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In the News Index

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Date: July 10, 2003
Byline: Stephan Salisbury


Philadelphia sets sights on riverside skate park

A skateboard park on the banks of the Schuylkill is worth pursuing, the head of city planning told the Fairmount Park Commission yesterday.

Stating she was "a convert" to the sport, Maxine Griffith said she wanted "to seek a team of folks to take a look at the site from a design standpoint."

Griffith also wants to assemble an advisory board that would examine landscaping, access, transportation and other issues raised by the river site, which is behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Park commissioners, who had been mulling over the possibility of a skate park in Franklin Square, deferred to Griffith's suggestion.

After the refurbishing of JFK Plaza more than a year ago — and the subsequent crackdown on skateboarders using that world-famous location, where the activity is illegal — Mayor Street said the city would find a location for a legitimate skateboard park and help build it.

David Schaaf, a planner with the urban-design division of the City Planning Commission, told commissioners that the river location was "an excellent site" and "can be one of the most challenging... skate parks in the nation."

After the Park Commission meeting — the last of the summer — Griffith said "the mayor is committed to developing the funds" to build a skate park.

She could not provide a cost estimate yet, however.

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