Must admit, when I first looked at Waterloo’s public square — built after much wailing and gnashing of teeth over lost parking spaces — that it wasn’t what I was expecting. It was just a big slab of concrete.
See what I mean?
So of course it became overrun by skateboarders, which has caused many complaints. But, as many have pointed out, what else are you going to do on that thing? It pretty much does look like a big old skateboard park.
A recent Record editorial pointed out what I hadn’t quite realized, and am somewhat relieved about, which is that this is just the first phase of this thing. There is supposed to be more stuff, like trees, and “bistro-style” tables, and a skating rink. Actually, I found a picture:
(And more pictures at http://urbanitydesign.wordpress.com/category/waterloo/).
In the meantime, though, I don’t know that it makes so much sense to ban skateboarding completely, especially when that’s going to cost $50,000 to $100,000 year in security. Wouldn’t it be better to spend that money on finishing the thing, so it’s no longer just a skateboard slab?
And in the meantime, I kind of like this suggestion:
However it came to be, let us accept and indeed glory in our new skateboard park. We can have skateboard festivals and competitions. We can host conferences on skateboarding. We could become a world leader in skateboarding culture.
Perhaps we can be called the “Most Intelligent City on Wheels”.