North Shore skate park to be completed this year

Skaters tired of waiting for a skate park to be completed on the North Shore took matters into their own hands.

They built a bowl that the city is now asking them to tear down.

Skaters like Blake Spinak have been waiting for years for a skate park on the North Shore.

After more than three decades of planning, and six years after construction began, the city-owned Banzai Skate Park is only partially complete.

“Basically you’ve got Pipeline across the street, the world’s best surfers, this thing was supposed to be the world’s best skate park,” said Blake Spinak with the North Shore Skate Park Association.

But skaters say it’s far from it. So some of them started to construct their own bowl next to it, on city property, without the proper permits.

“I don’t blame them for being overzealous in trying to get something done,” said Ernie Martin, chair of the Honolulu City Council.

Still, the city is asking those who built this to tear it down, or they will.

“We have to be very careful to protect the community from any types of accidents or things like that so unfortunately it has to come down,” Martin said.

So what’s the hold up? Why isn’t this skate park finished? The city says it’s because of this partially done road.

“Because the driveway leading into the facility is adjacent to a private development, we need that private developer to complete his obligation first,” Martin said.

Once the developer finishes this road, which will lead into the skate park, the city will move forward with phase two.

Chair Martin said the skate park should be completed by the end of this year and will include handrails, bleachers, and ramps for children.

But skaters say that’s not what was promised.

“I think because I was here before I kind of knew what the original was and I know it’s a continuous effort to put the people at peace I guess,” Spinak said.

Anything additional, may be built with donations that the community has been collecting. But that plan must be presented to the city first and the structures, given to the city as a gift.

“I think when it’s all said and done, everybody is going to be happy with whatever gets done,” Spinak said.

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