Caltrans Demolishes Volunteer-Built Skatepark

Published On August 26, 2011 | By Rob Arias | News & Commentary, Planning & Development

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 »

About The Author

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who moved to Emeryville in 2003. A new parent in the community, he can often be seen walking his French Bulldog rescue "Fiona" around his Park Avenue District neighborhood, traversing the greenway on his bike or enjoying his favorite Emeryville small businesses. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

5 Responses to Caltrans Demolishes Volunteer-Built Skatepark

  1. the spot rip says:

    Im going to disagree with you. WHEN SAY NAIL IN THE COFFIN FOR A SKATE SCENE, BECAUSE AS TRUE SKATEBOARDERS WE ARE NOT GOING TO JUST GIVE UP WE GOING TO KEEP SKATING AND FIND OTHER NEAR BYE SPOT TO BUILD AT, THIS IS NOT THE END! IT JUST THE BEGINNING OF AN ERA.!

  2. I think skate parks are great and one that was built without city funds is especially wonderful. I thought the location was perfect and it did give skaters somewhere to go, stay active (ahem, Heavy Non-Active Americans), and off the streets, our sidewalks, parking lots or City Hall’s front steps. What a shame.

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