Monday, March 02, 2009

Great Skatepark of the World

The Web Urbanist has a nice photographic compilation of great skateparks around the world.

All cool but I think a skatepark designed and built for the tip of Mud Island, jutting into and surrounded on 3 sides by the great Mississippi River, would hold its own, and probably more with any of them.

Skatelife Memphis
has proposed just such an incredible public use for a piece of land that has been unused since it formed over 100 years ago.

The red line below shows the approximate location of the skatepark.

Nothing but grass, and rough at that.

Yet the Riverfront Development Corp has put Skatelife off since April 2008 so the RDC can do a master plan on Mud Island.

Another master plan.

Another plan.

Another master plan that will cost approximately $800 thousand dollars*, when the highest end skate park is only $3 million. Another plan that won't even start gathering input from the public until late March because it's already taken a year to plan the plan.

In the meantime, greatness flows past Memphis.

So maybe that's just water under the bridge. Skatelife Memphis asks that you attend the public input sessions and let the RDC know your support for the skatepark on Mud Island. Let the RDC see the dynamism and vitality that they put off for at least two years, but can still have.

There will be 4 sessions.

* figure ciphered from the $400,000 matching grant they received from Corps of Engineers to do the study.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The RDC can't win! Say what you will about the time it's taken to plan the plan and the time it will take to develop the plan, but the RDC must depend on a public planning process to guide decision-making for use of this property. I agree 100% that Memphis needs a great regional skate park, but if RDC slaps that park on the tip of Mud Island without soliciting meaningful input from all citizens (not just skaters and their supporters), there will most certainly be a backlash--a backlash that could mean loss of potential funding from the City to build the future skate park. So now that the RDC is asking the public for input on the use of this land, seize the opportunity—as gates and skatelife suggest—and tell them what you want them to do with it! And if you don't participate, you have no right to complain about the outcome.

Also, you might want to check your numbers. Planning is certainly expensive; however, the plan is expected to cost $400,000—not $800,000.

11:38 AM  
Blogger gatesofmemphis said...

Sure the RDC can win. A skatepark on Mud Island and no new parking lot in Tom Lee would be huge victories. You gotta believe!

re: the $400,000 or $800,000, I footnoted because it's unclear what the cost is. Again, I'm basing that on a _matching_ grant of $400,000 from the Corps of Engineers. If there's a documented figure, I'll change it and link to the figure.

I'm pretty sure the skaters and their supporters will show up at these sessions, as skaters are by definition a very mobile bunch.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous sherman said...

$400,000 is about 40% what a world-class skatepark on Mud Island would cost. $800,000 is about 80% what a world-class would cost.

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sherman: please contact me at the skatelife memphis website. I would appreciate your input for a meeting coming up. Thanks,


3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a crappy idea, considering that the park would be downtown in a bad area. On an island with no place to park and several other things are wrong with it. The park proposed for Midtown would be a WAY better alternative.

12:03 PM  

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