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In the News Index

Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Date: September 24, 2003
Byline: Michael Hinkelman


Skateboarders: Hope's alive against LOVE Park ban

Skateboarders inched a bit closer yesterday to getting the two-year-old ban on skateboarding in LOVE Park lifted.

City Managing Director Phil Goldsmith, after meeting with skateboarding activists, promised to put together a "working group" of city officials within a week to "take it to the next step."

Goldsmith said he was not yet prepared to recommend that the mayor lift the ban, but skateboarders were encouraged by the meeting.

"We're looking at this optimistically. Change takes time, but we are proceeding in good faith," said Job Itzkowitz, a skateboarder and member of the Coalition to Free LOVE Park.

Last month, skateboarding activists met with city planning officials and presented a conceptual plan for skateboarders to share LOVE Park with other users.

Goldsmith said he had concerns about how the city would fund improvements to the park and pay for maintenance related to skateboarding. He also said cops have more pressing issues than policing skateboarders — but there needs to be some kind of enforcement official in the park monitoring their activities.

Itzkowitz said his group proposed operating a kiosk in the park which would sell LOVE Park memorabilia, collectibles and the like and use the proceeds for maintenance and paying for an enforcement official.

Said Goldsmith: "That sounds like a good idea to me."

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