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Bountiful addresses traffic, skate park
by Clipper
Nov 15, 2006 | 837 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BOUNTIFUL -- Bountiful City Council unanimously approved the recommendations from Traffic Safety Committee at City Council meeting Tuesday, Nov. 14. A crosswalk will be added at 200 East and 1200 North for better student access to Tolman Elementary. Bountiful will also install a caution sign warning of the approaching crosswalk.

The crosswalk will not be made a reduced speed school zone. The Committee also recommended painting no parking zones on 500 West and 2700 South at Colonial Square.

Patrons and employees of the retail and office buildings at Colonial Square are parking on 500 West causing complaints of sight problems on this busy road. Parking on both sides of 2700 South has made the street too narrow for normal use.

In a related issue, some Bountiful residents are feeling as if they have been kept in the dark over a proposed skate park at Tolman Park, also known as Rocket Park. While opponents believe the skate park could be voted on at the next City Council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 28, city officials contacted by the Clipper suspect the vote will be delayed.

Finding a home for the controversial skate park has proven a challenge of monumental proportions for Bountiful, and plenty of residents are not encouraged about putting the skate park in Rocket Park.

Citizens surrounding the Rocket Park area said the City Council has not been forthcoming with information that the skate park was even a possibility. Most citizens just learned of it through a neighborhood meeting or word of mouth.

Jenifer and Shay McGill contend the park has already been staked and a site designer from Arizona has come to the park. "A lot of work on this park has already been done, and nobody knew about it," said Jenifer McGill.

Concretedisciples.com gives details of the design of the proposed skate park as well. "How does the skateboarding community know and the next door neighbors have no idea?" questioned resident Gregory Oaks.

The McGills are worried the window of opportunity to present their case will be narrow. They requested last week to address Tuesday's city council meeting but the mayor reported the city council was not ready to talk about it. Shay and Jenifer will be able to speak against the park next meeting, however. "He guaranteed us we'd having speaking time (next meeting)," said Shay.

Opponents are hopeful the council won't vote on the park next meeting, since it hasn't been discussed yet at city council. In addition, if there is enough opposition to the skate park, the council could wait for the recommendation of the Parks and Recreation Committee.

The McGills say residents near Rocket Park are against the skate park. "We've already got close to 300 signatures, and we're still beating the streets," said McGill. More than 30 residents are collecting signatures.

Shay doesn't hate the idea of having a skate park in Bountiful but is convinced Rocket Park is not well suited for it.

The main complaint about the proposed skate park is that it would be installed in a secluded spot. It appears to be headed for a location behind trees instead of in an open park where visibility would spell less crime.

McGill believes even the skaters can be at risk there. "There are predators who will prey on those kids...and especially in a secluded area," he said.

Details from the construction company's Web site indicate that there will be no supervision once the park is built, adding concerns over safety.

They believe Rocket Park doesn't make economic sense for the money that it would require because Rocket Park is not centrally located. Skaters will have to walk uphill into a residential area to use the facility.

No venues are close to Rocket Park either and bus lines are scarce. McGill's research points to the fact that a safe and successful skate park takes certain requirements.

It has to be visible and closer to businesses and transportation services. "If it doesn't have the (right) elements, it fails."

McGill is adamant that the reason he and many of his neighbors are against the skate park is not because they don't want skateboarders at Rocket Park. "I'm not necessarily op-posed to a skate park. I was a skater myself. My argument is not that these kids are bad kids."

Bountiful resident Adam Pike added "It's just the wrong place."
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