By Carol Tannenhauser

It seemed like a done deal. The plans for a new skatepark replacing the 20-year-old one at Riverside Park and West 108th street had sailed through the May meeting of Community Board 7’s Parks & Environment Committee with zero opposition. So it was surprising when a sizable group of seasoned skateboarders – some from the UWS, some not – showed up at the full board meeting on June 7th to protest what they called an “exclusionary” and “watered-down” design for the park. We initially reported on their objections here.

At issue is, essentially, what levels of difficulty the elements in the new park will offer. Ian Clarke, who spoke for the “Riverside Skatepark Coalition,” explained it like this:

“Riverside Skatepark is currently a three-tier facility, providing elements in three sizes, small (3’), medium (6’), and large (10’). This is critical as it allows a skater to progress. It also allows a skater to work on maneuvers on a smaller ramp and when mastered, bring them up to a larger ramp. In fact, Riverside Skatepark can take a complete newbie skater and give them terrain to progress to an expert level.”

As it stands now, two-thirds of the newly designed park, scheduled to open in 2017, will be two-tier and unfenced. The remaining third is fenced, requires an attendant, a waiver, a helmet, and knee and elbow pads, yet, is also two tier (we posted plans for the park here). Clarke called that “a real step backwards.”

By a vote of 35 to 3, the deal came undone.

“The full board did not approve or disapprove the design of the new skatepark,” said Klari Neuwelt, chairperson of the Parks & Environment Committee. “It sent it back to committee for further review. It is now on our agenda again for June 27th. The Parks Department will come with whatever they have to say in presenting it again. They may or may not come back with revisions.”

If you have an opinion or interest in the new skatepark, again, the meeting will be held on Monday, June 27th, at 7 pm, at 250 West 87th street, second floor. To check what else is on the agenda of this and other upcoming community board meetings, click here.

NEWS, OUTDOORS | 3 comments | permalink
    1. Jaime says:

      It is very important to the andy kessler family to see his vision keep going !!!!!!! Please build a 11 ft bowl so vert stays alive not just a street plaza thx !!!!

    2. Independent says:

      What about the idea of having the youths do something to earn part of the money needed for this?

      • Zulu says:

        I’d go for that as long as drivers do something to earn part of the money for parking their cars on the street.