This just in from Scott:

In its May 26th meeting, following a very in-depth discussion, the Board of Park Commissioners voted 4-3 to support the staff recommendation to keep the Summit Slope skatedot!

Part 1 – http://www.seattlechannel.org/videos/video.asp?ID=5591146 (discussion begins at 30:00)

Part 2 – http://www.seattlechannel.org/videos/video.asp?ID=5885

This was a very, very close vote, with age discrimination playing a huge role in the decision making process.  In almost all references to skaters, they are referred to as “kids.”  At one point, there is even a suggestion to enclose the entire skatedot in a glass box and make it available only to children with parental supervision!  Board member Jordan Keith really does a great job of speaking truth to power at 79:29 in Part 1:

“There’s no protections for age unless you’re 41 or older.  When you’re younger, you get a lot less voice and a lot less say, and a lot less clout in what activities you might want to do, and what benefits there are from them.  And it’s a sport that by and large, it’s much younger people that do that.  And by and large, because I work with them people, I’m very aware of the fact that, generally speaking, people are annoyed by those people.  And it’s a problem.  And there’s no protection for that.”

Board member Jackie Ramels also noted that, in official correspondence to the Park Board, 41 people supported this skatedot, and 17 opposed it.  These are compelling numbers.

In another motion, the Board also encouraged the Department to establish a working group to continue studying the specific issues at Summit Slope, and to encourage the Department to study noise issues related to skateparks.  This also raised issues about which skatepark policy the Board is following – the one from 2003 or the one from 2007.

From here, the Superintendent will make the final decision about this skatedot based on these recommendations.

As always, there is no clear answer here.  The Summit Slope Skatedot has provided, and will continue to provide, an important test case for legal public spaces for skateboarding in this city.  More importantly, it is, and will continue to be, a place where the skaters of Seattle can organize and mobilize in support of what we do.  Thanks for your support!

This is great news!

Thanks to everyone who sent in letters and showed up to the hearing to make your voice heard.  Hopefully Superintendent Williams continues his support for skateboarders (and the representation of youth voices on these issues) and votes to keep the dot alive.

One Response to “Parks Board votes to keep Capitol Hill Skatedot”
  1. Joel says:

    Killer! Thanks for the insightful article. It’s great to hear that the city is not bowing under the weight of a few complaints.

    It will be interesting to see how this particular park helps shape the urban skatedots to come.

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