following the Parks Board meeting (where the vast majority of the citizens spoke in support of the skate dot), the Parks Board discussed the fate of the skate dot based on all of the testimony received and a briefing by Parks staff.  We watched a video of the discussion (no longer available on Parks website here: ) and it was very, very close.  We should all thank Commissioner Terry Holme because without his experience and input the skate spot would have met it’s demise (was a 4-3 vote in favor of maintaining the skate spot).  The discussion led the following two Board recommendations: 1) Keep the skatedot, and 2) Study noise related to skateparks.  The Superintendents decision to follow the Board of Parks Commissioners recommendation to maintain the skate spot is summarized in the Capital Hill Blog at the following link: .  A short snippet from the article is below:

“The Summit John skatedot will, indeed, continue its service to Seattle as the first skateboard-dedicated parks feature of its kind in the city. Superintendent Christopher Williams has agreed with the Seattle Parks Board recommendation to keep the Summit Slope Park featurebut scuttled the recommendation to create a working group that would have been assigned to further anti-skateboarding noise modifications of the already heavily modified park.”

–  Ryan Barth

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Delridge got it’s first pour today, and the park is looking amazing.  Grindline is really doing a great job down there.

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Screenshot from the Dyrdek/McGinn press conference.

Today we sent a letter to Mayor Mike McGinn and Christopher Williams regarding their lack of outreach to the Seattle skate community before accepting the “donation” from the Dyrdek Foundation, and what we think is going to happen if they go through with it.


To: Michael McGinn, Seattle Mayor

Christopher Williams, Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent

Sally Bagshaw and Richard Conlin, Seattle City Councilmembers

Cc: Kevin Stoops, Susan Golub, and Kelly Davidson, Seattle Parks and Recreation

Matthew Johnston and Scott Shinn, Seattle Parks and Recreation (Parks) Skate Park Advisory Committee (SPAC)

From:    Ryan Barth, Chairperson SPAC

RE:  Roxhill Skatepark – Donation Letter of Concern and Recommendations

Date: June 20, 2011

The SPAC is writing you today to express our concern with Parks continued progress to award California Skateparks a “sole source” design contract for the Roxhill Skatepark, as a result of the donation made by the Dyrdek Foundation.  The donation includes free skatepark design services by California Skateparks for the Roxhill Skatepark, which already includes a fully funded design and construction budget based on approval of the Parks For All Levy passed by Seattle voters.

The SPAC is very happy that the Parks Superintendent and Mayor have come out so strongly in favor of skateparks as a result of the Dyrdek Foundations donation offer in May 2011.  We also feel very fortunate that the Dyrdek Foundation recognized Seattle for being a leader in skatepark planning and funding, and wanted to contribute finances to help further our leadership.  However, we are disappointed that neither the Parks Superintendent nor the Mayor made any attempt to consult with the SPAC to evaluate the terms and affects of the donation, especially given the SPAC was the lead stakeholder group responsible for evaluating and lobbying for funding of this skatepark.  Although we have supported Parks on skatepark issues for eight years and are clearly the primary stakeholder and resource on these issues, we only learned that the Parks Superintendent and Mayor were going to accept the donation without these necessary consultations and evaluations one day in advance of the donation offer.  Had we been consulted, we would have shared with you several concerns based on our knowledge of skatepark issues in this region and nationally.  These important concerns are summarized below and identify why the accepted donation, without further evaluation, does not provide a benefit to Seattle or the skaters that will use this skatepark.  Our desire is to raise these concerns proactively to attempt to avoid an angry neighborhood and skateboarding community due to the design of a sub-par skatepark.

1. Seattle Parks has an established objective design selection process and this donation undermines that objective process.

The existing Seattle Parks skatepark design selection process includes a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for consultant services.  The RFQ summarizes the skatepark project location and schedule, the budget and scope of requested services, the requirements for consultant qualifications, the selection process, and the RFQ rating criteria. The RFQ states that the consultant responses will be evaluated by a Consultant Evaluation Committee that will likely include a cross section of individuals, including, but not limited to, City of Seattle staff, Parks staff, and community representatives.  The RFQ further states that these individuals will rank the consultant responses based on evaluation of the following five submittals:

  • Letter of interest showing the passion and creativity of the consultant
  • Summary of the project team demonstrating the consultant team has the necessary expertise
  • Summary of project examples showing the consultant team has the necessary experience
  • Description of consultants recommendations for the skatepark design at the identified location to show their team is creative and passionate about this project
  • A set of construction documents and specifications from a similar project to show the consultant  has the demonstrated ability to produce construction documents suitable for public bid

The unconditional approval of the Dyrdek Foundation design services donation does not allow the above established objective review and rating process to occur.  Therefore, Parks and Seattle skateboarders are unable to evaluate California Skateparks passion and creativity, expertise, experience, and demonstrated ability to produce construction documents suitable for public bid.  The SPAC spent considerable time and energy lobbying for identification and procurement of funding for this skatepark and find it unacceptable that a donation will eliminate our ability to ensure the best possible designer is chosen for this project.  For example, what leverage does Parks and/or the SPAC have to ensure California Skateparks is creative and passionate about making this the best possible skatepark since they are not getting paid for their services?  The SPAC urges Parks that this donation, and future similar donations for design services where funding is already procured, be evaluated using the above criteria and that the donation should only be accepted if the consultant exceeds a pre-defined rating threshold.

2. The savings resulting from the donated design services are not guaranteed to result in a better skatepark.

During the acceptance of the donation, the Mayor stated that an amount equal to the donation would be removed from the existing funding for the skatepark, and placed back into the Parks For All Levy general fund to support other projects.  If this is true, the SPAC is even more concerned that the donation was unconditionally accepted because Seattle is truly not receiving any benefit from the donation, which is unfair due to the substantial amount of work and lobbying completed by advocates, community members, and skateboarders, went into acquiring the existing funding for the project.  In addition, if true the Dyrdek Foundation would be very disappointed to learn that their donation did not result in additional skateable terrain or improvements to the already funded Roxhill Skatepark.  If the Mayors statement was misspoken and the design savings were maintained for this project, there is no means to identify how much of the savings would result in an improved skatepark because the savings would be directly linked to the construction bids (i.e., if the construction bids are above the engineers estimate for the design, the design savings would be used to cover the construction cost increase).

3. California Skateparks submitted a response to the Roxhill Skatepark RFQ and the objective Consultant Evaluation Committee rated them lowest

During the initial round of ratings by the Consultant Evaluation Committee appointed by Parks as a part of the selection process for the Roxhill Skatepark, California Skateparks was rated the lowest of all received consultants, with only one vote by any Committee member.  The Committee was composed of [Matt enter affiliations here to show wide range of folks].  The SPAC representative that participated in the Committee found that the California Skateparks submission lacked detail, site awareness, and inspiration.  These objective evaluations by a wide range of participants (skaters and non-skaters) clearly show that California Skateparks would not be selected as the designer for this skatepark in the absence of the donated services.  Therefore, acceptance of this donation results in the selection of a sub-standard design consultant and associated design.

4. In exchange for the donation we are relinquishing a considerable amount of control and input on what kind of skatepark goes into this site.

The Roxhill Skatepark requires a custom design due to the site’s unique restrictions.  The SPAC has researched California Skatepark designs throughout the country and feels that they are not a good fit for this unique site because they generally design skateparks with large, contiguous footprints and limited site constraints.  The Roxhill Skatepark site is dotted with mature trees, and therefore requires a non-contiguous design that incorporates these trees.  A California Skateparks street plaza in this site would require the removal of many if not all of these trees.  The SPAC does not support the removal of trees to build skateparks.  At this site, the SPAC advocates for other contemporary skatepark designers that have a documented portfolio that includes the integration of creative designs with existing trees.  California Skateparks does not design or build the kind of skatepark that will work best at this site.

5. It’s not clear that the skateboarders will realize any benefit from this donation.

The SPAC would like to emphasize that this skatepark project is fully funded so a donation is not necessary/warranted for this project unless there is a clearly identified benefit to be gained by the donation.  We are unable to identify sufficient benefits to outweigh the above identified concerns.  In exchange for accepting this donation on our behalf without consulting us first, we are being forced to select the lowest rated design consultant (by Parks own selection process), with an increased risk of building a sup-par skatepark for the site or the community that will be using it.

Again, the SPAC appreciates the supportive spirit behind the Mayor’s and Parks Superintendent acceptance of the donation.  However, we hope that the concerns raised above will lead to rejection of the donation and the selection of the best designer identified by the Parks appointed Consultant Selection Committee.

-Seattle Skatepark Advisory Committee

Feel free to post your comments here.

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