Posted on June 16, 2011 at 11:32 AM
Thursday, Jun 16 at 5:40 PM
The newest skate park in Austin is now open.
The Austin BMX & Skate Park on Shoal Creek at Lamar officially opened to the public Thursday.
The crowd started showing up at 6:00 a.m. waiting for a chance on the fresh concrete ramps and rails.
The park has been five years in the making. In 2006, Austin voters approved a bond for a new skate park. In May last year, city council gave approval to start building. Construction started in October. Now, after roughly eight months and $1.7 million, it is open to eager skaters and bikers.
According to the City Parks and Recreation Department, the new park is about three times the size of the Mabel Davis Skate Park already open in Austin.
The Austin BMX & Skate Park is designed by BMX and skateboarding professional organizations. It includes artwork designed by Austin artist Chris Levack. Levack created a curved wave on one end of the park to represent a wave coming in from Shoal Creek. He also included a shade tree that represents the fossil life found in the area.
Those who have already been out enjoying the new park's space say the park gives them a safer alternative to riding on the street.
“You don't really get hurt because it's so smooth,"said skater Cyrus Mohebi. "If you skate on the street, I mean, I get scars and torn up, and I don't like that stuff anymore. I'm kinda out of it. Having a park like this is really nice because it has everything that the street would have, if not more.”
Helmets and pads are not required at the Austin BMX & Skate Park, however city officials are strongly urging everyone here to wear them. Mayor Lee Leffingwell said he would like to get some signs posted recommended helmets.
The park will be open during normal city park hours from 5:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. There is a lot of lighting surrounding the park, so it can still be used when it is dark.