A common criticism of skateboarding is that it’s noisy. Check out this report from the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, who recorded noise levels in Cathedral Square with and without 6 skateboarders doing their thing. The noise levels were raised less than 3dB with 6 skaters. The max noise level measurement with the skateboarders was 66.8 dB. That’s “moderate to quiet” according to the threshold of hearing diagram below. Skateparks are even quieter, since the concrete is smooth and there are no gaps to make wheels click.
Global News reports that the City is putting in place measures to keep people from skating the benches, banked hip, and other obstacles at the corner of 10th St and Memorial Dr NW. It appears they’re installing strategically placed planters as well as cameras in an effort to curb skateboarding, BMX, and mountain biking at the spot.
Bylaw officers have threatened to ticket offenders to the tune of $200.
It is an amazing skate spot and obviously no one skating there is intending to disrespect the site or the people it memorializes. The fact that it has seen such heavy use is a testament to the fact that Calgary skateboarders are starved for new facilities. It goes to show that we don’t need a giant concrete skatepark to have fun; as the Skateboard Amenities Strategy dictates, numerous small “skate spots” are planned.
Thanks to everyone who came out to our AGM on May 1st. We reviewed our year and talked about what we plan on doing in the coming year.
The 2012 fiscal year was a good one for CASE and Calgary skateboarding. Here are some of the things we accomplished:
-consulted with City officials on Skateboard Amenities Strategy
-raised funds through benefit rock show at The Palomino
-increased web traffic and Facebook reach
-met with several communities who have an interest in skateparks
-worked with the City to find a work around for the ramp by-law
-conducted interviews with several media outlets including TV, print, and radio
-held Go Skateboarding Day events/contests
-cleaned up Millennium Park in our annual Spring Clean Up
-sponsored/helped out with contests at Millennium, Westside, and McKenzie Towne parks
-helped out with Boarding 4 ‘Betes event at Millennium park.
-skate art auction to raise funds
As a result of the hard work of city administration, officials, and CASE, an RFP (request for proposals) was issued by the city. The RFP asked for firms to submit proposals to implement the Skateboard Amenities Strategy.
“Scope of requirements for this project includes communication, site selection, concept planning, construction drawings, and construction tendering.”
The RFP closed on April 30th, 2013 and promises a pretty aggressive timeline:
-Selection of highest rated proponent: two (2) to three (3) weeks after close of RFP
-Kick off meeting: 2013 June
-Finalize Project Scope with project Team: 2013 June
-Site Selection for all sites: 2013 end of July
-Participatory Design Process: 2013 end of November
-Construction Drawings: 2014 January
*The City reserves the right to modify any of the dates noted above.
“The Skateboarding Amenities Strategy envisions the development of a network of fifty (50) outdoor skate parks across the city over the next ten (10) years. The total City of Calgary planning, design, development and construction budget for the first two (2) years of the Strategy is two million dollars ($2,000,000) in 2013 and two million dollars ($2,000,000) in 2014.”
Keep in mind that “fifty skateparks” is their vision. It may be more, it may be less. A more accurate figure to look at is the skatepark terrain square footage the Skateboard Amenities Strategy says Calgary is currently lacking by — 243,860 (P.70). The bottom line is we’ll have new skateparks by next year. Multiple parks. In different locations with varied terrain.
The City of Calgary has planned skateparks at these sites:
-Seton Regional Recreation Centre 18150 56 St SE (Neighbourhood Skatepark)
-North West Regional Recreation Centre 11300 Rocky Ridge Road NW (Community Skatepark)
The communities shown in the table below have expressed interest in having a skatepark in their area:
Another action item that has come up for CASE is the possibility of an indoor park. The City has put out an Expression of Interest for “DEVELOPING, PROMOTING AND OPERATING, AN ARTS, CULTURE AND/OR HERITAGE FACILITY”.
There is a city-owned building that will be usable by non-profit groups who are in line with the statement above. We’re hoping we’ll be able to convince the decision makers responsible that skateboarding is an arts/culture activity that would be suitable for use of this building.
Other stipulations include:
-Building would be leased from City at a nominal fee
-Operator will be responsible for all maintenance, taxes, and utilities
-Proposal due on June 4th
-Building has a large warehouse-type room with high ceilings, minimal support pillars
-Measures nearly 8,000 sqft
-Heated, well-lit, with washroom facilities
-Very close to Millennium Park
As you can see by the photo, a lot of people are looking to get in on this space. CASE is committed to submitting a full-detailed proposal for why this location would make an excellent indoor skatepark, which is badly needed in Calgary.
As a follow up to our last post regarding city bylaws, here is Daniel K’s story from a recent encounter with the law:
Me and two friends were skating down Stephen Ave. I skated between two people I thought were bylaw officers on bicycles; they never announced they were police. They chased me through traffic and ended up tackling me at full speed from their bikes. [They] split my face open, dislocated my shoulder, and ripped out a lot of my hair. At first they tried to charge me with obstruction, assault, assault on a police officer, running a red light, and skateboarding in a no-skateboarding zone.
As I walked to the police station with them, I got a chance to talk to them, I was able to calm them down. Deflating the situation a little, they ended up only charging me with obstruction, and the tickets I got for skateboarding were never filed.
In the end it all worked out; at first the cops were being a little excessive but also doing there job. So to the youngsters that hate cops almost as much as i do, just remember keep calm, remember your manners, and show a little respect, and chances are they will go lightly.
Now that spring is almost/kind of here, it’s a good idea to get re-acquainted with the City of Calgary’s by-laws as they apply to skateboarding.
If you check out this link, you will notice that skateboarding on city sidewalks is legal, provided it’s not in the “Central Traffic Zone” (essentially all of downtown). Skateboarding on any city street is technically not legal.
Skateboarding is allowed on all city pathways, provided you’re not doing anything “unsafe to other people” and not breaking the other pathway rules (speed limit 20 Km/h, pass on the left, etc). You can see the pathway by-laws here.
Facilities need to catch up to skateboarding craze
By Richard Cuthbertson, Calgary Herald December 3, 2011 8:40 AM
It’s been more than 30 years since Skatopia 1 in Calgary’s Franklin Industrial Park became Canada’s first indoor concrete skate park.
One old photo taken at the site shows a 1970s skateboarder, knee-high sport socks and all, riding the edge of what looks to be a dry swimming pool.
But even with its early start, skateboarding facilities in Calgary have dragged well behind the growing interest in the sport.
A new consultant’s report, commissioned by the city, is recommending dozens of skate parks be built over the next decade, carrying an estimated price tag of $11 million.
The new strategy, which is heading to a council committee next week, comes after years of complaints from skateboarders.
“The situation’s pretty simple. It’s just a gross lack of facilities,” said Zev Klymochko, with the advocacy group Calgary Association of Skateboarding Enthusiasts.
With more than 34,000 aficionados in the city, the consultant is recommending the construction of 45 smaller skate parks and “spots,” ranging in size from a half basketball court to full tennis court.
Five others would be larger, up to the size of a little league baseball field.
Ideally, they would be dispersed around the city, particularly at points where there is good interest in skateboarding, according to Ron Smith, a researcher with the city’s recreation department.
“According to the model that’s being proposed, ultimately and ideally you’d like to have various scales,” Smith said.
City officials aren’t recommending council hand over a lump sum. Rather, they suggest putting individual projects on the city’s culture and recreation infrastructure wish list for funding consideration, when potential sites have been found.
The city’s reputation seems to have been to build big, but not build many.
Skatopia 1 opened in 1977 and then closed in 1979 due to insurance costs.
A series of short-lived indoor parks, with names like Ramp-o-Rama, Skate Jungle and All Skool, popped up and then faded from view.
In 2000 Shaw Millennium Park opened – an outdoor facility which at the time was considered one of the premier skateboard spots in the world.
Westside Recreation Centre has a skate park, there is a modest spot in McKenzie Towne and the city does have some temporary, mobile skate parks.
But aside from that, there is little else.
One of the big current complaints is there are no indoor facilities in Calgary, although a church in Dalhousie does opens its gym to skateboarders.
The City of Calgary Recreation & CASE would like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the 2011 Skateboard Preference survey. We heard from over 900 skateboard enthusiasts and supporters. The data collected has been synthesized and will inform portions of the Skateboard Amenity Strategy being presented to Standing Policy Committee on Community & Protective Services in November. Please check back for updates on the progress of the report to Council and detailed findings of the survey.
A lot of people ask, “What can I do to help get a new skatepark?”
Well, the short answer is, “Lots.”
First of all, register on www.calgaryskateboarding.com
The statistics tell of an estimated 40,000 – 60,000 skateboarders in Calgary. Sure, maybe not all of them check out this site (we hope most of them are out skating) but we hope the ones that do are registered. If we had even half of that registered to our site, we’d have a lot more pull in the eyes of some politicians. The old saying, “power in numbers” holds true when lobbying government.
Email your alderman. Email the Mayor. These people were elected by the citizens of Calgary, the citizens who pay taxes for services. When it comes to recreation, citizens decide what services they require. It would be great if the mayor said, “Millz is gettin’ kinda beat, dudes. We should build a few skate plazas, along with some bowls, and maybe a couple of snake runs too,” but that’s probably not going to happen. We need to tell our city’s leaders what we need.
Obey the Like us on Facebook. This goes back to the first point about quantifying our membership. At the end of the day, the people involved with CASE are volunteers. We meet regularly and invest a lot of time into trying to do what’s best for skateboarding in Calgary. if you have any suggestions or comments. If you can donate, that helps us a lot. Being a non-profit society, we rely on donations to throw events and fund things like this site as well as insurance so we don’t get sued personally.
Come to our benefit show on April 15th. We’re ramping up for a big Summer of events and talks with the City about skateparks. We could use your help.
On January 5th 2011, CASE representatives attended a Standing Policy Committee meeting on Community and Protective Services. This committee is made up of aldermen and the mayor.
The bad news? The “skateboard strategy” that CASE had worked on for a few months with Community and Protective Services was changed from a “strategy” to a “discussion paper”. If you’d like to read the document and CPS’ cover report, click here.
The good news? Many of the alderman present expressed support for CASE and for more skateboarding facilities in Calgary. In fact, Mayor Nenshi asked those responsible for the discussion paper to move their goal of December 2011 up to June, 2011. According to the meeting, CPS will “develop a comprehensive Skateboard Amenities Strategy and report back no later than 2011 December.”
When cities decide to do things like build hockey rinks or recreation centres, they generally produce these formal strategies. The City of Vancouver did it for skateparks and look where they’re at. So it’s great news that the City is going through with this; it means they will look at developing more skateboarding facilities.
Will we have a new skatepark by December 2011? Probably not but we could be looking at plans and a location for one by then.