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September 26, 2008


Tom Noble

That's awesome guys, do your homework and carefully detail your favorite natural spots, like SHS.

Why Not

Why don't you guys consider under the 93 underpass on Mystic Ave next to Stop N Shop? Its will save the city space for development and would be similar to the famous underpass skate park in Portland, Oregon. Plus they could skate all day long with no neighbors complaining about noise.

Albion Park neighbor

No skatepark at Albion please.
That park has always been for young kids and young adults; swings, slides, basketball court, etc.

Sean O'Donovan is with the neighbors on this.

When, and to whom, did he say he would "offer to help win over Albion Park area residents?"

Albion Park neighbor

Some Albion Street residents and others did sign the kid's petition for a needed skatepark, but were under the impression they were signing for it to be located elsewhere in the city, not at Albion. With the possible exception of parents, relatives, and friends of skaters who live close.

Also, those signatures should be checked for people who do not live in the city being relatives and friends of people who do live here; and multiple signatures from the same household.

Stop Internet Bashing

Attention Albion Resident we did aware the nieghbors that we were trying to get the skatepark atalbion park and Sean O'Donovan stated that he supported it at the Board of Alderman meeting.

Adam Rich

SOS has been told that the city has already decided against citing a skate facility within Albion. We had hoped to talk further with Sean O'Donovan about this possibility but it is now a moot point. Frankly, we are disapointed and hope that another neighborhood will be more welcoming in the future.

We have been talking with the city about how to make a skate park a reality, a dialogue that I hope will continue.

A number of possibilities have been mentioned but, I believe, it will take some serious consideration before an actual location is chosen by the city. SOS is currently reevaluating the situation and we have yet to decide upon a preferred alternate site.

It has been mentioned before, but I think we can fairly dismiss the spaces underneath and adjacent to I-93 as outdoor, unventilated facilities. The toxicity of the highway coupled with elevated respitory rates associated with an active sport would make for a dangerous situation.

moot point

Your point is moot, since the city will not be building a skate park at Albion.


Do these kids know that Cambridge is building the country's largest public skate park on the Charles River at North Point Park (between McGrath/Obrien Hwy and Rt 93)? It's not in Somerville city limits, but what's wrong with that one? It's close enough to get to.

Explanation, please....

I wish someone could explain to me why skateboarders are so villified. Over the years I very often passed kids skateboarding in front of the high school atrium. Although I didn't think it was an appropriate place for it (and to be fair to the kids, the administration and the police looked the other way for years), I never had a problem with any of the kids. I also attended the skate event at Conway Park recently, and again witnessed appropriate behavior. Why do people hear the word 'skateboarder' and immediately leap to vulgarity, vandalism, and inappropriate actions towards others? The following statement seems to sum it up perfectly: "No skatepark at Albion please. That park has always been for young kids and young adults..." This illustrates the current mindset in this city. If you're a toddler, a dog, or a young adult you're great and we'll do anything for you. However, if you're a pre-teen, or even worse, a teen-ager, you're painted with a broad brush which includes all sorts of deviant behavior. If someone could just explain why a kid who is outside, practicing a skill, getting exercise, and socializing, is such a bad thing, I'd be happy to hear it! Maybe when they turn 10 all kids should be kept inside their homes until the age of 20!


The last thing a skateboarder should worry about is the pollution under the 93 underpass lol. And as a skateboarder you know there is an average of one trip to the emergency room daily from broken legs to brain damage.

Albion Street resident

Attn: Stop Internet Bashing: I watched the September 9th Alderman meeting and caught ALL the dialogue regarding the subject.

If memory serves:

Alderman O'Donovan, as all alderman were, was in favor of a skatepark in Somerville.
And by the way, so am I!!!!!

BUT, while Sean did indicate Albion was a possibility, he ALSO said OTHER venues should be entertained, as other aldermen who spoke also suggested.

I NEVER HEARD HIM SAY...he would "try to convince the neighbors to accept Albion as the site for a skatepark."

If, somehow I missed it, which I sincerely doubt, and he did utter those words and his committment to offer to "convince the neighbors" he has never, to this date, approached the Albion Street neighbors in any form, shape, or manner, to follow up on that endeavor.

If he did, myself and my immediate neighbors, would of heard from him. He has called us on other issues. I have checked with my neighbors in that regard. Zero--Zip--Nothing--no contact was made, from Sean, on that subject.
But in his defense, he never made that committment to go to the neighbors at that meeting.

Possibly you took his words favoring a skatepark somewhere in Somerville as him favoring Albion.

Anyway, as others (here) have noted, now a moot point in regard to Albion.

Good Luck elsewhere!!!

The silent majority

Somerville Aldermen, as most politicians are prone to do, will "stroke" both sides of an issue. They will patronize whoever stands before them on issues such as the location of a skatepark.

Aldermen do not tell their constituents what is best for them; constituents tell their aldermen what is best for their neighborhood.

Ask those Aldermen, off-camera, one on one, who voiced approval of a skateboard Park at the 9/9/08 meeting if they would be in favor of one on their street; within earshot of their house.

Alderman Taylor found out very quickly when the residents on Walnut Street rose up opposing a skatepark where the Kemps Peanut Company once stood; and where Leathers Park now exists.


Are you asking these poor kids to skate board all the way to the new skate boarding park there? No way!!

"Do these kids know that Cambridge is building the country's largest public skate park on the Charles River at North Point Park (between McGrath/Obrien Hwy and Rt 93)? It's not in Somerville city limits, but what's wrong with that one? It's close enough to get to."


RE: Albion Park Neighbor

I apologize for the error in clarity. Adam Rich told me that O'Donovan would help the sakteboarders. The sentence in the story should have read as follows:

Save Our Somerville organizer Adam Rich said the petition has convinced several aldermen to work on their behalf [and that] Ward 5 Alderman Sean T. O'Donovan has offered to help win over Albion Park area residents.


I hope that O'Donovan, Curtatone and the residents of Albion Street are happy now. By the way, how many of those residents attended, and spoke in opposition to, a skate park? My count would be 2 or 3. Not exactly a majority, is it? So the city will build it's toddler fantasyland like they have in every other park in the city, the only thing missing will the 'Teenagers Not Welcome' sign. In a few years, those unwelcome teenagers will be feeling pushed out just like the kids at Lexington Park and we'll be attending meetings trying to decide how to 'address' the problem.
How smart, to take the kids who are doing something worthwhile, getting exercise and fresh air, and using their time productively, and tell them 'we don't want your kind in our park' - because that is the exact message that the city will be sending. Where will the administration and the neighbors be then?

Stop Internet Bashing

fantastic comment fantasyland

Albion Street resident

Wrong, Fantasyland!!
The sign will read "Skateboarders not allowed"

Teenagers, as always, have always showed up at the park playing basketball; and using the roller hockey rink before the rink went into a state of disrepair; and at the park for other purposes.
And when they did play roller-hockey they numbered ten or less at any one time.

The advocates for a skatepark cite the fact that Albion is centrally located within Somerville.
Meaning, the location would be easily accessible for ALL skateboarders in the city.

The organizers of the Conway event reported over 100 boarders showed up for that event.

Even if fifty boarders showing up on any given day--OR NIGHT-- in a tight residential neigborhood such as Albion would create a level of nerve-racking skateboard noise; to say nothing of loud vocal noise.

I say night, because even as "we speak" there are skateboarders showing up at Albion Park just about every day AND night.
Not many, less than ten, and the skateboard(s) and vocal noise from that low number, in itself, is nerve-racking.

Bottom line, residents favor the kids having a skatepark, but Albion is simply not the venue for it; and especially when the Park will also be hosting facilities for non-skateboarders, babies,toddlers, and little children, along with their adult caretakers.

As far as we not being a "majority", as you infer, and not showing up at any one meeting to voice our dissent; trust me, we as residents are a majority and we speak through our Ward Alderman as being opposed.
Some not coming forward to be recognized for reasons of their own.

I would opine that all you people in favor DO NOT LIVE in the Albion area.

Really comes down to "whose ox is being gored" doesn't it?

If we are being asked to diminish our quality of life so that skateboaders can enhance theirs, guess where we are going to come down?

Albion Street resident

Oh, and by the way, Fantasyland, if we knew there was to be a skateboard park nearby we would not of bought the house; and our two tenants tell us they would not of rented in this neighborhood.

The ramifications of a skateboard park in a congested residential neighborhood go far beyond accommodating the skateboarders.
If you haven't noticed that many other citizens will be impacted in a negative way that's your problem. We have every right to "fight" agsainst a skatepark as you, and others, have a right to "fight" for one.
It comes down to location!-location!-location!
The right location and we will stand with you; not Albion.

You would, and will, find out any other residential neighborhood would oppose also; as you found out on Walnut Street, even with Alderman Taylor leading the charge, the neighbors fought it and won.

You would think you guys would get the message by now. UNLESS you, or others with you, can find a venue in YOUR or THEIR neighborhood.

Enough with trying to put the "guilt trip" on us tight neighorhood dissenters; it's not working!!!


If the S.O.S. adults really have the best interests of the skateboarding children at heart they will work towards getting those kids to wear safety helmets while doing their thing.

Not just the law being violated, but the childrens' safety is at risk for a head injury.

Parents----->wake up before a head injury occurs; not after an injury occurs.

The city should, in compliance with the law and safety's sake, mandate use of a helmet at a city provided skate-park, when a park is provided.

Albion neighbor


Alderman O'Donovan was elected to represent the citizens living within a near-distance to Albion Park, which includes Albion Street from Lowell Street to Cedar Street; and all side streets [Albion Place, which by the way has houses impacted by activities in the park with houses hard up against the west fence of the park; Albion Terrace also houses impacted by activities at the park; Albion Court, and Bellevue Terrace.]
To say nothing about houses on Alpine Street bordering the park.

"REPRESENT" means serving the will of his constituents, and that's just what he is doing in regard to not being in favor of a skate park at Albion Park.

Don't blame him for doing what he was elected to do. He speaks for the people whose quality of life will be adversely affected if skateboarding is allowed at Albion Park.

By the way, kids on skateboards currently are showing up at Albion Park.
If the noise these small numbers create with their boards, and the bad [expletives] language they shout out with little kids and mothers in the park, is a "sampling" of what we would have to put up with if a skate park was put there and much greater numbers show up, no way should a skate park be built there.

These skateboarders will not be supervised by adults as they were at the Conway (showplace) Demo.

Somerville resident

To Albion Street Residents...

You've made your point. All you're doing is making people angry by all your negativity. Tell me something would mothers and toddlers be standing in the middle of a skatepark to hear all the expletives...probably not. Maybe just a few of you people would be standing in the middle so you can write in to the journal or somerville news about how "bad" these kids are. It's pretty clear a skate park is not going to be built in your area. Why don't you stop your angry comments toward this issue. It's over.

I hope these kids don't stop trying to get a skatepark built in Somerville. I'll back them all the way. I've been to many skateparks in the area and the kids I see don't bother they swear. Is this a new? No teenagers ever swore before. Go to the Arlington or Medford skatepark...are there any residents yelling or bitching over there...nope!!! Just in Somerville...when did this city change so much.

To Why Not!!

We get it...wear helmets!!!

Chapter 2--skateboarders

Fantasyland, and others in favor of skateboarders, have done a very good job of noting all the "Pros" of kids on skateboards.

Here are the "CONS" as they apply to skateboarders per se, and putting a skatepark in a heavily populated residential location and/or a mixed-use venue such as Albion Playground.
Mixed-use to mean the presence of other little children of all ages making use of playground facilities; slides, swings, etc.

1)---They do not wear safety helmets in violation of the the law; and their own safety.
Funny thing about the wearing of helmets.
Willing to bet, when these kids parents were training them to ride a two-wheeled bicycle, helmets were worn.

2)---When skateboarding on public streets and sidewalks they have "tunnel vision" in regard to pedestrians, crosswalks, vehicle traffic, parked cars, and property in general.

3)---They are prone to not being in control of themselves and their boards; putting themselves, and others in danger. Read #2 (above) again.

4)---Some appear to have a need for yelling out obscene expletives when they fail to complete a "trick" or lose control of their board, with the board becoming a "loose cannon" not stopping until it hits something, somebody, or friction takes over and slows it to a stop.

5)---They have no clue as to the level of noise they create by way of their boards hitting ramps and solid asphalt; their loud verbal outbursts, and the collective high decibel noise impact on the quality of life for neighbors.

6)---The conduct of street and sidewalk skateboarders; and those who currently are showing up at city parks such as Albion, are not doing your cause any favors in the eyes of local residents.

It's no wonder residents are opposing skateparks in residential areas as they did at Walnut Street and currently at Albion.

Who needs or wants the inherent problems that the skateboarders are openly displaying at this time.

Silent majority

To: Somerville resident

Good to know the residents messages have not fallen on deaf ears; thanks for confirming that fact.

About mothers and toddlers having to stand in the middle of a skatepark to hear the expletives.

The skaters are not whispering the expletives, they shout them out to be heard by anyone within a reasonable distance of the offender(s).
Sure teen-agers swear, it doen't mean we have to put up with it, or condone it, as you seem to espouse.

About Arlington and Winchester residents "not bitching."
I have friends in both towns.
People, real men in those towns would not put up with it if within ear-shot of their wives, daughters, mothers, grandmothers, homes, and their little kids.
The skateboarders in those towns have been advised and are aware police will respond upon receiving a complaint.

By the way, how would you know that there has never been any "bitching" or complaints registered in those towns?

As far as your "getting the message" regarding skateboarders wearing helmets.
Glad that message wasn't wasted either.

But getting the message is one thing; kids not wearing them is another thing.

I'm all for the kids getting a skatepark in Somerville where it makes sense to have one; away from residential areas.

But I might support one, as I just know you would, if one was built within sight and sound of your house.

Somerville Resident

To Silent Majority

Thanks for the laugh..."real men"

Somerville Teen 123456789

YEAH! Have a skate park at Albion! First of all, I lived right near Albion for three years and I rarely saw little kids there! I NEVER SAW ANY YOUNG ADULTS THERE!!!! I think Albion is a crappy park and dangerous! The slides and swings a improperly put together! The residents could just walk to Lexington Park; which is much better!

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


Did you get the park?

Keep Rolling! Matt

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