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Skate Plaza A ‘Good Start’ For City Heights Skaters

— Plans for a new park in City Heights include a skate plaza. That's good news to neighborhood skateboarders, though it’s not everything they had in mind.

Aired 1/29/13 on KPBS News.

Plans for a new park in City Heights include a skate plaza, which is some, but not all, of what skaters hoped for.

Plans for a mini-park on Central Avenue in City Heights show a skate plaza for local skateboarders.

Special Feature Speak City Heights

Speak City Heights is a media collaborative aimed at amplifying the voices of residents in one of San Diego’s most diverse neighborhoods. (Read more)

Neighborhood activists and skateboarders have been lobbying for a skate park for quite a while. They got a boost in December when San Diego's freshly-minted mayor, Bob Filner, attended their meeting and pronounced his support.

There, he played off of Cesar Chavez, coining the expression, "Skate se puede."

This month, skaters got some more encouragement when San Diego’s Parks and Recreation Board approved plans for a mini park, which would include a 3,500-square-foot skate plaza.

But a skate plaza isn't a skate park. It's smaller and its skate bowls, where users ride the banks and try to go airborne, aren't as large or deep. But Mark Tran, with the group Mid-City Can, says the skate plaza is a good start.

“Our hope is that it will demonstrate the critical need for a much larger skate park that will serve the whole community of City Heights,” said Tran.

Meanwhile, the skate plaza is far from done. It still needs City Council approval. Parks and Recreation staff say the the first phase of the mini park should be funded by impact fees paid by developers. Funding for the skate plaza is yet to be identified.

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