Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Woodside Too Small for Downtown Skatepark (According to Park & Planning in 2005)

Based on the explosion of growth in extreme sports, we likely have hundreds more skateboarders in Silver Spring today than we did in 2005. And yet, in 2005, Park & Planning said that Woodside Urban Park was too small to accommodate a skatepark, and that even Jesup Blair Local Park, (where the available space was 5,000 square feet), was too small.

So why, at the end of 2009, when all available data suggests we have many more skateboarders than in 2005, would Park & Planning intentionally plan for the smallest skatepark possible in Woodside Urban Park?
"Other sites considered for skateboard parks but deemed too small were Woodside Urban Park and Jesup Blair Local Park. The Jesup Blair Facility Plan approved by the Montgomery County Planning Board includes a small skateboard park; however, the available space is only 5,000 square feet, which is too small to accommodate this type of facility. Therefore, staff is no longer recommending its construction." (pp. 26-27) The staff report also included a memorandum from Councilmember Silverman to the Planning Board encouraging the Planning Board to include a skate park in the next CIP.
And if Jesup Blair was deemed too small at 5,000 square feet, how on earth could a 3,000 square foot "skate spot" possibly meet the needs of local skaters?

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