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editor's note:
Piedmont Skatepark

* Outdoor: 'Crete
* Free
* Trannie / Street
* Rating: "D-"

Ha ha... Joshua Gottlieb issued the "D-" rating above for the Piedmont skatepark. While "some skatepark" is almost always better than "no skatepark," that's probably a little bit on the harsh side. However, we do have one major beef w/ this park and the team of jackasses that set up the park policies.

"The park doesn't open 'til 3pm on weekdays and there are no lights. It will suck in the winter when the days are shorter and you'll only get a few hours of riding 'til its dark."

- Matthew Brady: Oct '01

You know what that's about, right? Yep, f**kin' locked gates, "pad nannies," and liability hysteria. KILLS ME EVERY TIME!!!

Matthew has it right, but the planners on this one haven't figured this out yet: Despite the fact that it's stupid to think that "only school kids ride parks" [thus the "after 3PM" opening], it's RIDICULOUS to spend good money on a park that's open for about 1 hr a day in the winter - INSANE!

They COULD just put up signs that say "wear your pads and skate at your own risk" [which is all they're required to do by the state], but I'm sure some lame-ass, loud-mouth PTA moms got together w/ the city's legal team to reinvent another needless skatepark disaster. The recipe: 1.] "We don't want to get sued, so we gotta make kids wear their pads." 2.] "To 'make sure,' we'll need a BIG GATE, a LOCK, and a PAD MONITOR." 3.] "We don't have a lot of cash - we spent it all on the gate - so we'll only open the park a few hours a day so we can afford the pad snitch." Stupid, stupid, stupid. This is what happens when experienced park rats don't make it to the planning meetings.

For the record, the Piedmont park sits geographically right in the middle of parks like Petaluma, Benicia, Antioch, Dublin, Alameda, Palo Alto, and SF's Crocker skatepark. These parks are in the same state, they survive under the same laws, they service many of the same skaters, and NONE of these parks kill their own investment as they chase skaters away w/ red-tape and closed doors. If you want to speak up about this bullshit, call/email Piedmont Recreaction director Mark Delventhal at 510.420.3073 and make some noise!!!

Directions: From Oakland, take Interstate 980 east to Highway 24 east. Exit at 51st Street, and head south/east. 51st will turn into Pleasant Valley Road as you head south. From there, make a left [east] onto Moraga Avenue, which is the 1st light after Piedmont Avenue. The skatepark is about a mile on the left, up on a hill BEHIND A LOCKED GATE at Coaches Field.

...scroll down for pics

[ click pix to enlarge ]

^ Downhill inspection of
the Piedmont skatepark

^ Here's another look
at the snake run...

^ This pic's shot at
a weird angle. The ledge
is flat and angles down
"into" the park. The rail
is easier to understand...

^ "The tuning fork bowl/spine looks really
cool, but the rest of the park isn't set
up very well. The upper section is too
tight and it is uphill from the tuning fork
bowl." - Matthew Brady.

[ click pix to enlarge ]

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