Columbia Parks and Recreation
Creating Community through People, Parks and Programs
Q: Where is the park located?
Q: What are the park's hours
Does the Skate Park have rest rooms, a shelter,
water, or electricity available?
For information on reserving the Antimi Shelter and other shelters, contact the Parks and Recreation Office at 573-874-7460, Mon-Fri, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Q: Is any safety equipment required?
A: Safety equipment is not required but is highly recommended. However, effective May 10, 2003 persons 15 years of age and under must wear a skate or bicycle helmet while using the Columbia Skate Park as required by the City Ordinance Section 16-238.
Q: Are bicycles or scooters allowed
at the Skate Park?
A: No. On occasion, the restriction of bicyclists at Columbia Skate Park becomes a topic for discussion. Listed below is a brief history and position statement on the decision and future of bikes in the Columbia Skate Park.
1. The original idea for a skate park was to provide a recreational opportunity for skateboarders. Parents, young adults, teenagers, and pre-teens organized into a non-profit skateboard organization dedicated to raising funds and lobbying the City Council for a skate park. All participants of “x-games” type activities such as trick bikes and motocross riders were invited to participate. At the time, participation of the cyclists was minimal to non-existent.
2. Park planning staff researched virtually hundreds of outdoor skate parks with the intent on determining size, construction materials, hours of operation, fees and charges, park amenities, insurance requirements, maintenance costs and any other information regarding the construction and operation of an outdoor skate park.
3. A 15 member planning committee consisting of representatives of City Departments including Park Planning, Risk Management and Legal; individual skateboarders; and representatives from the Columbia Skatepark Association. This committee met several times to discuss the development of the skate park. As a result of this committee’s efforts, the following was presented and ultimately approved by the City Council:
a. Construct the skate park out of concrete.
b. Site the skate park at either Oakland or Cosmo Park (Council selected current Cosmo location).
c. Make it free and open to the public during daylight hours.
d. Provide no direct supervision.
e. Develop it for skateboarders only. No bikes.
f. Recommend safety equipment, not require.
4. Many of these suggestions relate to the fact that the skate park is not supervised, and is free and open to the public 365 days per year from 6:00 am to dusk. Research found that parks that do allow bikes are either supervised and charge a fee, and only allow bikes during specific times. They are also much larger than Columbia’s 28,000 square feet or have a designated bike area that prohibits skate boarders. Our research found that all non-supervised public skate parks do not allow bikes due to safety considerations.
5. The skate park was designed with only skate boarders in mind. Features such as railings were sized and designed based on use from skateboards not bikes. The distance between features was also calculated based on how far a typical skate boarder may travel. Since bikes can generate speeds much greater than skate boarders, there may be an unforeseen safety zone violation.
6. Ultimately, it became a risk management decision. With little or no history of skate boarders and bikes co-existing under our proposed operating format, it became a safety issue. The obvious concern is the size and speed that bikes are able to generate. Since the Columbia Park is unsupervised, we believe that the risk of a collision between bikers and/or a biker and a skateboarder, is too great to ignore.
7. The establishment of “bike only” times is an option that depends on some supervision and approval of the skate park community. At this time, the P&R Department does not have the resources to staff the park in order to prevent the mixing of bikes and skateboarders. This subject has been discussed before and many skateboarders feel that it would be unfair to them to restrict their use of a park that was planned and developed for skateboarders. However, this remains a viable option that the Department continues to research.
8. The P&R Department has included a $425,000 Skate/Bike Park Improvement project in their 5-year capital improvement program, which is unfunded at this time. Whether this project is funded for a new skate park, new bike park, expansion of the existing skate park for skaters or for bikers, has yet to be determined. Participation numbers of both bikers and skateboarders, and their willingness to organize into an association or organization are factors that will be considered. A BMX track and trick bike area are also identified as unfunded needs in the 2002 Facility Needs Update of the Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Master Plan.
Q: Is camping allowed at the Skate
Park or Cosmo Park?
A: Absolutely no overnight camping is allowed in city parks. The Skate Park closes at dusk, and Cosmo Park closes at 12:00 midnight. Check the local phone book for available campgrounds.
Q: Who should I contact for information
on the Columbia Skate Park?
A: For information on the planning, design, construction and operation of the skate park, you can download the Columbia Skate Park Book. For any further information, contact:
Parks and Recreation Department
1 South 7th Street
P. O. Box 6015
Columbia, MO 65205
Q: Is the Skate Park lighted?
A: The Skate Park is not lighted at this time. However, conduit was laid at the time of construction in anticipation of lights being added in the future should funding become available. Until such time, the Skate Park closes at dusk.