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The original item was published from 6/17/2016 3:45:12 PM to 8/1/2016 12:00:05 AM.

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Posted on: June 17, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Skate Park Fence Constructed

Installation of a fence and restricted access to the skate board facility at Bud Cross Park in Brookings was underway this week.

“The purpose of this project is to address two primary concerns,” City Manager Gary Milliman said. “The first concern is safety. It is simply not safe to allow a mix of skateboard and bicycle users in the skate park bowl. This has been an ongoing issue since the skate park was built in 2001.”

“It is even more important to address now in light of a recent Oregon Supreme Court ruling in Johnson vs. Gibson on the matter of recreational immunity. Our insurance carrier has asked cities not to proceed with constructing new skateboard parks and to consider limiting or discontinuing the use of existing skateboard facilities,” Milliman said. “What this means is that the City and its employees can be sued by anyone injured at the skate park that is not using it as it is intended to be used.

Milliman said that Brookings wants to keep its skate park open, so has elected to install the fence and restricted access to discourage bicycles from the facility.

The second issue is damage to the facility caused by bicycles. According to Chris Gilligan of Skaters for Public Skateparks writing in a 2016 article published by Landscape Communications, “Skate parks are designed for recreational devices that are propelled by gravity, momentum, and body gyration. Small, hard wheels are a necessity for this type of activity, because they are lightweight, they spin up to speed quickly, and they experience very little friction on a smooth surface.”

Certain features on a bike cause much more damage to skate park surfaces than the park’s intended users.

“This also relates back to the liability issue. If damage occurs to the skateboard structure through the impact of a bicycle, and knowing that the structure was not designed for bicycle use, the City and its employees are risking liability if that damage is not immediately repaired and someone else is injured,” Milliman said. “We can’t accept that financial risk.”

The entrance for the now-fenced skatepark is designed to allow pedestrian access while discouraging bicycles and other vehicles.

The City spent $7,500 to repair the facility in 2010, and is spending $13,870 to construct the fence.

See the full text of the Press Release
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