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Open Road Park Stripped of Skate Ramps - The Local East Village Blog - NYTimes.com


Open Road Park Stripped of Skate Ramps


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Dismantled Skate Ramps Outside Open Road ParkChelsia Rose Marcius Alex Diaz, 13, of the Lower East Side, skates
on the dismantled ramps.

Open Road Park was recently closed until further notice, but its wooden skate ramps lingered. On Saturday, they were finally removed from the lot on 12th Street between First Avenue and Avenue A and put out on the curb for trash pickup. That didn’t stop local skateboarders from using them one last time, as Jose Morales and a few friends reassembled a pile of dismantled planks into a makeshift skate park along 12th Street.

Mr. Morales, 13, of the Lower East Side, said school officials were already breaking down the ramps by noon on Saturday when he arrived at Open Road. He said he asked one official what he was doing, but was quickly dismissed.

“He said, ‘Don’t touch these ramps, they’re garbage,’” recounted Mr. Morales. But he and his friends set two ramps back up against the wall of East Side Community High School and continued to skate.

From across the street, a neighbor heard the loud roll of the wheels. Mr. Morales said she came down from 435 12th Street and complained twice, threatening to disassemble the ramps with a hammer and screwdriver so that she could get some sleep.

Grumblings about the din from the park were aired earlier this summer, when area residents met with Mark Federman, principal of East Side Community High School, and the skaters who frequent the park. Since then, Mr. Federman said he has continued to receive noise complaints, part of the reason that he said school officials decided to close the park and meet with the community to reevaluate the use of the space.

Today, the ramps were gone from 12th Street.