We were happy to hear at least one member of the Winston-Salem City Council give voice to the notion that perhaps the managers of the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter should take a deep breath and reconsider their stance toward the city’s skateboarding population.
Recall that back in September we wrote that, instead of seeking a ban on skateboarding in the Quarter, those behind the significant development happening in the former RJR factories “should take a hard look at incorporating public amenities “” yes even a first-class, hardscape skate park complete with bowls and half pikes and rails galore “” into its development plans.”
WFIQ project boosters brought the ban plan back to a city council subcommittee this week, and apparently the reception was cool. Council member Vivian Burke raised the salient point that such a ban would be hard to enforce.
“I don’t think our police department’s going to be in the business of doing a lot of enforcement because we have them do other things,” she said.
Council member Molly Leight, though, gave voice to the most important notion. With all of the public impact WFIQ will have on the city, incorporating publicly accessible skateboarding facilities would be truly visionary.
Some observers have noted that there is ample room at the Bailey Park property left unused. A first-class skateboard facility there would be a noteworthy addition to the area. A Facebook commenter on our previous editorial noted that many companies in Silicon Valley have such skateboard facilities, and that it’s a bit absurd to talk about attracting visionary innovators on the one hand while banning a mode of transportation favored by many of the young tech workers the WFIQ is supposed to attract.
Winston-Salem was once a stodgy town with a stiff upper lip. The decimation of its manufacturing and corporate employment base did away with all that.
True innovation embraces the extraordinary.
Build a public skateboard facility in the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter and prove that it can be done.
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