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March 29, 2011 > Letter to the editor: Skateboard Park, the great deception

Letter to the editor: Skateboard Park, the great deception

Why are those few at the helm putting all the eggs for the Fremont Skateboard Park in one basket? An analysis clearly showed the Waterpark site a distant last in a showdown with alternate sites located in a much more promising area of Central park between Stevenson Blvd and the Teen Center.

Is the City's intent to purposely have the skateboard park project fail in the same manner that they caused the former Teen Center to fail? The former Teen Center is now closed to the general public even after the city spent a good deal of our taxpayer money "trying" to accommodate teens.

Anyone seriously interested in skateboarding would obviously prefer a 1 acre, $2 million skateboard park already in place near the previous location (where it peacefully existed for years), rather than forever hearing talk about construction at some HEAVILY CONTESTED site a mile away. Skateboard Park implementation in this known United States Geological Survey (USGS) hazard site also sounds very suspect.

Fencing the Waterpark site was definitely on the minds of council members when the Waterpark site was selected (Fremont City document dated 3/2/10 page 2.4.1 "... Controlled Access - this site can be easily fenced should the city find it necessary..."). Neighbors of that area certainly would not object to fencing and it bodes well with the City's present practice of charging over $8 just to be a spectator right next door. Why is the City excessively overcharging those who only intend to be present to ensure the safety of young children in their care?

To think that this same group in the city government would allow skateboarding all day long or spectators who pay $8.99 at the adjacent Waterpark into the skateboarding activity for free right next door is naive. As the complaints come in, this obvious disparity will have to be corrected. Levying the same charges would only be fair. Charging for the skateboard park would allow Waterpark restrooms to be used; skateboarders would no longer be restricted to facilities 630 feet away.

Alternate sites have none of the problems of the currently proposed Waterpark site and are near the tried and proven temporary skateboard park that peacefully existed for years. Fencing is far less likely. Lighting for nighttime activity will not present problems. Participants can be as loud as they want with music as loud as they want without being hassled. They are safer and much more convenient to BART and food options, emergency response, etc. Businesses in the area even welcome them. There is no reason to not put the skateboard park in this area, where it can peacefully exist for many more years.

City staff publically admitted last year that the alternate site was doable on-schedule, which means that the skateboard park could have been completed this year to everyone's satisfaction. This was noted in an editorial in the Tri-City Voice 1/18/11 issue on page 27
( ).

An earlier editorial also told it like it was ( ). Even the attorney FOR the City of Fremont is questioning the actions of council members!)

City employees continue to be compensated for every moment they spend on this "effort." It is important to realize that they have spent OUR hard earned taxpayer money, NOT theirs.

It doesn't make sense to forcefully upset an established environment with a different development, when another area that has been waiting for years to be developed, offers so much more for the entire public and even welcomes development. Why can't our city "leaders" at least be sensitive to the citizens most impacted?

Bob Fifield, June Griffin and others

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