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

(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.

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Oct 7, 2013 9:34 PM CDT
They were upset we wrote skating into our legal code. It was a good trade though. They were destroying our downtown parks. We responded by welding these steel knobs on railing, installing knobs on sidewalk edges, and changing the design of sidewalks to be less attractive to skaters. We added up to $500 fine to help defray repair costs of existing steps and sidewalks and offset the costs of the $150,000 skate parks we created at city parks. It worked but we once gain have started rebuilding some of the properties damaged since then. In one place, we removed all the cement steps, steel rails, pools, trenches, etc. We removed everything in a three block area that attracted skaters and put in a lot of nice trees, grass, streams, etc.No stairs, no railings, etc. We left a nice huge grassy area pointed toward a 20 story building that has a 100x65 foot white painted rectangle for projecting movies. The bonus was we peeved off Occupy members who had to get out of the cement jungle so all these new projects could begin. Soon, we will start work on a $250,000,000 new city park zone featuring the most righteous skate park any city in the USA has ever constructed. It will have a lake, picnic areas, retail, and tourism. The idea is to once again funnel the skaters away from downtown where business visitors are often hurt in knockdown hits (like in NYC) and put them in a first rate park where they only hurt themselves.
Oct 7, 2013 9:01 PM CDT
"SKATING away, on the thin ice of a new day"----Ian Anderson
Oct 7, 2013 8:43 PM CDT
So that's why Boehner did this? a place for his kids to play.