A skate park for Philly?

Phil Haldkey, 22, regularly uses Pop’s Skatepark in East Kensington.

Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department has partnered with Franklin’s Paine Skatepark Fund to develop Philadelphia’s first citywide skate park master plan. The master plan includes plans to design and make over locations throughout the city to serve as free, public skate parks.

And that could translate into fewer near misses for pedestrians along Center City streets with out-of-control skateboarders trying unsuccessfully to pull off an ollie.

“The more designated skate space, the less people will have to seek out their own places to skate,” said Claire Laver, executive director of the skate park organization. Her group for years has pushed for more parks says its goal of “providing educational programming opportunities through skateboarding to local youth” as a reason for the development of the skate parks.  

The first phase of the plan is complete, according to Laver. And the plans, which highlight the need for skate parks in the southern and southwestern parts of the city, impressed city Park and Rec chief Michael DeBerardinis.

“We … hope that through the implementation of projects outlined in this plan, we will be able to engage more residents in utilizing their local parks and playgrounds,” he said.

Some expect the city’s skateboarding population to explode in years ahead. Laver said there is already an estimated 45,000 skateboarders in Philadelphia.


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