EAST PALO ALTO (KCBS) – It’s two years in the making, but at long last East Palo Alto is celebrating the opening of its first skate park – a facility intended to help reduce youth violence in the area.

Teens say they have been looking forward to the opening of the $70,000 skateboarding center at Bell Street Park at University Avenue and Bell Street.

“I just like the ramps and the rails and the half-pipe,” enthused Abraham Martinez, 14. “The pyramid, I like it because you can go up and down and you can do tricks off the side.”

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

It’s all about giving teens an alternative to gang membership.

“Any time you have kids out with no particular focus and just kind of out in the street, I think they become targets for other, older kids who may be up to no good,” reasoned East Palo Alto city councilman Ruben Abrica. “Keeping them participating, together, in this case in a public facility, it’s a good way for them to stay away from roaming the streets and being vulnerable to crime.”

The skate park was paid for, in part, by hotel tax revenue.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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