For years El Centro resident Beto Borjon, 17, has dealt with the law when riding his BMX bicycle out in the streets.
“There are too many tickets going on,” said Borjon. Aside from getting fined for riding in unlawful areas, many times he’s running from the police for the same reason, he said.
This last idea was echoed by many of his peers who congregated Thursday evening outside the Finish Line bicycle shop on Main Street.
Some 20 teenage BMX riders went from the bicycle shop to the Community Center on South First Street to attend the second and final workshop of the El Centro Community Oriented Skate Park.
The $2.5 million project will be 54,000 square feet and will be located in the vicinity of Park Avenue and Sixth Street. Construction is expected to start in October and come to conclusion in April 2013.
Kimley-Horn and Associate Inc. and its subcontractor, Site Design, are in charge of the project.
The first workshop took place Dec. 1. In that meeting seven groups comprised of BMX riders and skateboarders shared ideas with the direction of Site Design staff and came out with seven plans. From those plans Site Design made two concept designs that were presented to the community in a two-hour meeting.
The designs are similar in look and incorporate famous skateboarding spots in San Francisco and Barcelona, Spain.
Both also have a beginner area for children, a playground, bleachers, lighting and a concession stand. Possibly 60 percent of it is shaded.
The main differences are in the design of obstacles, which many BMX riders said may be more of a benefit to skateboarders.
But the obstacles are intended to be universal and designs aren’t final, said Brian Moore, president of Site Design.
Questionnaires were then distributed to roughly 50 attendees who were asked to give further suggestions on the presented plans.
The purpose of the workshop was to get input from the community and blend the two concepts, Moore said.
The size of the beginner area for children was brought into question by El Centro resident Tommy Gaddis.
“It looks to me that the beginner area takes a lot of room,” Gaddis said. Many in the room agreed.
But the square footage for the beginner area “is not set in stone,” responded Moore. Also, not having one could mean younger skateboarders would go to the obstacles the more experienced people use, Moore said.
Carlos Gonzalez, former president of Skateboard Coalition, suggested all of the park should be “skateable.” That was an opinion many attendees agreed with.
The meeting then concentrated on whether the skate park’s design is promoting BMX bicycle ridership equally to skateboarding.
The issue came to question several times throughout the meeting and in particular when the designers referred numerous times to the fact that the skate park will be certified by professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek and thus could hold Dyrdek’s Street League Tournament.
“What is being done to attract street riders of BMX,” asked El Centro resident Gary Rey.
“Please, keep in mind that we have a lot of BMX riders that need to be represented,” said Cheyenne Gaddis moments later.
Following the discussion, attendees voted on the different amenities of both concepts, while Site Design staff took notes of the votes and the different suggestions that came forward.
“It looks like concept B is what people preferred,” said project manager Matt Capuzzi after the meeting.
The designers will take that into consideration, he said, and will try to accommodate the bikes more in the final concept.
The final concept will be presented to the city in about two weeks, Capuzzi said, but for the next week residents can go to the Site Design Web site and e-mail more suggestions.
Staff Writer Alejandro Davila can be reached at 760-337-3445 or email@example.com