‘Not a pleasant place’: Whitehorse skateboarders say park obsolete – North

A group representing skateboarders in Whitehorse is asking the city to take over maintenance of the skate park in Riverdale.

The park — now more than 20 years old — is showing its age, according to Joe Zucchiatti, vice-president of the Skate for Life Alliance. What’s not clear, he says, is which government or agency is responsible for the upkeep.

“It’s kind of in a political grey area, where currently it’s not managed by one department or another. So the department of education owns the land, city has some sort of arm’s length relationship with it — but not we’re not really sure which,” said Zucchiatti.

Some of the hazards for unwary skaters, these have earned a nickname among the park’s users – ‘death pegs’. (Dave Croft/CBC)

He points to crumbling masonry, metal bolts sticking out of the pavement and other safety hazards that need to be dealt with.

“The city was good about repairing the damage that had happened earlier this year. For example, one of the ramps … there was a hole in it the size of my hand,” Zucchiatti said.

“Somebody like me, I can skate around that to a degree. But you know, there’s a lot of little kids that use this park. There’s two-year-olds that use this park.”

Zucchiatti said club members have spoken with city officials about their proposal. 

A city official is expected to brief council members at a lunchtime meeting next week, but a spokesperson says it’s for information only and there’s nothing on the table for the council to discuss, or vote on.

‘Skaters are the youth’

The skateboard park is popular, said Zucchiatti, especially in the summer, but also has winter users.

“During the summertime, there’s a ton of people … the bikers, the scooter users, skateboarders, little kids learning how to ride their bikes and stuff, toddlers running up and down the ramps — lot of use,” said Zucchiatti.

Shawn Pierce, a board member for Skate for Life Alliance, says its time for a new park. (Dave…

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