City considers moving Spokane skate park
A troubled hot spot in downtown Spokane may be closed off. The city is discussing whether or not to close the skate park under the freeway, or U.T.F. as many call it.
The problem, people are using the area for drug use, crimes, and homeless people are sleeping there.
"Lots of like tweekers. Needles on the ground. It's a dirty place," said Max Byrnes, who visits the park.
"Just a lot of drugs. That's about the only thing the skate park is used for it seems like," said Donny Danielson, who spray paints at the skate park.
The city is concerned that answer is becoming all too common.
"Certainly there are some other non-skating activities that do occur there, so the thought is to look for another place where we can encourage those positive activities, and provide better safety and security," said city spokesman Brian Coddington.
The parks board is in the beginning stages of closing the skate park and building a new one closer to Riverfront Park. A parking lot on Cataldo and Washington could be the destination. The project would cost $800,000, and be paid for by a bond on the November 2014 ballot. The new park would be completed by 2015.
People at U.T.F. think it would be a waste.
"There's not that much crime going on as they believe. As far as the drug trafficking I can't really say, I really don't see much of it. It's like any place else in the city," said Ambrosio Garcia.
Garcia used to live there, and still hangs out at the park every day. He says the area is important to the skaters and has another suggestion for the city to keep the park open.
"Maybe put a booth up letting certain kids in for free and adults be charged for it and just be monitored," Garcia said.
The city parks department is only in the discussion phase, and a formal proposal could take several months to write.
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