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.