Saturday, October 22, 2016

Echo Park Skate Park will be bigger and more expensive than expected

Rendering courtesy SITE Design Group)

Rendering courtesy SITE Design Group)


ECHO PARK —  Echo Park skaters will be happy to hear that a final design has been selected for an Echo Park Skate Park, and it’s more than twice the size originally envisioned.  But it’s also more expensive than expected, leaving the city to find the necessary funds before construction can begin and skaters can start showing off on the rails and mini bowl planned for the park.

Skaters as well as residents got to voice their opinions and vote on three concepts for the skate park, which will be built where a now empty public swimming pool is located next to the 101 Freeway onramp at Echo Park and Bellevue avenues.

As part of the community outreach, the Local Volunteer Neighborhood Oversight Committee held three meetings to discuss the pros and cons of each design, which were prepared by HMC Architects and the skate park design firm, Site Design.

During the second community briefing, through an informal voting process, the designers were asked to combine two of the concepts into one design, according to information provided by the city. By the third meeting, the combined design was unanimously approved by the committee. This design has a small skating bowl in the middle of the skate park, and a “street style” skating design for the large area around the center bowl.

Initially there was a discussion about the best location for the skate park, and a number of issues were considered, with safety being the first priority. One concept to place the skate park next to the existing children’s play area on Bellevue raised safety and compatibility concerns. As a result, the skate park was moved on the other side of the brick recreation center where a shallow pool, long out of service, is now located To protect this area, the skate park will have guardrails and trees to shield it from the onramp to the Hollywood Freeway, and will also have a heavy gauge chain link fence around the space.

But the approved skate park concept measures 7,000-square-feet in size, more than double the 3,000-square-foot park envisioned as part of a $500,000 Prop K grant that would pay for the facility.  That means the city will have to find more cash to pay for the larger skate park.

“The City is working to identify the required extra funding,” according to a summary by Richard Campbell with the city’s Bureau of Engineering. “Meanwhile, HMC and Site Design are proceeding with the final design, while the additional funds being sought. No construction will begin until such time as such funds are identified and allocated to the project.”

Assuming funds are found, the skate park will take about a year to build.

Screenshot 2015-12-10 at 3.10.51 PM

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  1. Shred the gnar brah!

  2. Are those lights?! Gamechanger if so.

  3. We’ve asked for a skate park for over 25 yrs. My Sk8er Boi is now 42. I never heard of no outreach, or planning meeting, tells me outreach was POOR. BUT IS THE KIDS FINALLY GET THEIR PARK, WHAT CAN I SAY BUT, FINALLY!
    Bet LAPD cameras will be all over it.

    • I hope LAPD does have cameras all over it. The park should not be used for a hangout for those little tagger-losers.

  4. childrens skateboard park next to the freeway on ramp.


  5. Cool… would be nice to see some more traffic calming around the park as well. People coming on and off the freeway should be compelled to slow down to safer urban speeds.

    • If the city couldn’t even include enhanced street lights in the Rowena Road Diet (after, ya know, someone was killed crossing the street at night), I doubt they’ll incorporate traffic calming into their skate park plan.

  6. There are two constituencies that skatepark designers almost always ignore: beginner skaters and non skaters. A public skatepark should have a “course” where a beginner can learn to roll around, like say a ring surrounding the obstacles. Second: A public skatepark should be beautiful to look at for the non-skater. A non-skater should be awed by the beautiful other-worldly design of a skatepark. The exact opposite of these principles is evident in the Garvanza skatepark. Garvanza is pure ugliness. What should have been a beautiful sculpture in a garden park turns into a ghetto toilet that took the neighborhood with it.

    • With all due respect, kids that are just learning to push around should be doing that in their driveway, empty parking lot, or other open cement surface. Skateparks are built for the serious skater and throwing complete novices in there can be dangerous for everyone involved.

      I agree a skate park should be beautiful, but on the other hand you have to do what fits best in the space. This certainly will not draw the spectators that the new Venice park does. And I’m glad.

      Lastly, thank you to everyone involved in making this happen.

      • Thanks for the respect! I agree with all of your points, but the ideal world you paint doesn’t take in to account many people’s lack of driveway/patio/wideopen sidewalk space. The acres of empty unguarded parking lots that make orange county what it is, don’t exist in the core of Los Angeles anymore. Here in L.A. you can’t be in a seemingly open unattended parking lot without the police or security guards being summoned in short order. There’s always a ready complainer dog.

        I don’t agree that a skatepark should be reserved/built exclusively for “serious” skaters. Anyone who takes the time and effort to learn to stand on a skateboard while it’s rolling should have access to publicly funded skateparks and a good designer should be able to accommodate, to literally design something that serves all parties.

        Issues of space, of course, will drive design. The Echo Park location is an unused empty pool. It’s not a huge space so it demands a tighter focus. But this doesnt mean easily skateable terrain automatically precludes challenging obstacles. They in fact compliment each other. It’s the poorly design parks that don’t bother to take advantage of that idea. There is a skatepark in Bell Gardens where, if you had never skated in your life and wanted to try it out for the first time, you could do so without bothering or interfering with the “serious” skaters. In fact it even has grass and picnic tables. The only thing missing is copious amounts of shade (something missing from almost all skateparks). The design illustration for the EchoPark skatepark shows a couple of pencil thin palm trees providing shade…….gee, thanks.

        The location of the Echo Park skatepark is troubling. It’s literally on a freeway onramp, and is positioned to take advantage of the exhaust particulates being emitted by the continuous traffic jam on the hollywood freeway (without mentioning the possibility of a car accidentally flying off the freeway and into the park). Good luck with the lung development there, kids!!! I know what about an Indoor skatepark (just like the indoor pool?

  7. The project does not include night lighting other then security lights, but does include safety and security measures, as well as coordination with Los Angeles Department of Transportation as well as Caltrans regarding traffic safety issues. Note that a search of accident data at and near the freeway offramp did not identify any traffic accidents that involved the old pool area in the last 15 years for which data was available. The skate park’s proposed design also includes a fence and partial (open) wall to further ensure skater and park patron safety.

    To Anon, we have had three community meetings, all publically noticed. If you want to be notified about future meetings or other actions related to this project, please email the Project Manager, Richard Campbell, at [email protected] and ask to be added to the project notification list. You can also see the agendas and minutes of the community meetings that have been held for the project on our Bureau of Engineering website, at the following link: http://propk.lacity.org/echo_park_minutes.htm

  8. Can you imagine how much this will be trashed to rubble and tagged into oblivion within weeks of it opening.

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