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Archive for August, 2007
PP&R has finalized the public design meeting schedule for the Ed Benedict
Skate Plaza project. Ed Benedict Park Public Open House/Workshop Meetings to review design ideas and provide input into Portlandâ€™s first skate plaza.
Early Boyles Elementary School Cafeteria (10822 SE Bush St.; 1 block south of SE Powell Blvd.)
First Meeting is September 13th; Second Meeting is November 15th.
Both meetings are from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
image from animation archive
Rod Wojtanik, one of the most influential voices in Pacific Northwest skateboarding, is packing his bags for a new professional opportunity and leaving behind skatepark development. Rod recently announced his pending departure from the City of Portlandâ€™s Parks & Recreation bureau for a landscape architecture position with Metro, Portlandâ€™s regional government. Heâ€™ll begin in September.
Bureaucrats come and go in government, but Rod occupied a unique position. In addition to more traditional planning and landscape design project responsibilities, Rod oversaw development of Portlandâ€™s groundbreaking skatepark program. Portland, you probably know, has three new skate projects open to the public, two more awaiting execution, and 14 more sited and planned for development. No city on earth has done what Portland is doing, and Rod steered the system from its inception to its current status. For skateboarders, Rodâ€™s departure marks the end of an era.
It would only be fair to acknowledge skatersâ€™ relationship with Rod through the years has had its share of ups and downs. Advocacy requires vigilance to achieve desired goals, and sometimes that means rejecting the bureaucratic status quo. Rod didnâ€™t always share skatersâ€™ views or strategies, but he learned a lot about skateboarding in a hurry and always worked to see skaters get the same respect every other recreational interest group enjoys. We presented the facts, and he helped broadcast them.
Rod knows more about skateboarding and its subculture than any non-skater we know. We owe him a debt of gratitude for making the effort to translate our needs into a language the mainstream machine understands. The reality is successful advocacy is a two-way street: you canâ€™t expect people to support your needs if you are unwilling or unable to express them in a way people understand. Rod often served as our translator.
With successful parks in the ground, skateboarding is no longer the neighborhood bogeyman, the convenient surrogate for fear of change. In this new era SPS looks forward to developing an even more collaborative relationship with Rodâ€™s successor. For now though, cheers to Rod for having our backs over the years. Portlandâ€™s skatepark system enjoys a momentum skaters in every other city would kill for. It wouldnâ€™t be happening without Rod Wojtanik.
Here is how the new Holly Farm Skatespot costed out:
- 2,800 square feet
- Dreamland Contract = $49,900
- Dreamland Donation = $11,600
- Portland Parks Foundation Provided Concrete = $13,000
- Park Contractor provided rough excavation and set drainlines
- Approximately $28.50 sf, does not include PP&R staff time and permits
By way of contrast 11,500 Pier Park and Glenhaven were each in the $350K range.