Thursday, March 5, 2009

City Bans Bikers At New Tampa Park -- Here's Another View

SWFBUD got an explanation from the city of Tampa as to why bikers are excluded from a new skateboard park in New Tampa and posted it this week. Another blogger read that city explanation and responded with this post on his blog:


It has happened again. NO BIKES ALLOWED says the Department of Recreation in Tampa, FL. Brad Suder is the Superintendent in charge of the cities recreational facilities. I spoke with him over the phone to find out the real reasons this park is not allowing bikes. He first spoke about the facility. He stated the park is a small park of only 15,000 sq/ft. Although that is not exactly what most riders may refer to as small, it may be smaller than most other parks in Florida. He said the park is going to be under supervision, but would not have the staff to monitor skateboarders and bicycles. He then mentioned the increased damage pegs would cause to the concrete park. Also cited was the advantage a bike rider has on a skateboard in the event of a collision. Lets address each issue here.

1. If the staff is incapable of handling bikes and skateboards, how about considering a bike only session? This is something that as ridiculous as it is, is a thoughtful and fair compromise.
2. If pegs really are a concern, and the city can not afford reinforced, wider coping, how about a no peg rule? Just outside of the city of Pittsburgh, there is a fully unsupervised concrete skatepark that allows bikes under the rule of no pegs. Although this does limit the bike rider's ability to perform certain tricks, this is a fair compromise.
3. If bicycles are truly a danger to skateboarders, than there should be skate only times? Or most of the time bike riders get the short end of the stick here with 2 maybe 3 sessions out of the week. As much as this is unfair, bike riders will take advantage of this. Especially in the case of an area such as Tampa where a higher quality park is being constructed.

This issue are far more prevalent than just in the Tampa area. The number of parks that do not allow bikes unknown, but far too high. Lets all work together with this issue and establish a fair way to give action sports enthusiasts a safe place to go. To read more about Tampa's skatepark, click here or click the title of this blog.

If you have questions, contact:
Brad Suder
Planning, Design, and Natural Resources
Parks and Recreation Department
City of Tampa
(813) 231-1336

God Bless.

Nathan Smoyer

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