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Summary

Optimistic conversation has re-emerged focusing on the expansion of the existing skate track at West Park, located on the south side of Harrison Recreational Field in Ventura's Avenue district. The track only features approx. 3,500 square feet of usable area. It was built in 1997 and suffers from outdated design patterns that limit the potential of intermediate / advanced skaters while inhibiting the abilities of beginning skaters.

In a well-designed skatepark, beginning skaters should have room to learn the basics away from the challenges presented by more advanced elements. Also, intermediate / advanced skaters should be able to skate without interference from beginning skaters.

Perhaps most importantly, design elements must sufficiently engage intermediate / advanced skaters, else they will eventually lose interest and return to the streets, skateboarding on public property and unfortunately encouraging the same problems the skatepark was intended to solve.

Historical Context

In the late 2000's, as a direct result of concerned input from skaters, "improvements to the skateboard area" were added to an existing Capital Improvement Project under former Parks Director, Mike Montoya.

In several meetings with current Parks Director Nancy O'Connor over the years, talk has surfaced of adding the adjacent lot next to the existing park to approximately triple the usable area at West Park. This lot will be incorporated into the various design proposals that emerge moving forward.

For these and other reasons such as City ownership of the land in question, West Park is the logical "first step" in the process of eventually rebuilding all three of Ventura's existing skate tracks.

The "Band-Aid" Proposal

The process of designing, funding and building a new, professional-caliber skatepark at West Park would take at least 2-5 years by any optimistic assessment of similar City projects. This is great long-term news for the skateboard community, but fails to address the immediate problems mentioned in the summary.

For this reason, we suggest the immediate addition of simple street elements to the existing wood-chip area. Completing this task by the end of 2018 would give all skaters immediate improvement to the facility during the time it takes to design the new skatepark.

Benefits of the "Band-Aid" Proposal

1) Ample flat ground would give beginners a place to learn the basics of rolling.

2) Ample flat ground would also appeal to intermediate / advanced skaters who love to skate flat ground and have games of S.K.A.T.E.

3) By replacing the wood-chip area with skateable concrete, the Band-Aid proposal would approximately triple the amount of usable area.

4) Maintaining the wood-chip area is an expense to the City that would be removed if the Band-Aid proposal was implemented.

5) The Band-Aid proposal is inexpensive. 2018 assessments with licensed, local contractors suggest $10-$20K with minimal construction requirements.

6) The Band-Aid proposal has preliminary support from elected officials. In November of 2017, I met with Council Member Matt LaVere at West Park and discussed the "Band-Aid" proposal. LaVere sounded optimistic about both it's efficacy and practicality, and offered to assist us in ultimately determining it's efficacy.

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* 1. On a scale of 1 to 5, how would you rank the current Ventura skate tracks?

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* 2. How often do you use the current skate track at West Park?

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* 3. How often would you use a properly-designed, professional grade skatepark at West Park?

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* 4. How old are you?

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* 5. What's your name? (Optional)

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* 6. How often do you skate?

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* 7. Do you live in Ventura County?

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* 8. Where do you live? Check all that apply

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* 9. Do you live within a half-mile of West Park?

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* 10. The new skatepark will take approximately 2-5 years to design, fund and build. Do you support immediate “bandaid” improvements to West Park by replacing the wood-chips with concrete by the end of 2018?

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* 11. The new skatepark at West Park should be:

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* 12. Which of the following best describes how you feel about the new skatepark at West Park:

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* 13. What elements would you like to see in the final design? Select all that apply:

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* 14. Should the new skatepark allow BMX bikes and scooters?

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* 15. How do you feel about paying an entry fee at the new skatepark?

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* 16. Should pad rules be enforced at the new skatepark?

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* 17. If scooters and bikes are allowed, how would that affect your use of the park?

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* 18. If pad rules and entry fees are enforced, how would that affect your use of the park?

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* 19. What are your favorite skateparks in Ventura County? Check all that apply:

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* 20. What are your favorite skateparks outside of Ventura County?

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* 21. Should the new skatepark at West Park have lights?

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* 22. Would you volunteer to help with regular cleanup at the new skatepark?

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* 23. I own or represent a business or non-profit that could assist with design, fundraising and/or building the new skatepark, and I am willing to get involved.

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* 24. Do you have any additional comments and/or suggestions?

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