North Beach Skate Park Gains Support
On May 25, 2016, the City of Miami Beach Parks and Recreation Facilities Advisory Board hosted a public workshop to gather input on a proposed skate park that could break ground in North Beach. The
On May 25, 2016, the City of Miami Beach Parks and Recreation Facilities Advisory Board hosted a public workshop to gather input on a proposed skate park that could break ground in North Beach. The Commission unanimously agreed that the skate park should be built in North Beach and has allocated $400,000 for the project.
“The popularity of skateboarding has exploded over the past three decades and it’s an activity that is enjoyed by all age groups and genders,” said Miami Beach Commissioner Ricky Arriola. “I see parents skateboarding around town with their sons and daughters and it’s long overdue that the City provides them a safe and fun place to enjoy their hobby!”
At the workshop, attended by over 60 community members, there was discussion about the type of skate park that should be built. The majority of the attendees concluded that a combination of an all-wheels park with area(s) to perform skating “tricks” was the best.
Additionally, there was a presentation and discussion about the three areas where the park could be built. These areas include the 72nd street lot, the West Lots, and the south end of North Shore Open Space Park. The majority of the workshop attendees thought the south end of North Shore Open Space Park was the best location. Many liked this location because of the potential tie-in to the future beach walk extension and the activities – including playground equipment – that could be designed for young children.
“The turnout for the meeting was great,” said resident and proponent of the park, Carolina Jones. “At this point, the only “bad choice” would be not to move forward with this great public amenity. The residents have been waiting patiently for this amenity for years. We have three great location choices and hopefully soon we will see a world class, one-of-a-kind skate track at one of them.”
In 2015, Velosolutions USA, a Florida-based company that has built numerous parks, made presentations to the City of Miami Beach and the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on North Beach regarding a mixed use, all-wheels “pump track” concept.
“We are now in a better place than we were last year,” said a representative from Velosolutions, Jonathan Strauss. “Everyone on the Commission is an advocate for having the skate park in North Beach. Now, we just need to educate our community on the benefits of the park. This project has the potential to bring North Beach together and be an icon for the community.”
One point that Strauss wants to stress is that the “pump track” that he is suggesting wouldn’t be traditional. For example, his company can create parks for a small, medium and large space with modular tracks or full scale paved pump tracks that are safe. His company also provides turnkey solutions, instructors, riding gear, and even has a mobile app available to help park goers.
“Some people think we are just going to put asphalt down or concrete,” said Strauss. “Current skate parks are designed much safer and with families in mind.”
On Wednesday, June 8, the skate park proposal was placed on the agenda by Commissioner John Aleman as a discussion item with a positive result.
“The Commission ultimately did not vote, but gave direction to the administration to have the consultants that have been selected [Dover, Kohl] create a conceptual design of North Shore Open Space Park and the West Lots with a skate park, and another design without it,” said Director of the Economic Development Division of the City of Miami Beach Jeff Oris. “They all agreed that North Beach is a proper location for the skate park and that the park should consist of an all-wheels track with some areas incorporated within them for skaters to do tricks. Ultimately, they wanted to have these designs in order to better decide where a skate park might best be located in North Beach.”
[Read also: North Beach Master Plan Draft Revealed]
While Strauss’ company has not been selected to build the park, they have built parks in New York, Washington State, Oklahoma and overseas in Switzerland, Thailand, Germany, Italy, Brazil, and Belgium. To learn more about Velosolutions and their dynamic parks worldwide, visit www.velosolutions.ch