City rolls forward on skateboard park consultation

The wheels are moving to find ways to build more city skateboard parks.

The city’s Community and Protective Services committee Wednesday endorsed administration’s recommendation to involve not just the members of the Calgary Association of Skateboarding Enthusiasts (CASE) but the public to determine how the city can provide more skateboard facilities.

Trevor Morgan, who is affiliated with CASE, said the city needs to catch up with the overwhelming demand for skateboard parks.

Calgary has one large concrete park – Shaw Millennium – and two small modular parks.

In 2008, it was estimated Calgary had some 36,000 skateboarding enthusiasts, but that count is believed to have increased.

Morgan, a life-long skateboarder and long-time city resident, said he hopes the municipality is able to pave the way for catching up with the demand with facilities in four quadrants.

“There’s a need to satisfy the demand for safe, accessible recreational opportunities for skateboarding communities,” he said.

City administration has until December to report back to the committee on the public’s take on more parks.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi asked bureaucrats at the meeting why the process is taking about a year to complete.

General manager Erika Hargesheimer said the broader community needs to be involved in the process by giving their reactions on the idea of building skateboard parks in their areas, and such consultation takes time.

The city also needs to figure out how to finance the project if council decides to build more parks, she said.

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