Shutdown Turns DC Into Giant Skatepark Empty plazas and no cops create perfect conditions for skaters By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff Posted Oct 7, 2013 6:18 PM CDT 14 comments Comments (Shutterstock) (Newser) – At least one group is benefiting from the federal shutdown: skaters. The capital's stone benches and strong railings make for perfect skating obstacles, but are usually off-limits. But with buildings and plazas empty in Washington, DC, no one is around to police them, and the skaters are moving in, reports the Wall Street Journal. The paper observed as pros and amateurs alike spent Thursday and Friday last week grinding and flipping all over Freedom Plaza. A whole crew of pros came from Canada to film a video. However, at least one local skater says he doesn't want to see the cops disappear altogether—being chased is part of the experience. "That thrill is always good," he says.