Monday, September 18, 2006

Wilmette Skate Park Meeting
September 26, 2006

There's a new skate board park planned at Hibbard Park, which could negatively impact the peace and quiet of nearby neighbors as well as rattle the nerves of the children who play organized baseball there.

While the skate park itself has been discussed, I haven't seen any information about the decibel level it will inflict on a residential area of Wilmette; any study of potential drug dealing which I have heard is a problem with this sport; the demand for a skate park; insurance liability issues; the environmental impact on paving over green space; or the potential to attract out-of-district participants rather than the children of Wilmette.

A meeting is planned for 7 p.m. Sept. 26, 2006 at the Community Recreation Center, 3000 Glenview Road, Wilmette; which is the site of Hibbard Park. Let's hope that the homeowners in that area of town turn out in numbers and ask the hard questions.

A friend of mine who lives near Bibbard Park says that there are very few Wilmette children of skateboarding age who live nearby, so the skate park placement is a bit of a puzzle, although I suppose it's a NIMBY issue.

With the noise of the expressway clearly audible at the park, this plan could create some real sound pollution for what may prove to be the unfortunate residents of the area.

There has been a Wilmette skate park blog for quite a while, which can be accesssed here. the blog is being updated again.I wouldn't have any idea who writes the blog--for all I know, its a skate park developer, but thought you might like to check it out. There is a good series of pictures of Hibbard Park, there, which you can access here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at the previous hearings and several people brought up the noise issue. I'm a skateboarder, and can testify that urethane wheels don't make a lot of noise on cement. It's more likely that the voices from the baseball game will distract the skaters. Most of the complains were from the people in Community playfields where the park was to be situated behind one of the schools. Other main locations that were explored were Malencrot (perhaps out of place) and Gilson (too far to one end of Wilmette). I think this location won since it was not in anyone's back yard, centrally located, visible, and had a parking lot where parents could dropoff kids.

Sep 19, 2006, 7:43:00 AM  
Blogger Publia said...

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for the update and the information about urethane wheels. Any info on how many kids in Wilmette use skateboards?

Sep 19, 2006, 10:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There were quite a few skaters at the hearings. The sport is the fastest growing sport in the US and claims 11M skaters in the US. Your friends probably don't see that many due to the brick streets and since they are all going to Glenview, Highland Park, or Chicago to skate.

Sep 20, 2006, 7:51:00 AM  
Blogger Publia said...

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for the heads-up. I thought skate boarding wasn't popular any more.

Sep 21, 2006, 2:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too skateboard and can say that it is a HUGE sport that is also incredibly stereotyped. Skaters for the most part are nice kids who are passionate about their sport. Drug dealing and other issues seem to surround the sport more from past decades but now it is very mainstream and kids of all ages skate. I skate daily (I'm even a girl which goes against the typical skater idea,) and can say that I've seen kids as young as 2 and adults up into their 50s taking part in the sport.

Noise, insurance, and need are all issues that have been investigated and I know that insurance is not a problem with the village and the need is huge with hundreds of skaters in the village. -Marlo

Sep 28, 2006, 9:45:00 PM  
Blogger Publia said...

Hi Marlo,

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comments with readers. Please encourage your friends to post their comments about skating, too.

Oct 8, 2006, 7:55:00 PM  

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