Good Lord: Looks like that Charles River skatepark might actually get built after all

The state and the Charles River Conservancy hope to have the fabled Charles River Skatepark under a loop ramp to the Zakim Bridge built by December of next year.

Backers, using Big Dig mitigation funds and private donations, have made similar promises in the past, but this time the state Department of Conservation and Recreation is backing that schedule up with a formal request for bids from companies that want to run and maintain the skate park for five years.

Although the initial concept is to open the park for free use, with no staffing, the bid request asks potential operators to look at ways to recoup costs through such possible revenue sources as "user fees, season passes, food and merchandise concessions, promotion events, and advertisement opportunities" and to propose a cost for having staff on hand May 1 through Oct. 15.

The bid request also asks prospective operators to provide a cost estimate for maintaining restrooms that the state has no initial plans to install but for which it is reserving some room, just in case.

People who have always wanted to run a skate park have until Sept. 23 to submit a bid.

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Comments

User fees

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Skate parks are for suburban white boys. Hard to justify typical Cambridge-area largess for something that doesn't target so-called disadvantaged people.

Here's how you avoid the user fees: Give the property to the City of Cambridge, a social worker will step forward for a salaried advocacy position for it, that person will pitch the benefits of a skate park for traditionally disadvantaged youth, and then not only will it be free, but every nonwhite kid in town will be given free skateboards, protective gear, and group lessons by Tony Hawk.

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"Suburban white boys"

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"suburban white boys"...Maybe 25 years ago. Try going by the skate park on Reservation Road Hyde Park by the train tracks. It's always packed...and there are few "white boys". As far as the poor disadvantaged, cry me a river. There are already plenty of free programs for the disadvantaged Cambridge kid. It's hard enough to get anything constructed around here...and then you throw in new programs that have to be started for the "disadvantaged".

That said, the park should be free. There is no need for bathrooms because the locals can just go home...Screw those who travel from the boonies.

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The MBTA

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The MBTA, and everyone who uses its steady declining service.

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What a joke

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This entire fiasco is a case study in how not to get something done. I would think some of the major donors would have had it with the CRC and Ms. Tscharner at this point. This project was first slated to be completed in 2006. Now it's 2011 and they are asking for bids to maintain something that hasn't even broken ground yet. How about getting started on the construction and then worry about who will empty the trash cans. I wish I had receipts from the small donations I made years ago so I could ask for it back. Podunk towns all across the US have managed to build state of the art skate facilities with less money and hassle than this.

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This needs doing. Sooooo badly.

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Get it built. Get the skaters out of Copley Square so they stop damaging the slate steps. One concession stand selling fizzy sugar water will probably be enough to pay for maintenance.

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