If you’re new to the neighborhood, you may not remember the homeless encampment that existed prior to “the Spot”, a DIY skatepark under 580 behind Target. If you use Beach St. as a shortcut, you’re well familiar with the perpetual dumping that occurs on this border area between E’ville & Oakland. Using their own initiative, these skaters organized clean-ups and transformed this stretch of urban wasteland into a destination skatepark for bay area skaters.
Thursday, a small group of them watched helplessly as bulldozers destroyed it under the watchful eye of a Highway patrol officer that threatened to arrest anyone who intervened. 100’s of man-hours were wiped out in the course of minutes as the bucket of a front-end loading tractor uprooted the ramps and rail-slides that had been tediously hand-built over the course of the last two years. In fact, it probably cost the county more money to demolish the park than the Skaters actually spent building it. These skaters had exhausted all the avenues to legitimize the park through the city and were unable to come up with the $5,000/mo. lease and 2.5 million in liability insurance demands of the state agency.
The park is gone and along with it, the aspirations of some ambitious skaters that got tired of waiting for the city to build a park for them. Next up for Caltrans? Destroying the nearby “Bordertown” DIY skatepark that also rests on their land. This should be the “nail-in-the-coffin” for the neighborhood skate scene and force kids with a passion for skateboarding to find something “better” to do with their time. MORE »