The Summit John skatedot will, indeed, continue its service to Seattle as the first skateboard-dedicated parks feature of its kind in the city. Superintendent Christopher Williams has agreed with the Seattle Parks Board recommendation to keep the Summit Slope Park feature but scuttled the recommendation to create a working group that would have been assigned to further anti-skateboarding noise modifications of the already heavily modified park.
Parks tells CHS it plans to continue to work with skaters “to be more polite” and to continue to seek ways to reduce noise in the park.
While we are not sure how to ensure skaters are more polite, we are considering if there are any additional actions we can take to reduce noise. Two factors should be noted: 1) the project budget has been spent; and 2) we have researched many possibilities and not found any that would be feasible.
Noise and concerns about tagging and dangers from runaway skateboards have been at the core of controversy over the skatedot. In response to complaints, the city added an $8,000 fence and sign and a variety of anti-skate elements to things like railings to try to contain the skateboarding issues neighbors said the $13,000 skatedot was attracting. While things like skate stoppers and “turtles” have helped direct skateboard use to the skatedot and pushed some of the problem activities out of the park and p-patch areas, complaints related to noise from the park’s skate-friendly feature have continued.
Parks says the existing Skate Park Advisor Committee will be available to consider any continuing issues with the skatedot, the first of its kind in the city and a possible precedent for future park features. The committee provides guidance to Parks on skateboard issues, including whether bikes should be allowed to use skateparks and what design features to include in the parks as part of Seattle’s skatepark plan. The committee meets every other month on the second Monday. The next meeting is Monday, July 11 at 6 PM at the Seattle Parks headquarters, 100 Dexter Ave N. Minutes from previous meetings can be found at http://www.seattle.gov/parks/projects/SkateboardAdvisory.htm
Meanwhile, a Friends of Summit Slope Skate Dot group has been formed on Facebook.