Almanac

News - March 5, 2014

Portola Valley gives green light to skateboard ramp

by Barbara Wood

Skateboarders will have a new place to do their thing, possibly as soon as April, when a new ramp gets installed on the all-sports courts at the Portola Valley Town Center.

The project, which will be a year-long trial to see if the town wants to put in a bigger ramp, garnered unanimous approval by the Portola Valley Town Council at its Feb. 26 meeting.

Community members promised to donate the $2,500 cost of constructing the ramp, with the town kicking in another $2,200 for modifying the all-sports court.

The ramp will be open the same dawn-to-dusk hours as the court. Users will be required to wear a helmet along with knee and elbow pads. Violators will be fined $30 for a first offense, $50 for a second offense and $75 for a third offense within a year.

The temporary ramp is a quarter-pipe ramp, designed by the skate park firm Wormhoudt Inc. The wood structure will be 8 feet long by 10 feet deep and 3 feet high, not including the rail. The sides and back will be painted green to match the sports court, while the skating surface will be a natural wood color.

The project has been in works since it was requested in 2011 by local skateboarders and their parents.

Town Council members unanimously approved the ramp and the regulations that go along with it. "It's a good proposal," said Councilman Craig Hughes, with Mayor Ann Wengert adding, "I appreciate all the work."

The ramp will take up about a quarter of one of the three sports courts. If the temporary ramp proves popular, the town could replace it with a larger, permanent half-pipe that would occupy an entire court.

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