I’m not a skateboarder, nor am I a BMXer, but I know what the culture can do for a city. The skate plaza at LaSalle Park has been busy beyond belief this summer. The anticipation of a second phase of the plaza is palpable. This evening, there was a throng of young people doing their thing (on Phase 1) – there was even a little kid on a scooter zipping around. Everyone worked together, carving around, doing kick-flips, rail slides, and everything in-between.
The cyclists were coexisting with the skaters seamlessly. The younger kids were not only included, they were encouraged by their elders to take their turns. It was sort alike surfers waiting for the right wave, but less tribe-like. The LaSalle Park skate plaza is one of the best projects The City could have embarked upon, as far as these skaters and cyclists are concerned.
For me, if my wife hadn’t called, I could have stayed for another hour watching the mad skills that I was witnessing.
To see what’s next, check out the formations of Phase II, currently underway in Buffalo NY (see below). And then let’s pray for a Phase 3, which would be the completion of the initiative.
I spoke to JP Gillespie at Sunday Skate the other day. He told me that it was extremely rare for a City to follow through on more than the initial phase once a multi-phase skate park breaks ground. The City will usually complete the first phase, and then move on to another project, typically reallocating funds if any existed. Not in this case… this is the new Buffalo that somehow manages to grasp the importance of these types of projects.