Skateboarders have mixed emotions about design of new skate park in Riverside

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Some local skateboarders are raising concerns over changes to the design for a skate park coming to Riverside. The park will be at a section of the Artist Walk under the Fuller Warren Bridge, across the street from the Riverside Arts Market.

Original renderings for the park had bowls and after working with F-DOT, they had to push back from the columns. Some say the new design is underwhelming and the original design was better.

California Skate Parks designed the skate park to be set apart from Artist Walk. They designed the championship state park in United Arab Emirates. In the new renderings for the Riverside project, the letters JAX are in different locations, and embedded in the concrete.

Skaters we talked to in Jacksonville Beach weren’t too thrilled with the design of the skate park that’s coming to Riverside, it’s different from the skate park at the beach, with no bowls or railings.

RELATED LINK: New Skate Park Renderings

We did find a skater who is excited. When asked if he could see himself using the park, Noah Pulaski, a skateboarder and photographer said, “I’ve been skating for quite a bit so it would be pretty good if there was a skate park around town for all the kids to come out and enjoy instead of riding out on the streets. It’s safer.”

Pulaski went on to say, “This is actually going to help out my photography. Capturing moments of people’s experiences there.”

A city of Jacksonville parks representative said there was a reason for the change to the original renderings.

Original rendering of skate park in Riverside (City of Jacksonville)
Original rendering of skate park in Riverside (City of Jacksonville)

“The skate park is a little different than the previous plan due to F-DOT constraints--so we had to set back from all the columns by ten feet and there is also a large infrastructure underground where we couldn’t dig into the soil and do bowls and things like that,” Jill Enz said. “This skate park has been a revision and we worked with F-DOT on it.”

News4JAX got an e-mail saying some people in the skater community were upset with the changes, mainly because there are no bowls.

A comment on the Build Up Downtown Facebook Page, an organization that facilitates information on the new developments, reads ‘no skatepark buildings dig out bowls in Florida, the ground is built up.’

We got this statement from F-DOT, “Whenever possible, F-DOT works with communities to achieve their goals. Whenever a project is permitted adjacent to or underneath a structure, in this case the Fuller Warren Bridge, the structure’s integrity cannot be compromised. This includes long term maintenance of the infrastructure and the protection of critical components underground or underwater depending on the permit.”

It may not be what some skateboarders are used to, but for others like Kyle Jackson, he said, “I think it looks great and it’s a great opportunity for the youth to come out and skate and have fun in downtown Jax.”

The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

New rendering of Riverside skate park (City of Jacksonville)

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