An Open Letter to the City of Glendale

The Los Angeles Bike Park Collective

Earlier this year CORBA joined the Los Angeles Bike Park Collective, a small and dedicated group of bike park advocates whose mission is to bring Bike Skills Parks to the mainstream. CORBA and the Collective are currently working with the City of Los Angeles to identify bike park opportunities in the San Fernando Valley at Sepulveda Basin, as well as a larger regional facility in the Castaic area with Los Angeles County. We have gathered over 2300 signatures on paper and online in general support of bike parks in the Greater Los Angeles area, and have close to 2000 followers on Facebook.

The Collective has produced two videos. The first demonstrates the need and rationale for bike skills parks in the greater Los Angeles area, and encouranges public support of our efforts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4jxi_ndCN8

The second video is entitled “What is a Bike Park?” and explains the features found in such facilities for those who might not fully understand what a bike park is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kbj87v_ZQMw

Bike Skills Parks in City of Glendale Plans

CORBA volunteers provided significant input on missing bikeway connections and new opportunities during the development of the City of Glendale Bicycle Transportation Plan in 2010-2012. The City Planning Commission reviewed and recommended approval of the plan in April 2012. This plan includes a recommendation for Bike Skills Park/Pump Track (Page 6-76, Programs and Promotions, Education element).

We also worked with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition to include a Bike Skills Park in the Glendale Safe and Healthy Streets Plan. A Bike Skills Park and novice mountain bike trails are included as item 3.1b, under “Encouragement,” as well as under item 2.1e under “Education.” CORBA’s then V.P. Steve Messer testified before City Council in support of the plan on April 11, 2011. I testified before City Council in support of the plan on April 19, 2011. Archived video of that testimony is available at https://youtu.be/YsKdN-oHFlw?t=1h7m25s

In January 2008 the City Council adopted the Glendale Trails Master Plan, for which CORBA provided significant input. Within the Trails Master Plan a Bike Skills Park is included for the San Rafael Hills.

The Trails Master Plan and Safe and Healthy Streets Plan both call for more beginner-friendly trails, to help lower the barrier to entry to outdoor recreation for Glendale residents.

On April 18 2011, I introduced a Bike Skills Park proposal to the Parks and Recreation Commission during public comment period. We also presented a petition of over 1000 signatures gathered in person and online (separate from the Collective’s current petition), in support of a Glendale Bike Park. Archived video of that presentation is available on Youtube .  The direction given to staff at the time was to initiate a feasibility study for such a project. However, not long thereafter, staffing cutbacks put our efforts on hold.

A Bike Skills Park and/or Pump Track is therefore consistent with these three important City planning documents.

Current and Ongoing Bike Park Projects

Bike Skills Parks can no longer be considered “new” or unusual. Since 2011, the Bike Park landscape has changed significantly. CORBA was instrumental in getting a bike park facility planned, constructed and open to the public earlier this year in the City of Fillmore (Ventura County), and another approved in the park plan for the Sapwi Trails Regional Park in Thousand Oaks.

BIke Parks have recently opened in Lompoc, Tehachapi, Kernville, South Lake Tahoe and several other locations around the state. Orange County, San Diego County and Riverside County each have regional bike park facilities in the planning or construction stages.  There are now over 30 such parks in California in various stages of development or operation.

To meet increasing demand, IMBA, our parent organization, has published a reference book specifically about Bike Parks. https://www.imba.com/news/pre-order-book  There are now more than a dozen companies specializing in the planning, design and construction of bike skills parks.

Recently a pump track opened in Brooklyn, New York. This pump track was constructed of asphalt instead of dirt. This increases initial cost, but greatly enhances the longevity of the project and substantially reduces the maintenance needs of a comparable dirt pump track. It also allows for a broader user-base; asphalt pump tracks can be enjoyed by bicyclists, skateboarders, rollerbladers, and even mom’s pushing strollers over the undulations of the pump track. More information about the Brooklyn Pump Track is at http://www.pinkbike.com/news/velosolutions-asphalt-pump-track-new-york-city-2015.html

Current Opportunities

Given the current opportunities afforded by the influx of Development Impact Fee funds, we’d like to propose a small pump track facility in an existing park, or on a new parcel, in South Glendale. It may even be a temporary park on a future development lot. This could serve as a pilot project to gauge interest and demand for our larger skills park proposal for site A, between Mayor’s Bicentennial Park and the Sports Complex.

A small pump track facility does not need to be expensive.  The Fillmore Bike Park was constructed by Bellfree Contractors, overseeing an army of volunteers. Prefabricated pump tracks are available in the $25k to $50k price range from companies such as Progressive Bike Ramps.

To summarize, we respectfully ask the City of Glendale to consider the following, all of which exist in previously City-approved plans: 

  • A small community pump track in Central or South Glendale.
  • Improved trailhead facilities at Sunshine Drive/Las Flores Motorway
  • A beginner-friendly trail (little or no net elevation gain) from Sunshine Drive/Las Flores to South Beaudry and/or Brand Library.
  • Our larger regional bike park proposal for Site A.

 

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