Pine Crescent Skateboard park to go ahead
Despite opposition from nearby residents, plans to relocate Blackfalds’ old skateboard park equipment to Pine Crescent Park will go ahead.
Town council unanimously voted to move forward with the park, which is just a piece of a larger plan to create recreational opportunities for those living on the east end of Blackfalds. Community gardens, and a new outdoor rink will also be located in Pine Crescent Park.
It was the skateboard park proposal in particular that some residents took issue with in May, citing safety concerns, noise, a potential increase in vandalism and decrease in property value.
After receiving RCMP and enforcement statistics on the skateboard park’s current Multi-plex Arena location, however, council decided the fears of residents were unfounded.
Over the past eight years, only 15 calls were made regarding the skatepark, according to former RCMP officer and current Protective Services Manager Ken Morrison.
“When looking at statistics, these numbers are relatively small considering the number of youth that would be using the skate park at any given time,” he said in an interoffice memo. “On average, with the RCMP and Municipal Enforcement statistics this would equate to approximately 2.77 calls per year to the skate park.”
As well, traffic stats were pulled for Pioneer Way over a two-week period in August last summer. A total of 6,708 vehicles travelled past the speed sign during that time, and there were no signs of a speed problem.
Council also chose to reduce the speed limit along the street from 50 km/h to 30 km/h as a precautionary measure to improve safety in the area.
The data was welcome news to Coun. Jaime Hoover, who lives near Pine Crescent Park and previously shared the same concerns as some of the residents in opposition to the plan.
“It’s surprising to me, but a relief to know there seems to be very little (crime),” he said. “Knowing it’s going to be monitored over the next year and the fact we’re gaining a safety aspect should balance out the concerns.”
There is still potential for a change to be made, however.
The park will be monitored until the end of next summer to determine if there are any ongoing issues with regards to noise, vandalism and other crime. At that time, if there are issues, the equipment may be removed, and the cement pad left behind will be converted into a tennis or basketball court or similar structure.