Posted by:on January 12th, 2007
Every city has a core skate spot. It may not be perfect, but it embodies the heart and soul of scene. When you visit that city, you already know about the spot and you make a point of hitting it. For Vancouver that spot may be China Creek. It’s got a lot of history outside of skateboarding too. It used to be the site of an actual creek, as well as a velodrome in the 50’s and 60’s. In 1979 China Creek became Vancouver’s first public skate park when two mellow coping and edge-free 70’s style bowls were poured, and that’s about the last time the city did anything with the property. The Jaks have held a contest there for years. In the meantime, some of the surrounding areas “lost their luster” and the overall park location filled with the usual assortment of characters that homeowners find disconcerting. The future of the skate park looked grim when the parks department came up with some cash for a facelift of the property. There were three options presented for the skate park part of the park: Leave it where it is, bulldoze and move to a different corner, or bulldoze and move to a completely different piece of property. Nobody wanted it relocated on the same land, a the noisiest NIMBY’s wanted it gone completely. Fortunately, the skaters had created more good will, as most of the nuisance in the park was unrelated to skaters. Most of the residents actually wanted the skate park to remain where it was, and were upset when the board decided to ignore popular opinion. It looked like China Creek was going to be the Ballard Bowl all over again, but somehow the tide changed. As of December 6, 2006, everything looks good for China Creek. Is should end up staying where it is with the addition of some grassy berms built up around it to reduce noise complaints. Other homemade ramps will be removed for nose and safety concerns. Some metal rails might be removed as well. It would be better if they were adding to the skate facilities, but at least it’s going to stay.
That last paragraph is too long, but I had to work those links in somehow. Lastly, Vancouver Skateboarding Coalition is the group that mobilized to defend China Creek, and I’ve been to Vancouver exactly once.
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