ITHACA, NY—Confirming that most inner-city residents have gone their entire lives without sufficient access to blacklight skating or Skate-’N’-Celebrate birthday parties, an alarming study published this week by Cornell University revealed that the majority of urban households in the U.S. are located in roller rink deserts. “When we overlaid the locations of the nation’s roller skating rinks onto maps of American metropolitan areas, we were shocked to find that families living in city centers are often forced to travel four or five times as far as their peers in suburban areas for access to adequate indoor skating facilities,” said the report’s lead author, Alexa Shafer, citing evidence that nearly two-thirds of children in urban zones live five miles or more from the nearest locations with weekday open skates or “Saturday At The ’70s” disco nights. “Many people in these areas have no choice but to take multiple forms of public transit—often making as many as three bus transfers—to get to such family-friendly entertainment. And the few skate centers that do cater to these isolated areas are often understaffed, feature outdated music, do not have a mirrored ball mounted above the rink, and may have only a single claw game machine on the premises instead of an attached arcade room.” Shafer noted that for many families in urban centers, it was simply a fact of life that they had no options for wholesome family fun other than a handful of meager, unsatisfactory cosmic bowling locations.
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