October 18, 2013 in Features


Jesse Tinsley photoBuy this photo

Griffin Larzelier, 15, hits a ramp at the skate park under the freeway last week.
(Full-size photo)

A city of Spokane proposal to demolish the Under the Freeway Skate Park and replace it with one at Riverfront Park drew a variety of heartfelt responses from readers on social media. Here is a sampling of their thoughts from Facebook:

Andrew Bodenstein

It would probably be a much safer plan all around. That said I’ve got a lot of memories in that skate park, sometimes we’d have recess there during elementary school (it was actually quite safe under the highway back in that period, there were tennis courts even!)

Fleet Matt

Why not have both?

Ricco DiStefano

We had ramps at Riverfront after the World’s Fair. So us old school guys would find it cool to bring it back.

Tina Marie Vetsch

I think they should keep UTF but build a new one with input from people around here who actually board and built by a company that actually knows about building skate parks. Having it covered is an awesome idea – that way it can be used year round.

Alishia Maria Klynstra

Cause that’s all we need are more unruly teenagers who tag stuff up. Have y’all not seen the other skate parks, they are trashed. Downtown doesn’t need a skate park.

Theresa Ortega MMoney

Not all teens tag stuff up. And so what if they do? It’s a skate park. I think if they can do that instead of the alternatives then let them be. What are they actually harming in spray painting a concrete/wooden space? Sometimes as adults we really need to pick n choose the bigger battles.

Drew Blount

Against … Behavior at current location is “unsupervised teens.” Put that in Riverfront Park, other kids will want to participate, but without the current skate Park under I-90, the teen thugs & drugs will move to Riverfront Park, and dominate/trash it!

Scott Pierce

Totally for it! While I would not be one to take part in using the park, why shouldn’t people have one in a better part of our town? It would bring a bit of extra cash to the businesses that are already in Riverfront Park, teen skaters need to eat too. For those talking about teens “tagging” stuff, then give them an outlet to do so. Put in a couple of extra walls or barriers for them to paint if they wish. I’m sure we have some teens in this town who have some amazing artistic talent and if it gets “offensive” then they get whitewashed (job security for park maintenance employees). I would rather my tax money go toward something nice versus the usual junk.

Matthew J Behringer

Poor decision, not a bad idea to put a skate park in Riverfront Park but I think the Under the Freeway park needs to stay. Spokane’s most under-utilized area is the endless pavement under I-90. Of course crime and homelessness will continue under there if it’s all just left with nothingness like it is today. To take something away would only make things worse in that part of Downtown.

Brie Edwards

I think this is a good idea. Get it out from under the freeway and in an area where there is foot traffic. That in itself will cut down on crime around it. They have all the skate parks in southern California in parks that are well used by the public. Never a problem with that. I have to say, people’s views of young people here in Spokane are so negative. It is counter-productive.

Griffin Larzelier

You guys just don’t understand – UTF means so much to me and many other people I’m there every day after school till nine and all day on the weekends skateboarding, why can’t we just keep UTF and still build a skate park at Riverfront. We are not ready to watch UTF get taken down. When skaters think of Spokane they think on going to UTF. It’s a landmark.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email