Approximately 85 people turned out for an open house for the proposed Salt Spring Lions Commemorative Bike Park in Mouat Park on Sunday, March 25.
The community open house hosted by the Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission took place at Lions Hall, with the goal of sharing information about the project and receiving feedback from the community. Information on the planning process, environmental and technical assessments and a draft design proposal were presented for public review and discussion. Members of the consultant team (Green City Builders and Lees and Associates), PARC staff and two PARC commissioners were in attendance.
Two site tours in Mouat Park were also hosted by the project manager Elizabeth FitzZaland of Green City Builders earlier in the day, with around 25 people choosing to take a tour in the proposed park area near ArtSpring’s upper parking lot.
Information presented at the meeting explains that a family bike park is a dirt-surfaced trail network with technical features designed to develop bicycle skills among children and youth, such as balancing, braking, handling, jumping and more. Woodland bike parks are designed to retain as many trees as possible and to be compatible with the surrounding ecosystem.
Fifty-five attendees filled out comment forms at the session, while another six people sent in comments via email to the CRD. The input, along with the verbal comments received at the open house, will be used to direct the next phase of the project.
According to a summary report provided by Green City Builders, the majority, or 55 responses, were supportive of the family bike park concept as presented.
“Many commenters indicated that they like the design, the variety of trails, that it is a safe learning environment for kids and that the natural environment is considered in the design. Many commenters stated that the proposed concept was a good use of park space,” the report states.
In contrast, only six people expressed concerns about the concept, with four commenting that they strongly disagreed with or disliked it.
“The most common concerns expressed were that the location was not appropriate for a family bike park and that such a use will put pressure on the parking facilities in the park. A few commenters also expressed concern for potential expansion beyond the proposed location and crowding in the park.”
For more on this story, see the April 4, 2018 issue of the Gulf Islands Driftwood newspaper, or subscribe online.