Ramps stay at skate park- for now

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Skate ramps at a neighborhood park will stay, for now. Parks and Recreation officials threatened to remove the ramps last week, after complaints from neighbors.

Complaining neighbors say it isn't the skate boarding they have a problem with, it's the noise that comes with the sport. Plus, they've seen an increase in trash. Even people using the bathroom in public.

But others say, the home made skate park keeps trouble out, and has united the community.

"I just feel safer. Like, there's been some drug issues here in the past and just having bodies in the park is awesome," said Katie Pitcher.

"It brings camaraderie and positive energy for the community in general," added Johnston Foster, a skater and nearby resident. "And the kids here, are learning like they're getting outside, they're exercising, they're learning all sorts of social skills."

It seems the neighborhood, divided on the issue, is coming together to find a solution. They have a meeting scheduled for Wednesday night with Parks and Recreation officials to discuss the issue. Some think they could move the skate area from a tennis lot to a nearby sand lot.

They say concrete could muffle the sound, and moving it farther from homes should reduce noise.

"Even in all their frustration, people are trying to find a way to come together to hopefully make this work and I'm really proud of that, of us. Because we have something really sweet here and it's worth investing in," said Patience Salgado. Her sons regularly skate at the park.

Of course, they'll need the city's participation to pull the idea off. Parks and Rec officials won't confirm or deny plans for a skate park in the sand pit.

Though, several neighbors reported seeing a city employee measuring the space Wednesday morning.

The meeting is at 7:00 p.m. at the Round House in Byrd Park.

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