Almanac

News - November 20, 2013

Portola Valley experiments with skateboard ramp

by Dave Boyce

A low-cost experiment on the popularity of a temporary skateboard facility in Portola Valley got rolling on Wednesday, Nov. 13.

A consensus on the Town Council gave the go-ahead to staff and the Parks & Recreation Committee to proceed with the next steps for a 12-month trial of a $1,500 wooden skateboarding ramp near one end of the town's multi-purpose "sport court," at Town Center, according to a letter to the council from committee Chair Jon Myers.

The trial could start in March, after a public hearing before the town's Architectural and Site Control Commission and council approval, Town Manager Nick Pegueros told the Almanac.

Quarter-pipe ramp

Viewed from the side, the ramp has the profile of a pipe cut in half and in half again, creating what's known as a quarter-pipe ramp. Skaters roll up the interior of the curve, balance the board in various imaginative ways, and roll back down.

If the trial period is successful, it could lead to a half-pipe ramp either at Town Center or one of several other locations along Alpine Road, including near Rossotti (soccer) Field, Ford (baseball) Field, and Corte Madera Middle School. The sport court had in its favor a firm, flat surface and a central location, Mr. Myers said.

"There are a lot of skateboarders in town," Mr. Myers told the council. The ramp is intended as "a place to come together and do something that's fun."

Skateboarders are active now at Roberts Market, at Corte Madera Middle School, at Town Center, and along Alpine Road, Mr. Myers said. "I'd rather have them (at the Town Center) than going down Alpine Road," he told the Almanac.

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