While it’s far from the full-blown skate park this city needs, the skate plaza at the newly opened Railroad Park at least demonstrates that skateboarding can be successfully integrated into a multi-use public area. Today everyone from small kids to elderly ladies were enjoying the balletic acts of skaters in the plaza.
Hopefully there will be more exciting skate news to post about soon. In the meantime, check out the skate plaza next time you’re at the park!
I really enjoyed walking our dog around there yesterday. Since it was a hot one, I did think that adding some shade in the kids play area would be helpful, if only for the parents, also some doggie bag dispensers would be a good addition. I can’t wait to see it in five years to enjoy the tree growth by then.
It’s just great, I think of it in relation to the Reddy Creek park in downtown Greenville, SC.
Yes, the park needs more shade–especially in this intense late summer heat. I imagine some of the trees may have been taller but for budget concerns. Some structured shade near the play areas would indeed have been helpful…
I noticed on the “park rules” signs at entrances that while dogs are allowed, letting one’s dog “do its business” is not–so, although that may seem a little counter-intuitive, it may explain the lack of doggie bag dispensers.
I ran into Tom Leader on saturday, and he said that it would be about 3 years before the trees start to provide a canopy… which is desperately needed. He also said that, in the interim, there would be some temporary shade structures provided.
Cool–glad to hear that. Wonder what the temp. structures will look like?
I think we just didn’t consider doggie bag dispensers. They may be something that needs adding. I’m sure there are a few other little things people will notice that could improve things, now that the park is open. Hopefully we can address some of those. For now, I hope people with dogs will bring their own plastic bags.
On trees, you can either have big and expensive or small and cheap. We ended up with medium. A lot of them are stressed from the long hot summer and have fewer leaves than they otherwise would. They will be shadier next summer, although still not very big. Some of the trees that were planted haven’t survived the heat, and will have to be replaced. Temporary shade structures would be nice, but we’ll have to look at the cost. There’s not a lot of extra money left over for additions. But if a donor wants to fund that specifically . . .
Thanks for this post, Will. Another small item (and yes, it’s important to stress that private donations are critical to maintain and enhance the park): a sign telling people what the distance is for a complete loop around park so runners can keep track of miles? And a question: some of the international symbol graphics seem a little confusing–“restrooms” seemingly pointing west of 14th street to the bread factory, “train station” vaguely pointing towards Amtrak? But I’m not really sure if that’s even what it means? Maybe some of them just need to be reoriented a bit.
By the way I have been to the park every evening after work for the last 5 days and it’s just amazing. Thanks again for all your work putting this incredible amenity together!
But what about this thing?
Now that’s thinking creatively!
LOL! I think it is pretty fascinating.
I’m working with Peter towards getting some skate stuff started. We’re trying to see about installing some equipment at the skate area in the Southtown projects but the Housing Authority doesn’t seem enthusiastic at the moment…
We’re also trying to look into the idea of putting some skate equipment in Marconi Park. But the thing that needs to be done is getting a bunch of us in a room and start putting together the real push for his skatepark he’s gotten designed. It looks amazing. And supposedly the city is trying to get a big national skate event to come to Birmingham soon, that could help quite a bit.
Joseph–thanks for your support. I’m also trying to help Peter and local skaters as much as I can, including national skate events. Which would be incredible positive publicity for the city.