Archive for the “North Seattle” Category


Add another fallen skate spot to Seattle’s long list of demolished and skatestopped sites.

R.I.P. Kate’s Clamshell

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Kate Martin's front yard skatopiaIt looks like Seattle’s only actual skatedot may be litigated out of existence by the Seattle city government.

All SPAC attempts to bring SDOT and Parks officials to the table to discuss preserving Kate Martin’s skatedot have apparently failed.  The last message we received from Seattle Parks was simply a single line in an email: “Sorry, we cannot help you.”

An email I got from Kate earlier this week indicated she was feeling pretty defeated, and was even stepping down from her various positions of community involvement because she felt like this was retribution for her efforts to keep various city offices on task.

As you can see from the photo, the bank in question keeps the kids from flying into the street.  Yeah…let’s take that out.

Not unlike the original Ballard Bowl, Seattle is mandating the destruction of something they have not yet themselves been able to build.  Even though the Citywide Skatepark Plan designates “skatedots” as single features integrated into the city, and despite the fact that the City Council has designated fund for the creation of skatedots, Seattle Parks has yet to build a single one.

A lot of great things are happening in Seattle, but this is a harsh reminder that there is a lot of work to still be done.

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As reported over on the Slog, well-known “skate mom” Kate Martin is being sued by the city for her DIY solution to the total lack of skateparks in Seattle.  For a while there, her front yard was the only skatepark Seattle had besides Ballard.  Her front yard skatopia is pretty hardcore already, but the clamshell they want her to take out was the only thing that kept me from totally killing myself by flying out into the street after hitting the largest transition in the layout.

It goes without saying that Kate’s dedication to skateboarding in Seattle has been steadfast and unflinching, and she has never been afraid to call it as she sees it, especially when it comes to the City dropping the ball.  The fact that her neighbors have basketball hoops cemented into their planting strips makes this a bit scary.  If it feels like retribution, smells like revenge, and tastes like Rick Sheridan’s unwillingness to comment on the situation, it probably sucks.

The SPAC is trying to get this space classified as a skate dot, but since it’s not technically Parks property, it could be difficult.

Direct your correspondence to:

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dl_set01view09 The skatespot for Dahl playfield has gone out to bid, and bids are being accepted until June 10th, 2009.

The New Line design is pretty killer, especially compared to the old concept by Skateparkitecture that was paid for with money that the community raised themselves.  Check out the contrast below.

Check out all of the New Line renderings here, and Northeast Seattle skaters should get ready to skate by Fall.

Design pre-Canadian intervention.

Design pre-Canadian intervention.

Dahl overview

New Line's design.

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Just as it started to feel like the city and skaters were communicating, some goofball decided to go and skate-proof the only covered skate spot in Seattle.

It’s clearly a professional job that required some resources.  They even tried to be “artful”.  But as local resident and skateboarding fan Jennifer Keys stated in her email to Councilmember Tom Rasmussen: “I enjoyed the courtesy of the skaters as I walked or rode my bike to work, I enjoyed watching people of all ages skate the spot and was grateful for a mixed art/sport/commuter intersection.”

The loss of the Wall of Death without any attempt to reach out to skaters is unfortunate and unacceptable.  The SPAC is following up with the city to find out more details and try to get some accountability for this loss.

UPDATE:  The SLOG has some more good info on this, but it’s SDOT who is responsible, not Seattle Parks, which is who Dewey Potter represents.

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Dahl overview Many people do not know it, but the struggle to get a skatepark built at Dahl Playfield has been underway for almost four years, and is now finally getting the design treatment by New Line.

Scott says in his recent SPS post:

This project continues to move forward, with huge thanks to Councilmembers Rasmussen, Conlin and Drago. The following conceptual design was created by Newline from the original 2006 design by Skate Parkitecture. Parks is currently in it’s “ProView” process with the Dahl Skatespot, which will result in complete construction documents. From there, a builder will be selected and the skatespot will be built.”

The story of the Dahl playfield skatespot is a long and awful one.  The skatemom who thought she would help the neighborhood kids by working hard to raise money and kick-start the design process for the skate features, was accosted by her neighbors in the grocery store in front of her kids, and was told she was ruining the neighborhood.  She later simply quit and removed herself from the process because it was simply too taxing on her family and her sanity.  There was even an arson attempt on someone’s house that is believed to be related to the neighborhood disagreement over whether or not there should be a small skatespot included in the Pro Parks-funded revamping of the playfield, which incidentally, includes a basketball court that no one seemed to care about.

When the original advocate removed herself from the process over a year ago, long-time SPAC member, and North-end skater Scott Shinn, stepped in to fill her shoes.  After pushing hard on the City Council to get funding to complete the skatespot (the 2006 neighborhood matching fund application that would’ve provided construction dollars was denied), he was able to get Seattle Parks to crank up a set of design interviews.  The same folks who are designing SeaSk8’s replacement, the Canuck DreamTeam of Mark Vanderzalm and New Line Skateparks, were chosen to bring the old concept provided by Skateparkitecture, into realization.

What we have now are some fully-rendered concept images that can be used to solicit a construction bid, which will hopefully be going out soon.  It remains to be seen if this design can actually be built with the existing $160K construction budget, so if you’re interested in helping Scott do some fund raising, give him a shout.

Click the link below to see all of the renderings.  Great work Scott!

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Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m @ Northgate Community Center:

Northgate Urban Center Park Redevelopment –

Parks Dept says: “At this meeting, the community can participate in creating a vision for the transformation of the 3.73 acres of mostly asphalt property to a new green urban park. Now a King County Park and Ride facility, the future park is located at the intersection of 5th Avenue NE and NE 112th Street.”

SSdotO: This project has been in the works for a long time. There is a Project Advisory Team already assembled, and it has a skateboarder representative on it. The downside is that the Northgate meetings for the City-wide skatepark plan were the most contentious, with people like Kris Fuller walking around writing “Skateboarders take and deal drugs” on the comment boards.


Monday, Feb. 25, 2008 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m @ Park Board Room, Denny Park, 100 Dexter Ave N:

Pro Parks Levy Oversight Committee –

Parks Dept says: “As part of his 2008 proposed budget, Mayor Greg Nickels will infuse Seattle neighborhoods with a one-time $7 million “Orphaned Parks Wish Fund.” If adopted by the City Council, this would be one of the largest funds of its kind in the city’s history. Every neighborhood will be eligible for funding to improve its parks.”

SSdotO: We reported on the announcement of this fund back in October, and it’s pretty huge. Sure, we’ve got a citywide skatepark plan, but there is no funding for any of it. We can’t skate a plan. It’s important that the Pro Parks Levy Oversight Committee hears about how they totally screwed up when they passed a 198.2 million dollar levy with absolutely zero-point-zero dollars earmarked for skateparks. It’s time to correct that oversight and make it right by directing some of this orphaned park money to skatepark development.

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