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Lathrop aims to control skate boarders
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LATHROP – Once it’s open it will be one of the best public skate parks in Northern California.

And that means that there will no leeway when it comes to criminal trespassing or finding public spaces for purposes other than which they were intended.

Tonight the Lathrop City Council is expected to pass an ordinance that will formally allow “coasting” devices like skateboards, in-line skates, bicycles and scooters – and only those that are designated in the municipal code – to freely utilize the skate park at the Lathrop Generations Center.

Such a consideration means that anybody using parks that have been posted against such a use, if the council agrees, will be subject to enforcement through citations by the Lathrop Police Department.

Lathrop’s skate park shares a trait with Manteca’s in the sense that’s it is out the normal flow of pedestrian traffic – tucked off on the side of Spartan Drive in an undeveloped residential section as opposed to along the Tidewater Bikeway.

City officials will have the ability to determine which parks will be off-limits to skaters and those using coasting devices once the resolution is approved. The intention is to provide families with unobstructed opportunities much the same way skateboarders are being presented with their own at The Generations Center.

And people are chomping at the bit to be the first ones to drop in on the steep sweeping walls and get the opportunity to jump the staircases and grind the rails.

When construction on the $5 million-plus project was ongoing, crews were surprised to find skateboard wheel marks in one of the bowls even before the bottom had been completely poured. Exposed rebar created a very small margin of error.

Since then city crews have been leaving blankets in the bowls at night to discourage anybody from trying to sneak in.

The park is expected to be open by mid-June.