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ArtInRuins

Pawtucket Skatepark

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I was a little incensed when i saw this article in the Projo the other day:

Pawtucket Spends Stimulus money on Skatepark

The tone seemed incendiary at first, like Mr McKinney thought that he did a bit of investigative journalism and "look at those fat cats, screwing us once again". If that was his intent, he comes off looking like a jackass after Mike Cassidy basically says, "Hey, this money is earmarked for exactly these types of projects. I know we have budget deficits, but I CAN"T spend this money any where else."

This type of "investigative", got-cha journalism is really getting ridiculous. It seems the same as the big hullaballo over Providence hiring an outside Providence firm to help with the City's branding campaign. Sure, an outside firm helped draft the scope and plan for the branding of the City. But that's because they have had experience doing it for many other cities. In the end, one of their recommendations was to use local firms to actually carry the plan out. Providence did nothing wrong, but boy oh boy does it make a good headline.

[incidentally, this is the same crap that the national media and the House and Senate have gotten into. $165 million in bonuses sounds like we should be outraged, but after the government bailed them out with $170,000 million (the use of millions instead of billions, I think, illustrates the point much better) should make us realize that this outrage is an empty, pointless gesture.]

So, BOO to you, Projo. This type of story will not go unnoticed. And hooray to you, Pawtucket, for sticking to your guns. I know this plan has been on the table for years and years, and I also know it would have surely been tabled again if it were not for this stimulus money. The kids (and adults such as myself) would love a park to go to. Judging by the comments on the Projo site as well, it seems that most people agree with me. Get those kids out from in front of the television and build them a skatepark and basketball courts. Hire local firms like Breaking Ground to do the design (they already did) and give some under-employed construction companies something to work on. This project is a win-win-win.

BTW- has anyone seen how many kids go to the North Providence park or the Olneyville/Johnston park? Last Friday was a halfway decent day, so i went to the N Prov one, and there must have been 40 to 50 kids there, exercising, skating... just happy to be outside. They're not all vandals, they were taking turns on the ramps, egging each other one, cheering when someone landed a really cool trick. These kids deserve a place to go and hang out just as much as other kids need soccer fields and baseball diamonds.

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I wish Providence had some stimulus money to build a kick-as skatepark under the Iway.

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People are stupid, J.

Reporters have to sell papers, thus sell them to stupid people.

Hence, stories like this. I love the comments from people about how the money should go somewhere else. Sure, part of that is that the writer chose to bury the fact that it had to go to community development in the second to last graph, but seriously, anonymous projo idiots, how about you read and understand before commenting?

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I wish Providence had some stimulus money to build a kick-as skatepark under the Iway.

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Agreed!! Every time I use the 95/rt 6/Memorial Blvd interchange I think of all the wasted space there. Perfect for a skatepark, similar to FDR in Philly (Flickr). Access would be a bit of an issue, but being there would mean plenty of space, and very few neighbors to worry about. This park in Philly grew slowly, being built by professionals and then being added to by other skaters. The better improvised ramps were made permanent by professionals. This kind of thing would be awesome and give kids a reason NOT to skate on the brand new steps and walkways and stuff being built around Capital Center (not like they wouldn't at all, but they would skate them less).

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I was thinking of Allens Avenue/Franklin Square, but under the Convention Center Interchange would work too.

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There's also a skate park in the Valley Falls part of Cumberland just over the bridge from CF that gets hella use.

As for under-the-highway skate parks, Burnside in Portland, OR can't go unmentioned. From the Skate Oregon website.

Built without permission, by skateboarders and later sanctioned by the city, Burnside is the preeminent example of action. Burnside's unique growth and evolution -through the sweat and blood of a handful of dedicated individuals- have matured into one of the best skateparks in the world. Burnside and its creators are true pioneers, setting the stage for community built skateparks across the country.

...

Burnside is not permanent. The city can, at any time, with excuse of public nuisance, condemn and destroy it.

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Boston was building one (or has built one) under the Zakim Bridge on the Charlestown side.

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Unfortunately, the youth of Woodlawn living in the lowest-income neighborhood in the city will not benefit from this half a million dollar project! They will still be wandering around aimlessly with no place to do something constructive, as they have already pooh-poohed my suggestion that we play badminton in Payne Park.

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Unfortunately, the youth of Woodlawn living in the lowest-income neighborhood in the city will not benefit from this half a million dollar project! They will still be wandering around aimlessly with no place to do something constructive, as they have already pooh-poohed my suggestion that we play badminton in Payne Park.

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Why not, exactly? Is Woodlawn that far away? I was under the impression that thought the park will be built on school grounds, it will be accessible by everyone?

And yes, here is the link for that: http://www.charlesriverskatepark.org

I guess things are slow, but still crawling forward up there.

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we have 2 big dogs so I tend to walk around Pawtucket alot, this skatepark is on my usual route and I gotta tell you its amazing to see kids having a great time skating it.. its been packed every time i go by (even before it was opened).

Pawtucket needs to do more things like this. awesome.

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