By Michelle Pittman
By the spring of 2010, one of the most conspicuous aspects of the Greenway will be under construction – the Bethlehem Skateplaza. Located by Daly Avenue, the skate park will eventually incorporate the best features of popular street spots from around the globe into one safe, city-run site.
The idea is simple – instead of merely caging in skaters and BMX bikers to keep them off the streets, the city worked with the skating and biking community in Bethlehem to design a park that was challenging enough for seasoned skaters, but also provides easier challenges for the beginner. The result was the lofty goal of undertaking the design and construction of a park that would truly be world class, a new standard in skate park design. The winning design includes famous spots from Vancouver, Los Angeles, Tokyo, London and Barcelona, just to name a few, that are instantly recognizable to the action sports enthusiast. For the passerby, however, the plaza will look much like any other city park – a place to relax and enjoy a quiet haven in the midst of the bustling city.
And at more than 750-feet long, the size of the park is unprecedented when compared with other projects in the Northeast – big enough that Bethlehem is betting the park will attract not just tourists, but also national action sports sponsors. Eventually, the park could host major skating and biking events, attracting even
more visitors to the area.
But perhaps most importantly, the park will meet a real need within the city – it gives skaters and bikers a safe and convenient location to do what they love, and provides an area to watch the action or just enjoy a nice, sunny day. Though the park has been a long time in the making, it’s clear that it will be well worth the wait.
For more information about the Skateplaza or how to help support it, visit www.BethlehemSkateplaza.com. You can also visit Homebase and talk to Andy Po in person!