Richmond responds to city skate park protest

Posted at 10:05 AM, Feb 10, 2012
and last updated 2012-02-13 13:04:51-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – A Saturday rally has been organized by people concerned that the city of Richmond plans to dismantle a make-shift skateboard park.

The skateboard ramps are set-up on tennis courts at Fonticello Albert Carter Jones Park on Banbridge Street in South Richmond.

Skaters who use the courts to set-up their ramps told CBS 6 the city has warned them any ramps found at the park Wednesday morning will be thrown away.

In response, those who wish to keep the skate park running plan to hold a community protest at the site Saturday afternoon.

The protest is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m.

The City of Richmond released a statement Friday afternoon to address the situation.

“While the department supports skateboarding as a recreational activity, we have determined that the ramps are being used after the park is closed to the public at sunset and late into the night, which has resulted in continuing complaints from the neighborhood,” wrote Dr. Norman C. Merrifield, director of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities. “It is unfortunate that the situation has come to this, however we have found that there is no other way to prevent this activity after hours in the park other than to remove the equipment. We will be meeting with the skateboarders for discussion with them in hopes of getting their understanding and cooperation,” Merrifield said.