Penn Valley Park gets expanded skate park

Skateboarding on city streets is discouraged, if not illegal.

But building street elements into a special park built for skateboarding is a way to give enthusiasts of the sport a hassle-free place to practice and perform.

An enhanced “skate plaza” in Penn Valley Park does that with new features donated by the Rob Dyrdek Foundation. They include 10 elements from the 2011 Street League professional skateboard competition at the Sprint Center. The plaza has new ledges, stairs and banks. The improvements add 7,000 square feet to the 11,000 square feet of the existing skate park that was built in 2006.

The Street League DC Pro Tour returns to Kansas City this weekend at the Sprint Center, and Dyrdek will be here to celebrate the results. He will join city officials in a ceremony at 4 p.m. today at the skate park, at West 29th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.

The foundation said it contributed $75,000 in design and construction work for the plaza. It is the 10th “Safe Spot Skate Spot” the foundation has funded across the country.

“Each day there are fewer and fewer places to street skate, period,” Dyrdek says on his website. “Skateboarding is being choked by people that simply don’t understand it. Skateboarders are sick of getting tickets and watching every good skate spot get skate-proofed or destroyed. The future of skateboarding relies on having places to do it.”

The foundation, which began in 2003, also assists with the creation of community and educational programs to promote the sport of skateboarding and its “inherent benefits” to society.