Post navigation

Prev: (09/06/18) | Next: (09/06/18)

Skater protest can’t stop removal of rogue ramp in Cal Anderson

No ramps, please (Image courtesy Seattle Parks)

Skateboarding is not a crime. But building a rogue cement ramp in a Seattle park is.

Police were called to the busy courts of Cal Anderson Wednesday morning to a report of a group hindering a Seattle Parks work crew trying to remove a rogue ramp installed on the basketball court on the park’s western edge.

A Parks representative tells CHS somebody was lying down on the ramp prompting the call to police.

Police arriving to the callout around 10:30 AM reported that things had worked themselves out. There were no arrests.

BECOME A 'PAY WHAT YOU CAN' CHS SUBSCRIBER TODAY: Support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Join to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.

“Unfortunately we can’t allow community to build their own skateboard ramps in the park.” the Parks rep tells CHS. “There are a dozen government-y reasons for this: best use of tax payer dollars, ensuring public safety, community process, historic landmark, ADA accessibility, etc. But more to the point, we are all sharing this city together, so we’ve got to come together to make decisions (and plans and funding) that work for the community, not just a few of us.”

Despite the Cal Anderson courts’ presence as a center of neighborhood skate activity, the Seattle parks department hasn’t exactly been friendly to skater culture on the Hill. The Summit Slope skatedot, one of the few official skate features added to a Capitol Hill park, is illustrative of the challenges skaters face in the neighborhood.

Not to make a trucks mount out of a molehill but Wednesday’s Cal Anderson episode also follows the city’s $30,000 settlement with a Capitol Hill skate shop in the guerilla Green Lake island skate bowl case that started the year as a reminder of just how few public facilities are available to skaters on Capitol Hill despite the activity’s strong presence in neighborhood culture. CHS talked with 35th North about 15 years of business on E Pike and the skate shop’s continued survival. “I would go down with the ship—there’s no, ‘Oh, I’m not making enough money, let’s close,’” owner Tony Croghan told CHS. “If you love something you get used to it and keep it going no matter what.”

In Cal Anderson, any skaters inspired by that kind of love just need to make sure their future efforts don’t involve pouring cement.

Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

13 thoughts on “Skater protest can’t stop removal of rogue ramp in Cal Anderson

  1. The tennis and basket ball court situation needs a face lift, that fits the community (demographics) needs for this particular park.

    My suggestion would be to ditch the courts, there are PLENTY of others i go by on the daily with NO ON PLAYING ON THEM.

    Next, upgrade the basketball court and then create a fenced & covered skate park and dodge ball area. That’s all i see the courts being used for, unless someone is walking their dog(s) in the courts OR toddlers running around with parents. I rarely, if ever, see anyone actually using the for tennis.

    Skating is a skilled sport, and a great way for some groups of folks to stay sober, be active, and connect with others.

    • Then advocate for a new skate park, petition, organize, fund raise to pay for one, volunteer to work on one, but the do it and ask for forgiveness model simply doesn’t work here…

    • I guess you don’t play tennis. It pisses me off that tennis can’t be played here any more because the courts have been distorted by sticks being dragged across them and skate board skids. Great idea since you clearly don’t play tennis and don’t care about people who might. If you want to check out a court not in use why don’t you walk by volunteer or Miller park at an hour I don’t know not between 8AM and 4PM.

      • i LOVE tennis! But, i don’t feel the tennis courts in Cal Anderson really fit the demographic of park use.

        However, tennis is very privileged sport, and most people I know can afford to play on pay courts. The city has courts everywhere. It’s the skate parks and other types of urban sports & recreation that need some love too.

        It’s about balance.

    • huh? there’s a waiting line for practically every tennis court in the city.

      I used to play 3-4 times a week at Cal Anderson, but the courts there have been ruined for tennis play from the bike polo and skateboarding.

      • Seattle Tennis Courts:

        Volunteer Park
        Miller Park
        Seattle Univ.
        Garfield High School
        Madronna Playground
        Madison Park (yah, this is a busy court)
        just to name the first few that pop in to my head.

  2. The skates who did this surely knew….or should have known…that their project is illegal. I think they should be identified and required to pay for the removal costs. Accountability is important.

    • In theory that sounds reasonable…. but all the legal costs of tracking them down and trying to extract payment from them (good luck with that) would probably quintuple the cost of removal, vs. just sending a couple of Parks Dept employees out there with a sledgehammer or two. The time to prevent this would’ve been while they were doing it. It didn’t exactly sprout up in minutes. People obviously saw it happening.