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Brooklyn Skate Spot to remain; second skate park planned just east

by: RITA A. LEONARD - The new street painting at the Brooklyn Street Skate Spot resembles a heart, when viewed overhead from the pedestrian footbridge at the site.The “Brooklyn Street Skate Spot” at S.E. 16th and Brooklyn Street has been enhanced by street paintings and additional skate runs. Painting was assisted by the Village Building Convergence/City Repair last summer, while the new skate bowl added north of the pedestrian footbridge was built this fall. The MAX construction project won’t replace it, but may reduce access.

Skate Spot co-founder Colin Sharp, who works next door to, and maintains, the site, tells THE BEE, “The pedestrian footbridge here across the train tracks will soon be removed for the Portland-Milwaukie MAX Light Rail project. However, project spokesmen have agreed to let us keep the Skate Spot.

“Meanwhile, we’re fund-raising to create another skate-board park in Powell Park.”

Sharp is enthusiastic about the sport. “On a sunny day, we can have up to 75 skateboarders here, and it gets a little crowded. Our plan for the new site, east of here near Cleveland High School, is to relocate the mini baseball diamond at Powell Park, and build a skateboard park there. We started the project in conjunction with Skaters for Portland Skateparks with a fund-raising program online – at www.neighbor.ly/powellskatespot ,” he reveals.

“The fund-raiser is supported by some local businesses who are offering prizes for various donation amounts. Already we’ve raised about $3,000 of the $40,000 needed. We’re always looking for new sponsors or volunteers. Construction will begin after we secure the funding.

“Portland is the first city in the world known to have a comprehensive Master Plan for skateboard park development,” he adds. “Passed by the City Council in August 2005, the Plan recommends nineteen neighborhood skate spots in three different sizes.

“The skate park Master Plan is based on the idea that skateboarders deserve an appropriate scope of safe, well-designed facilities, just like for any other recreational activity. The Brooklyn Street Skate Spot is evidence of regular and sustained, responsible skateboard use.

“If anyone has questions about the S.E. Powell Skate Spot, check the website to see our mock-up plan. You can also call me at 503/781-5225.”