1.make suggestions and recommendations related to a problem or need.
2.support each specific recommendation with facts and the results of careful study.
The purpose of the Recommendation Report is to persuade the reader that certain specific recommendations will solve or help a problem related to personnel, equipment, procedures, products, services, etc., or that none of the previously proposed recommendations or options is suitable.
personal interview allowed
DATE: October 25, 2007
TO: John White, Chairman of Albany Planning and Construction Board
FROM: Name, City of Wilson Research Department
SUBJECT: Skateboarding in Non-designated Areas
You recently asked our department to help find a solution for the problem of city-wide skateboarding in non-designated areas. With all the new development in the area, you are concerned that all the new pavement may be an invitation to skaters and create problems with new business owners and shoppers.
As it stands now, the city of Wilson offers one skate park located at Toisnot Park. In order to skate at this park, a skater’s parent or guardian must go to the Reid Street Community Center in downtown to purchase a pass and sign a release. A picture identification or birth certificate is also required. The center is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday as well (“Wilson Skate Park”). But for some reason, parents are reluctant to go there and purchase a pass. We have decided that an alternative way to purchase passes would be beneficial to parents and skaters alike. We conducted interviews with business managers, skaters, and local law enforcement agents. We also searched two internet sites. The first was www.wilsonnc.org to get a better understanding of all the available parks in town, and the second was www.skatersforpublicskateparks.org for information on how other cities with similar concerns have addressed this issue.
Our research shows us that parents of skateboarders know their children are usually “somewhere” skating, be it the shopping center, mall, or a neighborhood street. Research also indicates that restrictions are placed on skate parks to help reduce the incidence of lawsuits, but parents of skateboarders realize that with the amount of tricks these youngsters attempt, accidents are going to happen. While parents are hopeful that accidents are minor, they realize that broken bones and other serious injuries can occur no matter where the child is skating.
INTERVIEW WITH A SKATEBOARDER
Jacob Glover, 15, a native of Wilson County, has been skateboarding for four years. He and his friends occasionally go to the skate park provided by the City of Wilson. Mostly they prefer to skate all over town because of the diversity and freedom from restrictions. The park requires skaters to wear helmets, elbow and knee pads. Another skateboarder, Michael Kresky, 14, who recently moved to Wilson County, states that knee pads prevent a skater from dipping low into turns, which causes falls. When asked what feature they did like about the skate park, they all agreed that the designated area helped them feel safe from cars and pedestrians, and made them feel guilt-free from skating at a business without permission.
INTERVIEW WITH BUSINESS MANAGERS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT
Chris Turnage of Shingleton Funeral Home, one of the skaters’ “hot” spots, states the kids cause no harm. He has personally given permission for them to skate in the parking lot as long as there is no funeral in progress. He also states the skaters are very respectful and compliant with Shingleton’s wishes. Several businesses, such as insurance agencies and real estate offices, don’t think the skateboarders present much of a problem as long as their property is respected. Several have even granted permission when asked. However, some businesses, such as Lottie-de-da’s, have requested the skaters not use their parking lots at any time and have also stated skaters would be turned over to the authorities if found on the premises again.
In the interview with Wilson County 911 information systems manager, Barbara Edwards states the number of complaints against skateboarders from January 1, 2007 through October 24, 2007 totaled 23. This total is much lower than we expected.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Based on our research of the City of Wilson using www.wilsonnc.org, the Toisnot skate park, and interviews with local skaters, business managers, and law enforcement agency, we have concluded that the best course of action would be to have an open access skate park without parents having to sign releases. Tokens could be purchased from any participating business, i.e., grocery stores, convenience stores, etc. It is recommended a token cost at least the minimum fee of $3.00 each. The revenue will offset the cost of repairs to the skate facility.
We feel that liability for injuries would be no greater than for any skater, biker, or pedestrian who is injured on any city street. To that effect, a disclaimer sign should be posted at the facility. The benefits of the new regulations are:
- Easier access to skate park by skaters
- Steady increase in revenues due to ease in purchasing passes (tokens)
- Reduction in parents’ and business owners’ worries because the children would be in a safe environment
We hope the City Council will take these recommendations into consideration and help bring about much needed change concerning the youth of Wilson.
Edwards, Barbara. Telephone interview. 24 Oct. 2007.
Glover, Jacob. Personal interview. 23 Oct. 2007.
Kresky, Michael. Personal interview. 21 Oct. 2007.
Turnage, Chris. Telephone interview. 24 Oct. 2007.
“Wilson Skate Park.” Parks and Recreation. n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2007.