|Damaged gate at Patton Park (photo supplied by Dennis Olson)|
Dennis Olson - With the warm weather of spring, skateboarders are plentiful in the skateboard park in Lundbreck; with this proliferation of participants come the usual problems associated with the Park. If I may, I would like to suggest a few remedies for the usual problems.
- As it is now-access to the park is traditionally from May to September. Well, skateboarders use the park starting in March and continuing into September; so even if the gates are locked, they go in. Illegally? The season for gate access should be extended from March to October.
- Locking of the access gate has no effect anymore as users easily climb through or over the fences. To stop this, the fence should be made so access is not so simple.
- Because the access is so simple, the problem is already arising of persons using the park after hours (10 p.m. to 8 a.m.) This is very disruptive to nearby residences. As the facilities are made out of hollowed out plywood, the noise can be heard up to 2 blocks away, so late night skateboarding and parties are intolerable; which brings up the next point.
- Enforcement of the rules. As you can see by the attached picture, the sign has been vandalized and, as such, makes parameters of behavior wide open for interpretation. Also, there needs to be clarification for legal reasons.
- There should be added, "trespassers after 10 p.m. may be prosecuted" Violators musy realize that there are possible consequences for ignoring hours of use for they are breaking into a locked facility. What are the procedures for enforcing the "hours-of-use"? Do the local law enforcement agencies know the parameters and would they lay charges as such? Should the person in charge of locking the facilities have a procedure to act upon if skateboarders will not 'leave the park upon lock-up time? What powers do local residents have in enforcing and assisting in regulations e.g. sign read "no bicycles are permitted" yet bicycles are used there everyday!! Who enforces? What are the consequences?
- Approximately 90% use~ vehicles are parking at the west end of Railway St. Sometimes there are 4 - 5 vehicles that block access to nearby residences and as there is no place to turn around, they back into residential driveways (just a matter of time until fences are "dented"]. A sign should be placed on the fence stating "park users are encouraged to use the parking lot in the park"
- There should be a committee of skateboarders and their parents that could assist in program development, advisory situations, and general housekeeping duties. The municipality could do a preliminary census of the users of the skateboard park, contact the people, and parents of the users, and call a meeting to organize said committee. I would conjecture that nearly all problems associated with the skateboard park would disappear.