On December 4th , 2013, Adam Rutherford and Lynne Briggs completed an interview with Jessica Lovell of the Guelph Tribune regarding Committee Report CSS-CESS-1353 - Guelph Skatepark: Preferred Design, Location and Budget. The article is expected to appear in The Tribune this week. Summary of the conversation is captured below.
Several images are provided in the report – Do the final renderings in the report represent what the skatepark would look like?
· The final design renderings presented represent what Guelph’s proposed community wide skatepark will look like. Through the detailed design process small changes may emerge (due to site, drainage, engineering requirements) but these changes would be minimal and would likely go unnoticed outside of the construction realm.
· The images presented in the report reflect the input and feedback from Guelph’s Skateboard/Bike/Scooter communities and the design team has committed to fulfilling the groups vision.
· Final renderings were reviewed with design workshops participants and city staff for endorsement.
The designs presented do not show any additional parking – will more parking be provided?
· The proposed location at Silvercreek Park has existing parking bays that alternate between heavy usage during scheduled beach volleyball games and minimal use during all other time periods. Our skatepark consults have identified that most skatepark users travel by foot, bike or public transportation and have little impact on existing parking. That being said city staff are committed to examining current parking provisions at Silvercreek Park and respond with planning that addresses existing and increased needs of the site.
Do you have any concerns about noise generated at the site?
· The skatepark site selection process considered noise limits and distances to existing residential a key criteria in identifying a preferred location. The Silvercreek site sits more than the recommended 100metres from existing residential dwellings and features a number of noise mitigating and recommended factors. These factors include, a location with a close proximity to main thoroughfares, presence of additional noise generation (the Speed River), a location that has other existing noise generating activities (beach volleyball, soccer) and a location that provides a visual barrier between residential and skatepark. Each of these elements is present at the Silvercreek location and should alleviate concerns of park neighbours.
· The site was also identified by Guelph Police Services as a location that is “well situated to dissipate any noise that may be generated by the facility”.
· Our Skatepark Design consultants also identified this location as very positive regarding noise mitigation during the site evaluation process.
Will there be lighting for late night skateboarding at this site?
· No, lights were not included or requested in this design. The skatepark will be a dawn to dusk facility and will fall under the same guidelines as other City of Guelph non-light park and recreation venues.
· Police Service has also recommended against evening lights to discourage night time use, gathering and noise.
What feedback did neighbours provide at the community information session?
· Silvercreek Park neighbours were interested in the planning that went into site selection and were interested in hearing about why Silvercreek Park was the preferred location.
· A small number of neighbours (2) had concerns regarding noise generation but appeared satisfied with explanations provided, reflection on best practices regarding placement and logic behind Silvercreek selection.
· Most resident feedback pertained to young facility users being able to safely arrive and depart from the site. They asked staff to encourage participants to use crosswalks and main intersections in traveling to and from the park.
· Others commented that they thought it was a great idea to bring more young people to the park.
Will additional crosswalks be added to alleviate safety concerns?
· Additional crosswalks are not part of the design plan for the Silvercreek Skatepark and we expect that most users will reach the park on existing thoroughfares that currently have crosswalks in place.
· Staff have had some discussions on the merit of user initiated crosswalks but best practices suggests that encouraging users to utilize existing traffic and pedestrian crossings is the safest measure.
We have seen a variety of budgets connected to the skatepark build. The current estimate sits at $800,000. Why is this higher than the $450,000 identified in 2011?
· The estimates contained in the 2011 report to Council reflected the cost of replicating a “neighbourhood” sized skateboard facility to replace the previously removed Deerpath Skatepark. The budget estimate contained within the most recent report reflects the cost of a “community” sized skatepark that effectively meets the needs of all Guelph skateboarders, bmx bikers, rollerbladers and scooter riders. The City had been operating on the assumption that several neighbourhood skateparks was the best way to meet the needs of the community. Further conversation with stakeholders, skatepark designers and participants as well as an investigation of successful skateparks in other communities, revealed that it is much more effective to build a community wide rather than neighbour sized facilities.
· The $800,000 budget also fits within previously stated Parks budgets for a skateboard facility (2017).
· The estimate is also in line with skatepark expenditures from comparable municipalities and reflects the needs of a community the size of Guelph.
When will the park be built?
· The skatepark build is projected for 2015 pending Council approval of the design and location recommendations and further approval of the 2015 Budget.
· With approval, our goal would be to see the facility completed Spring/Summer of 2015.
Barbara Powell |General Manager of Community Engagement Community Engagement and Social Services Liaison
Community and Social Services
City of Guelph
T 519-822-1260 x2675| F 519-763-9240