Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 03/2004

« And the beat goes on!! | Main | »

July 27, 2008


Jonathan Tutein

I am a somerville youth. also a skater. yesterday save our somerville held a skateboarding jam. i also have attended some of the meetings about the skate park situation in somerville. i think it would be one of the greatest things ever brought to somerville. it beter than kids gettin in trouble by cops. ive gotten in trouble and 1 of the reasons i skate board is to stay out of trouble, but i do hope to see the Mayor and city of somerville go forward with this.


I don't have a problem with the city providing a skate-board facility for use by interested persons....but not at Albion Park.
It would take up too much of the available space at the site.

Also skate-boarders would present a hazard to the neigborhood young kids and toddlers {coming and going) that would be using that particular park.

Talking about "hazards"! Skate-boarders I have seen in and around Somerville do not wear safety-helmets, flying in the face of state laws requiring helmets be worn; to say nothing about the clear and present danger to themselves.

If Somerville does provide a skate-board facility it must be made clear, by word, signage and enforcement, the law requiring the wearing of safety helmets must be complied with.
Safety helmets being an issue, not well received by skaters and parents. Liability on the part of the city potentially a problem if a kid gets hurt not wearing a helmet while using a city owned facility.

Also, reasonable hours of use must be defined, posted via signage, and enforced; particularly if the venue is set in a residential neighborhood. Noise and skate-boarders are a fact of life.

Once word gets around, a skate-park in Somerville will bring in skaters/users from surrounding cities at all hours of the day and night, if hours are not controlled.

Many of the "outsiders" and indeed, some of our own city dweller users will be arriving by car.
Parking being another issue in a neighborhood where on-street parking is an ongoing problem.


This dumb skateboarders are a drain on health care. They break their freaking legs, noses and heads, or even worse, they become paralyzed. And we have to pay for their stupidity. Go skate in front of Home Depot, punks!

Adam Rich

Well put, Jonathan.

Albion Park is large enough to build a skate park without infringing upon other activities. The hockey court in the back is nearly unused and could be converted to a skate park. Albion Park is a great location for a skate park because it is centrally located; skateboarders generally get around on their skateboards and Albion is situated so that all of Somerville can access it without driving and creating parking issues. Outsiders wouldn't be able to park nearby anyways because they don't have Somerville stickers.

In a city as dense as Somerville we have to share resources. Albion is being renovated so we have the opportunity to implement a design that serves small children as well as older youth. It would be shortsighted to exclude young people of any age group. Look to Lexington Park for a good example of well used space.


Sorry to disagree Adam.

Albion park is, and will be, used by young kids, toddlers, their parents, grandparents, and sundry other senior citizens to visit once the renovation is completed. It will be designed accordingly.

The majority of Somerville skate-boarders will be arriving and leaving on their skate-boards....using adjacent sidewalks, streets, and common access to the skate-board area itself; also used by non skaters....children, etc.

All the public and park common access walking areas will also be used by non-skaters.
Guess who will be put in harm's way??

I have seen skate-boarders falling off their skate-boarders...and when they do their skate-boards become propelled "loose cannons/missiles" until stopped by hitting someone or something.
I have seen novice skate-boarders, still on their boards, but completely out of control.

I have seen this when skate-boarders were running rampant (trespassing) over the infra-structure of the high shool and city hall concourse. BTW--causing damage to the masonry infra-structure at that location.
Police had to be called to remove them, and yet they continued to show up.

Skate-boarders, for the same reasons as above, have been barred [via directed hourly police patrols] from using the brand new Trum Field facade.
No regard for pedistrians life, limb, or property.

I'm all for a skate-board facility...but not in concert with a park such as Albion that will be frequented by little children, toddlers, babies in baby carriages, adults and senior citizens.

To say nothing of the screaming expletives voiced by skate-boarders when they misfire a trick.
The "f-bomb" is their 2nd language,

It must be located separate and apart from parks such as Albion. A facility located unto its own,to be frequented by skate-boarders only, and in a non-residential area.

Assembly Square and /or Inner belt was mentioned by someone.


Some belated responses to your last messaage.

You stated Albion Park is "centrally located and skateboarders generally get around on their skateboards and Albion is situated so that all of Somerville can access it without driving and creating parking issues."

Fact: Albion Park, like many other parks in Somerville, is a neighborhood park, not intended or designed as a city-wide park.

Fact: The Albion Park neighborhood is already congested with residences, businesses and third world church groups.

You are saying, on any given day, skateboarders from West Somerville, East Somerville, Ten Hills, Winter Hill, Spring Hill; and all points east, west, south and north of centrally located Albion Park.....could/would be converging on to an already congested neigborhood USING THEIR SKATEBOARDS as a conveyance.
While at the same time, children, some attended by adults, many not attended, going to and from the playground, will be put in harm's way by converging skateboarders riding their skateboards on sidewalks and streets, and common areas within the park itself.

As for parking.
Skateboarders, old enough to have licenses to drive, living in Somerville on permit parking streets, will have the necessary sticker to park on ANY street in Somerville.

Furthermore, skateboarders from outside the city would also be able to park in the neighborhood on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays when PCO'S (PARKING CONTROL OFFICERS) will not be out enforcing permit parking and ticketing vehicles.

Agreed...Sure, Lexington Park is "a good example of well used space" doesn't have a skateboard facility.
Young kids, older people, using that park, are not put in harm's way by skateboarders.

As for the current hockey court "being unused."

Not being used for good fell into disrepair (for roller hockey use) over the years.
Young kids use the space for riding their wheeled vehicles, many under the guidance of their parents or another adult.
Also being used by soccer players on week-ends.

Adam, I assume you are a skateboarder.
Do you wear a safety-helmet as required by law?

Would you wear one if and when Somerville provided a skateboard facilty? [not at Albion]


I was skeptical as well about the idea of a skateboard park. So I walked down to Conway Park on Saturday to watch the 'demonstration' and see what it was all about. What I saw truly amazed and, I must say, surprised me! I saw a roller rink set up with small ramps and other types of equipment. I also saw about 30 pre-teens and teens. They were, without supervision, quietly skateboarding, waiting their turn for the popular ramps, helping each other, being very mindful of the few much younger children who were there. There was no shouting, much less swearing. I saw kids taking part in an activity, and getting some exercise to boot. There would probably have been much more swearing and shouting going on if you had put them in that rink and told them to just go in there and hang around! As to the idea that 'outsiders will come', that's unfortunate but unavoidable. Lexington Park is often full of parents with young children from outside of Somerville. They might be a little quieter (outside of the occasional screaming toddler!), but they leave a mess behind. Let's face it, Albion Park is probably the only space left with enough room for a skateboard park and the kids were promised one years ago. We saw what happened at Lexington Park when the kids felt like they were being ignored in favor of toddlers, let's not make the same mistake again.


Insurance companies should charge much more to individuals who put their health at risk like skateboarders do. I'm sick of subsidizing other people's stupidity.



Of course they were on their best behaviour at Conway, it was a "sell" demo.
"Demos" are designed to put best foot forward.

30 at the Conway "demo"?....You can double that figure to 60 or more, if the city builds a skateboard facility at Albion, and the word gets around to all skateboarders thruout our city and surrounding cities.

Tell us,how many of the 30 at Conway were wearing helmets in compliance with the safety-helmet law?....AND for their own safety!

My guess would be none!

Adam Rich

Y-Not!!? (and All Who Care to Read):

I am not actually a skateboarder. However, after the hard work that I put in as one of Save Our Somerville's Skate Demo organizers, I had to get out there and ride. I wore a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and leather gloves. I most certainly will wear a helmet when a skate park gets built, but I think my personal safety habits are completely beside the point.

We seem to be facing a systematic shift in opinion against youth in the city. Options are one after another being removed from our teens and young adults. Before the high school steps were altered, they were used by youth to stay out of trouble. It is unfortunate that police were sicced on kids that, for the most part, were not causing any problems for other people. While the masonry may have been some unfortunate collateral damage, we need to allow skateboarders to pursue their sport somewhere.

I have heard the attitude expressed, time and again, that neighborhood parks should be reserved for young children and older adults. This complete dismissal of teens and young adults is truly jarring. For some reason people seem to be well intentioned but forget what it was like growing up themselves and fail to realize that their small children will be older in a matter of years. Whenever I speak with a sweet older person or mother of a young child who tells me, ever so politely, that their neighborhood park would really be best used if we removed the basketball hoops and other sports facilities, I come away feeling shaken.

Of course teens will get themselves into some trouble. We all get ourselves into trouble. Teens simply deal with different issues than mortgage payments, security deposits, and credit card debt. The fact is that the better we serve our teens, the less trouble they will get into.

I see Somerville as a city of families and a great place to grow up. Families are comprised of people of all ages. I see the anti-youth sentiment as being part of a compartmentalization of society based on age. Ultimately, this is an anti-family atmosphere. One in which only certain age-based segments of society are welcomed. It pains me to see Somerville move away from a family based societal model. Many of Somerville's elderly have been isolated from family and greater society, 30-somethings use Somerville as a pit stop on a longer journey, and everyone is uniting in opposition to our youth.

I would like to thank the person who brought attention to the Skate Demo. The skate demo was a terrific event in which four year olds skated allongside pre-teens, teens, and twenties. We had about 100 skateboarders and rollerbladers and no significant injuries that I am aware of. Please check out the video that was so graciously posted by Michele Biscoe on the SomDog website.

Furthermore, Y-Not!!?, if one is to engage in such a lengthy conversation as you have in a public forum, such as this, the situation begs that one have the courage to provide their actual name.

Steve Roix

I don't know enough about Albion Park to say what will or won't work there. However, I take issue with the following "fact" posted by Y-Not!!?:
"Albion Park, like many other parks in Somerville, is a neighborhood park, not intended or designed as a city-wide park."
How is this a fact? Is this in the city charter somewhere? If so, please provide a reference. Do I only pay taxes to support MY neighborhood parks? Who defines the limits of the neighborhood? Is it by ward? Or by precinct? Am I only allowed to use and have input on the parks in my precinct?

It sounds an awful lot like an opinion to me.


Adam Rich said: " The fact is that the better we serve our teens, the less trouble they will get into."

I COMPLETELY agree with Adam on this one. Somerville needs to do more to cater to teens and pre-teens. I think a skate park is hard because of how dense our neighborhoods are, but youth rec centers are no where to be found. There is an abandoned school in West Somerville that would be a great spot for a rec center, with indoor and outdoor facilities... gym, pool, basketball courts, etc.

Adam Rich

Bob Trane once mentioned turning the Powder House School into a rec center; I believe it was at a Board of Aldermen meeting. I told him and I'll repeat it to everyone: let me know how we can get it done and I'll help.

Reopening the Powder House School would be costly because it would have to be brought up to code. I would think that it could save money in the long run because city offices in rented space could be relocated (Tufts Administration Building and Boys & Girls Club). That particular site holds a massive potential for development. I think that it would be feasable to invite tax revenue generating development while retaining space for our youth and relocating city offices. How about touching up the fantastic mural on site while we are at it?


I cannot believe you people. You people shun skateboarding so you look at it as a dangerous reckless activity! Why don't you go find out about it before you post comments. The reason skateboarders often don't wear helmats and pads is well, frankly they're very uncomfortable. I actually fall more in them. Kids in Somerville need a place to skate where they won't get kicked out by cops, or get stared at by citizens who won't take a moment of their time to consider why they enjoy it so much. It makes me feel so good when I land a trick. I don't get that from anything else. Imagine the only thing that makes you happy and you can't even go anywhere to do what you love. And no children will be in danger. I skateboard at public parks , and me and my friends are very respectful of children and parents. You're looking at skateboarders and making a generalization. Maybe it doesn't have to be at Albion but we need one somewhere.
P.s. Stop saying that the people at the jam were holding themselves back. Most skateboarders are really good kids and people dont want to see it. Also I appreciate it if people didn't call us punks. I listen to punk rock music and offends me deeply! Thank you for reading.


Why don't they get the Kraft's to throw in an indoor skateThey could throw it in the contract. Either way an Indoor skatepark is definitely the way to go here. I hear you about the parks. I think MCGluaghlin will change his tune when he has a child some day. It is really scary for the little kids when these nuts are skateboarding all over the place.


Sorry for the belated response.

It appears I have rattled a couple of cages with my posts. Adam Rich and Steve Roix.
But nice to know my posts are getting read.

First of all guys, if you re-read one of my past posts on the subject I am 100% in favor of the city providing a skate-Board facility in Somerville....with two conditions:

1)---It be a venue separate and apart from a neighborhood playground where children of all ages (non-skater boarders) are coming and going.
In other words, an entity/venue unto its own.

2)-- Safety-helmets, mandated by law, are used by persons 16 years or younger.

Now for "cage #1"-- responding to Adam asking that I use my real name.

Somerville News created this message board for the purpose of citizens to express their thoughts, ideas, criticisms, etc., without fear of physical reprisal or retaliation from those who might this day and age a definite possibility.

Without the luxury of anonymity this message board would probably not exist.

Yes, a contributor has the choice of identifying herself/himself, or posting anonymously.
You will notice most prefer the latter.

If one opts to post messages that go against the likes of some persons....and doesn't want her/his tires slashed or property vandalized; discretion is the better part of valor; you post anonymously.

Editor's Note (JN): you know, I don't always read to the very end of the comments (yes, I know I should and I will from now on). Adam, you might think you were asking innocuously for Y-Not to post his/her real name. unfortunately for you, some could see that as being menacing - over the last several years, there have been very substantive and meaning discussions and disagreements on this site without any one person posting their own name. if a blogger wishes to post their own name, that's their business - when you ask someone for their real name, that's menacing (regardless of whether you meant it that way or not). do not do that again, please - if you have a problem with that, you know my real name and number - feel free to call me anytime.


Oops! forgot about my response to "cage #2" Steve's concern about what constitutes or defines a "neighborhood."

You're right Steve, nothing really in print.
But, a neighborhood is what it is, in the minds of people who live there.

Parks/playgrounds, schools, plays into the mind-set of "neighborhood." Schools when there were numerous grammar schools, grades K to 6, strewn thruout Somerville neighborhoods; some still more or less exist--Healy, Brown...and how about the West Somerville NEIGHBORHOOD School on Powder House Blvd?]

Wasn't the recent-[last month]- Lexington Block Party designed and intended to bring "neighborhood" and "neighbors" together?
[I'm sure others were not turned away.]

Isn't that the objective of all Somerville Block Parties"

Playgounds? Why so many scattered thruout Somerville? Why some so close to each other?

Lexington, Albion, Hoyt-Sullivan for an example.
Why not one playground serving city-wide?-[as Adam proposed Albion be used for all Somerville skate-boarders]-- because it wasn't intended and designed to handle city-wide use.

Your comment in regard to paying taxes-[to put me on the defensive, this debate]-of course your money goes to support all parks in Somerville, and of course you are entitled to visit all parks.

But let's now attempt to differentiate between "neighborhood" parks and city-wide parks, as to design and intended usage

Would the Somerville July 4th celebration "fit" a local neighborhood park? No way! Not designed/intended for city-wide use.
Trum Field? Yes!

Would the annual Somerville Rec Commission Track & Field Day "fit" into a local neighborhood park?
No way! Not designed/intended for city-wide use.
Trum Field? Yes!

Trum, Dilboy.... High School graduations, swimming pool, ball fields,etc., might include Foss Park...all city-wide usage.

BTW--Why not go after our State Delegation for a skate park at Foss or Dilboy?

Why not go after our city officials for one at the old school yard at the former (closed) Powder House Community School?


I have said/stated all I have to say about skate-boarders and skate-parks. [Unless "forced" to rebut and defend myself if verbally "attacked"]

For all the many, many, good kids-[WITH safety-helmets, I pray]- I hope, and in my opinion, will eventually get their skate park. Of course, the bad kids will benefit also.

BTW--People here, on this message board, who opine that (some) bad, hell-bent, skate-board users don't exist, are burying their heads in the sand. Build a skate-board facility and they will come; as they did at the High School concourse and on the streets and sidewalks in our neighborhood.

Possibly your "bar on conduct standards" is set much too low.....and you're part of the problem, and not the solution.

Somerville Teen 123456789

I think it would be a mistake to make Albion Park a green space. I lived near Albion for three years. I didn't like that I couldn't do anything. I wanted to learn to skateboard. But, there were older teenagers that were playing basketball and were taking up the room to skateboard. Please make Albion Park a skate park. If not, the youth in Somerville will be playing on school yards. Which most parents and neighbors would not like very much whatsoever.

Editor's Note (JN): The (new) Somerville News website is up - you can comment on stories over there.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Most Recent Photos

  • Danehy_Park_Family_Day
  • Bloco
  • 3517a
  • Web_toon_7_21_10
  • Prospect hill
  • Web_toon_7_14_10
  • 3224a
  • Art1(2)
  • Art5
  • Art10(2)
  • Union_square_flood
  • Flood_pic_(bridge_1)