Columbia Skate Park Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where is the park located?
A: Columbia, Missouri is located approximately half-way between St. Louis and Kansas City on Interstate 70. Columbia has 5 exits off I-70. Coming from the east on I-70, take the West Boulevard exit and turn west onto Business Loop 70. Pass the cemetery and Parks Management Center on the right and turn in at the Cosmo Park entrance. Coming from the west on I-70, take the Stadium Boulevard exit and turn north on Stadium. Then head east on Business Loop 70 West and turn at the Cosmo Park entrance. Go north all the way to the back of the park until reaching Antimi Baseball Fields, Antimi Picnic Shelter, and finally the Skate Park.
Q: What are the park’s hours of operation?
A: Columbia Skate Park opens at 6:00 am and closes at dusk because there are no lights over the Skate Park at this time. Since the Skate Park is located within Cosmo Park, park visitors must observe Cosmo’s hours of 6:00 am to 12:00 midnight.
Q: Does the Skate Park have rest rooms, a shelter, water, or electricity available?
A: The Skate Park does not have restrooms, but the adjacent Antimi Sports Complex does. It is within walking distance as seen in the background in this photo. Restrooms are open from April 15 to October 15. A port-a-pot is placed at the Skate Park during from October 15 to April 15. In the foreground of the picture, Antimi Shelter lies adjacent to the skate park’s entrance. The shelter has electricity, water, and light available, as well as 10 picnic tables, one double barbecue grill, and a pay phone. Antimi Shelter is a reservable shelter and at times, may be reserved and not available to skaters.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Construct the skate park out of concrete.
- Site the skate park at either Oakland or Cosmo Park (Council selected current Cosmo location).
- Make it free and open to the public during daylight hours.
- Provide no direct supervision.
- Develop it for skateboarders only. No bikes
Recommend safety equipment, not require.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Updateof 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.