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January 31, 2010

“Fence will let bikers know they’re not welcome in Redwood City skate park.”

Posted by Chris McMahon
Category: Uncategorized
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Thanks to John Farr for sending me the link. My only comment on this is that Parks and Rec Director Chris Beth and his staff are wasting $80,000 of taxpayer money in order to fix a problem that exists mainly because parents bring 10-year olds to the skatepark rather than the playground. In case you’d like to speak your mind on the matter, click here for some contact info.

BMX bikers soon will be fenced out of a popular Redwood City skate park.

The city is finishing plans to build a 6-foot black steel fence around the perimeter of Phil Shao Memorial Skate Park, more than two years after officials first pledged to do so.

According to city rules, only skateboarders are allowed to use the Red Morton Park facility, but BMX bikers have routinely cruised the skate park’s dips, bowls, rails and ledges since it opened in 2003.

Parents and parks administrators have long said they are concerned about the potential for collisions between bikers and skateboarders using the same park.

City officials hope the $80,000 fence, approved without discussion by the City Council this month, will help keep bikes out and skateboarders in.

“We’ve always wanted a fence, and based on the feedback from users, they also wanted that,” said Parks and Recreation Director Chris Beth.

The fence will have a single entrance to the park that should be difficult to navigate with a bicycle. Bikers who get through anyway will have a harder time avoiding citations if police are called, Beth said.

“When we were calling police, when they were arriving, everybody scattered,” Beth said. “If we do need to address the issue right up front, it’ll be easier.”

While skateboarding is considered a “hazardous recreational activity” under state law, biking is not. That has led most skate parks in California to ban biking out of fear they could be exposed to lawsuits if a biker is injured.

The parks department announced in late 2007 its plans for a fence around the skate park, but its capital improvement budget was tied up, Beth said.

City officials will meet next week with a local fence company to decide on a construction timeline, Beth said Friday. The fence will take about a month to construct and it’s not clear whether the skate park will be closed during that time.