Proposal to study new BMX park is DOA

The subject of building a new BMX park in Mountain View was not on the agenda during Tuesday night's council meeting, but was brought up at the end of the meeting by Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga — and promptly killed in a deadlocked 3-3 vote.

Facing possible legal and safety problems, the city in August demolished an informal BMX track along Stevens Creek at Central Avenue that locals had been building and maintaining for at least 20 years.

Abe-Koga wanted the Parks and Recreation Commission to study whether the city should build its own BMX park to replace it, probably on a 1.25-acre site that stretches along North Road just east of the city's dog park at Shoreline. She didn't expect what happened next: The council deadlocked 3-3, with member Tom Means absent, halting the idea in its tracks.

"I was kind of surprised they didn't even want the PRC to look at it," which would cost nothing, Abe-Koga said. She added that the idea could always come back to the council if there was enough interest from the community.

Since 2001, the city has had on-again, off-again interest in building its own BMX park. Such a project would cost about $400,000 an acre and $70,000 a year to maintain, according to a Sept. 17 report from parks section manager Jack Smith. The need for the city to retain an engineer and a landscape architect are among the requirements that "dramatically change the scope" of the project, which the council hoped to build with $60,000 in funding budgeted in 2007.

The report cites the Calabazas BMX park in San Jose as the source of the cost estimate. It also lists safety and legal requirements from the city's risk manager, Claudia Koob, including a maximum jump height of five feet.

As for the location, city staffers prefer the North Road site over the nearby "Crittenden overflow basin," which was a recommended site years ago. Council member Mike Kasperzak and others have also suggested that the city use a meadow that is newly accessible thanks to the Stevens Creek Trail extension south of El Camino Real.

Council members made no comments explaining the vote, which came at the end of a five-hour meeting. Opposing further study were members Ronit Bryant, Laura Macias and Kasperzak. Members Abe-Koga, Jac Siegel and John Inks were in favor. Means' position on the subject was unknown as of press time.


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Posted by Drew Seutter
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 19, 2009 at 8:50 am

Location, location, location.

This thing needs to happen and location of the park will be key. Someone at the City needs to say:

1) do we or don't we need or want a BMX park?
2) let's get user involvement early on
3) if we move forward, where should the park go?
4) assuming 'yes' progression, what might design, construction, maintenance, and liability costs be?
5) can we fund this? are there shortcuts that can save expense?

Along a parallel track, let's evaluate:

1) can the old site be salvaged?
2) can things be done to minimize concerns expressed by the (former) City attorney?

Thanks Mayor Abe-Koga for raising this issue. I am among the folks who think a place to ride a bicycle in the dirt would be well utilized, should be at a location where kids can get to it, and should not cost an arm and a leg to build or maintain.

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Posted by SunnyDaysAhead
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 19, 2009 at 9:32 pm

When you were a kid, didn't you have a rope to swing over the deep spot in the creek on a hot day? Or a place to push your body and your bike to new limits?

Yes, kids get hurt but it is an important part of learning our limits and sharpening our skills.

It is a sad commentary on the City Council that they can't find a solution other than bulldozing a valuable part of our quality of life.

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Posted by sly
a resident of Whisman Station
on Nov 19, 2009 at 9:43 pm

bmx park? R U KIDDING????

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Posted by Dan
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 20, 2009 at 11:22 pm

What the hell? What are those bizarre inflated ideas? Landscape architect? There was a nice spot made without one that functioned perfectly fine for 20 years. Calabazas park is the blueprint of what NOT to do, not an example to follow.

I guess Ronit Bryant, Laura Macias and Kasperzak really like kids hanging out with gangs.


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Posted by Josh
a resident of The Crossings
on Nov 24, 2009 at 11:28 am

I am stunned. When I was a teenager, us skateboarders were marginalized and criminalized. Today, as a mountain biker, the same thing has happened. Why do I need to drive to San Jose to enjoy a couple of jumps?
Why are such a low percentage of trails open to cyclists in the bay area?

What about the kids who cannot drive to the bike park or trail head?

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Posted by Daniel
a resident of Rex Manor
on Feb 25, 2010 at 12:11 pm

NOthing being done, perfectly good spot was destroyed, kids are growing fat.

Shame on the council.

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Posted by Daniel
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 7, 2010 at 3:33 pm

What a shame. Kids (and adults) need places for wholesome, healthy recreation.

What do city "leaders" want them to do? Drugs?

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Posted by Nukem
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 22, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Nukem is a registered user.

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment]

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