Archive for the ‘Bike Skills Park’ Category

Castaic Trails and Puente Hills Park Plans Approved

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016
Park and Rec Staff give their report

Park and Rec Staff give their report

October 25, 2016 was a great day for trails, open space and bike parks in Los Angeles County.  Some time ago, we learned that the Puente Hills Landfill Park Master Plan would be on today’s County Board of Supervisors agenda.  Last week, we were notified that the Castaic Multiuse Trail Master Plan would be on the same agenda.

2016-10-25-11-18-24a

Kevin from SCV Trail Users speaks to support the Castaic plan.

Both these plans include Bike Skills Parks, as proposed by CORBA to the County in 2011.  It’s been a long process with much input from local residents, trail users, mountain bikers and environmental and social justice organizations. With these bike skills parks appearing on their respective master plans, which will be incorporated into the County General Plan, we have confirmed a future Los Angeles that will include bike skills parks.

The Puente Hills plan includes two bike skills area, one in Phase One, and a second in Phase two. The Castaic plan identifies three potential bike skills park sites. The plans do not include specific bike park designs. These designs will take some time, and much community involvement. The onus will be on us, the mountain biking community, to follow through and remain engaged in the design process, and ultimately, to help raise funds and build these facilities.

These planning documents are intended to guide long-term development over multiple decades, as funding and other opportunities become available. Fully realized, they will provide many miles of multi-use trails, trailhead staging areas, and other amenities. The Puente Hills plan includes multiple recreational amenities, including public performance spaces, a zip line, bike skills park, dog park, and balances that with habitat restoration and native landscaping. There is something for everyone.

Four of us spoke in favor of the Castaic plan, including CORBA, the SoCal High School Cycling League and SCV Trail Users, while one local resident expressed concerns that a proposed trail in the plan traverses her property. Supvervisor Antonovich asked the park planning staff how the plan addresses and protects private property rights and received assurances that easements or property acquisitions will only take place from willing sellers.

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Over 30 people came to speak on the Puente Hills plan, rallied by our friends at Bike SGV, the San Gabriel Mountains Forever coalition, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and CORBA.  It was obvious to the County that there is tremendous community support for the plan, so it wasn’t necessary for all 30 to speak. Wes Reutman from Bike SGV, spoke on behalf of the group.  Support also came from the Wilderness Society and the Trust for Public Land.

We want to express our sincere thanks to both the County Department of Parks and Recreation, and the County Supervisors for supporting the development of these plans.  We also extend our appreciation to Alta Planning for their great work on engaging the Santa Clarita Valley community in the development of the Castaic Plan, and Withers & Sandgren Landscape Architecture firm who were enlisted as the prime consultant on the Puente Hills plan. Both the Castaic and Puente Hills planning processes typified the type of extensive community outreach and engagement that are necessary to develop viable community-driven plans that reflect the desires and address the concerns of the community and trail and park users.

Of special note is the long-standing support for trails and open spaces exhibited by Supervisor Antonovich, who will term out at the end of this year. His legacy includes the Santa Susana Trails Master Plan, and the Castaic Multiuse Trail Master Plan. As an equestrian and a champion of multi-use trails, Supervisor Antonovich has arguable had a greater impact on trails in Los Angeles County than any other single elected official in the area. In fact, 30 years ago, I served as assistant race director of the Olive View Challenge, a running, cycling, mountain biking and BMX event raising funds for Olive View hospital. Supervisor Antonovich was an ardent supporter of our nacent mountain biking race then (the first ever sanctioned mountain bike race on County and National Forest lands). He’s been a champion of trails since, and throughout his career in County government.

While a great step forward, there is still a lot of work to be done before we’ll be shaping dirt into pump tracks, jumps, and skills features at either Castaic or Puente Hills. We hope to begin the design phase for Castaic as early as next year. Puente Hills needs a few more years for the landfill to settle, and phase one will likely begin in late 2017 through 2019.

County Supervisors to vote on the Castaic Trail Master Plan

Friday, October 14th, 2016

On October 25, 2016, the same day that the County Supervisors will vote on the Puente Hills Landfill Park master plan, they will also be voting on the Castaic Area Multiuse Trail Master Plan.  The plan and environmental documents can be viewed at http://castaicmultiusetrails.org.

 

The Castaic Area Multiuse Trail Master Plan has been developed over the past eighteen months, as concerns over trails impacted by housing developments in the Castaic Area was growing. The Tapia Canyon area, future home to a 276 home residential development, has a network of user-created trails on private property that have served as a mountain biking destination for the local community for many years.

The developer reached out to the trail user community. The trail user community in turn reached out to Los Angeles County. With support from Supervisor Antonovich, the County Parks and Recreation division was tasked with developing a trail master plan for the Castaic Area. The objective was to develop a plan that would guide future trail development, and provide a framework for future planning.

CORBA also took this opportunity to move forward our 2010 LA County Bike Park proposal, and feedback was gathered through this process on where a Bike Skills Park might be located in the Castaic area. Three potential bike park locations have been identified in the plan.

The plan also lays out the framework for improving connectivity to and between existing trail networks, parking and trailhead infrastructure for equestrians, and for other users. The County held a series of user group specific meetings at which the public was invited to draw on maps where trails should be, where they are now but aren’t shown, and what facilities or improvements may be needed to bring unofficial trails into the County trail system.

On October 25, 2016, the County Board of Supervisors will vote on the plan. If approved the plan will be incorporated into the Los Angeles County General Plan. It doesn’t mean that the bike park and proposed new trails will be built. If funding or development opportunities arise, the plan will help guide investments in trails and bike parks.

CORBA will be there to speak in support of this plan and the Puente Hills Landfill Park master plan, and to further advocate for the construction of bike skills parks at both locations.  We are building momentum in bringing Bike Parks to Los Angeles, but without community support, they won’t happen. Now it’s up to us to urge our elected officials to support the trail master plan and bike park components. Here’s how to help:

JOIN US at the Board meeting, 9:30 am, Tuesday October 25, at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, Room 381B, 500 W Temple Street, Los Angeles.  You can comment on the Puente Hills Landfill Park Master Plan, and the Castaic Trail Master Plan, both of which include bike skills parks.

Email your County Supervisor! Let them know you support a multi-use Puente Hills park that provides a diverse array of recreational opportunities including multi-use trails and a bike park.

 

Supervisor Solis: firstdistrict@bos.lacounty.gov ;

Supervisor Anontovich: fifthdistrict@lacbos.org ;

Supervisor Knabe: AValenzuela@lacbos.org

 

LA County Supervisors to vote on Puente Hills Landfill Park

Thursday, October 13th, 2016
Click for a larger map

Click for a larger map

On October 25, 2016, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will vote on the Puente Hills Landfill Park Master Plan. The plan includes a bike park, multi-use trails, and much more. The design and environmental documents have been developed through a long and ongoing public process.

We feel the Plan is an excellent vision of the mixed recreational uses and habitat restoration which were the predominant desires expressed by the public. The plan does an excellent job of incorporating the public’s collective input.  Beyond the bike park, the design includes trails, recreational facilities, open space, habitat restoration, performance space, interpretative elements, and wildlife corridors that will connecting existing trails and habitats in the Puente-Chino Hills.

If you’ve been following the process, Bike SGV, CORBA, Mount Wilson Bicycling Association and many local cyclists have been involved in this process since it began.  There is active opposition to the plan, so we must urge our County Supervisors to approve the plan. Members of the public are invited to speak or provide written comments, even if it’s only to say “I support the Puente Hills Landfill Park master plan, including and especially the bike park components.”

We are building momentum in bringing Bike Parks to Los Angeles, but without community support, they won’t happen. Now it’s up to us to urge our elected officials to support the proposed park design. Here’s how to help:

JOIN US at the Board meeting, 11:00 am, Tuesday October 25, at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, Room 381B, 500 W Temple Street, Los Angeles.  You can comment on the Puente Hills Landfill Park Master Plan, and the Castaic Trail Master Plan, both of which include bike skills parks.

Email your County Supervisor! Let them know you support a multi-use Puente Hills park that provides a diverse array of recreational opportunities including multi-use trails and a bike park.

Supervisor Solis: firstdistrict@bos.lacounty.gov ;

Supervisor Anontovich: fifthdistrict@lacbos.org ;

Supervisor Knabe: AValenzuela@lacbos.org

Sign the SGV petition!

 

 

Malibu Wants to Know if We Want a Pump Track

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

trancasfield_map_2-1476310800-6421The city of Malibu is asking the public what type of facility we want at Trancas Field. They are conducting an online survey. If you live in or near Malibu, we need your votes! If you don’t live in Malibu, but would visit a bike park there, we need your votes too.

Please help convince the City of Malibu to include a “skate park” and “bicycle pump track” in Malibu by voting in this public survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SXCB7M2

In question #1 fill out your Contact Information.

and for #2 choose the “Hard surface athletic facilities”

and for # 11 choose the “Skate Park” and ALSO “Bike Pump Track”.

You don’t have to fill out anything else unless you see something you like.

There will be a series of public meetings where every voice can make a difference. The deciding factor in Thousand Oaks was that over 100 cyclists came to the first meeting and asked for a bike park. If you can make one of these, please save the dates, but at least fill out the online survey:

Date Meeting Location Time
October 12 to
December 12
Trancas Field Questionnaire Online N/A
October 17 Teen & Youth Community Workshop Malibu City Hall 7:00 PM
November 2 Community Workshop Malibu West Beach Club 6:30 PM
November 30 Community Workshop Malibu City Hall 6:30 PM

We recently had a bike park approved in Thousand Oaks, and next week we’re hoping the LA County Board of Supervisors will approve the proposed bike park at Puente Hills Landfill. Let’s keep this train rolling!

 

Thousand Oaks approves Sapwi Trails Master Plan, with Bike Park

Monday, October 10th, 2016

Tonight, October 10, 2016, the City of Thousand Oaks held a hearing on the Sapwi Trails Community Park master plan and environmental documents.

The hearing took nearly 2 1/2 hours, with fifteen people commenting on the project. There was a report by the City Planner summarizing the plan, as well as supporting testimony from Tom Hare, director of the Conejo Rec and Parks District (CRPD). Commissioners were given the opportunity to tour the site over the past few days.

Several commenters were there in support of the non-motorized model aircraft area. Thousand Oaks High School cross country club spoke in support of the trails. Newbury Park High School mountain bike coach Dorothy Sullivan, and Steve from CORBA spoke in support of the plan.

Steve Messer speaks before the commission

Steve Messer speaks before the commission

Only two local residents expressed opposition to the plan citing a “loss of nature” as a concern, even though of the 142 acre park, only about 17 acres will be developed, and the habitat along Lang Creek will be restored. A few locals expressed support for the plan, but wanted assurance that their concerns about parking. safety and privacy were addressed.

Next steps will be a planning process for the bike skills park. The master plan only identifies the approximate location of the bike park, and is not a bike park design. The bike park will be planned through a series of public meetings sometime in mid-2017.

One of the Commissioners noted that she felt the City had enough traditional parks to accommodate more mainstream stick and ball sports, and welcomed this plan incorporating several alternative recreation opportunities including mountain biking, cross country running, model glider flying, and frisbee golf. The Plan can be found here, and CORBA’s testimony can be found here.

We commend the CRPD for their extensive outreach to the community, for listening to us, and for producing this forward-thinking plan. We look forward to actively engaging in the continued planning and construction of the Sapwi Trails bike park.

 

Thousand Oaks Planning Commission Hearing for Sapwi Trails

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

In 2012, CORBA put out the call for the public to come to Thousand Oaks to show support for a new Bike Park facility at what was then called Lang Ranch.  You responded in droves, and the Conejo Rec and Parks District heard. Now renamed the Sapwi Trails Community Park, the re-envisioned park includes many items the mountain biking community asked for.

In our last bike park update we had little news other than the environmental process was moving forward.  The project’s environmental review is now complete.

The most recent iteration of the park’s master plan includes a beginner pump track at one end of park as a component of a smaller, local neighborhood park. The neighborhood park at the corner of Erbes Road and Scenicpark Street also includes restrooms, a boulder garden, picnic areas, a practice disc golf basket, parking areas, and trail connections to the rest of the larger Community Park.

The larger Community Park includes disc golf, a multi-use trails network, bicycle skills features along some of those trails, interpretive exhibits, additional parking, and a non-motorized model glider port among other things. It also features a dedicated area for a bike skills park. The plan shows two pump tracks and skills features, but is there only as a placeholder. The Bike Park will undergo a separate design process, based on input from the bicycling community.  The master plan is available at the CRPD web site, and archived here.

Sapwi Trails Conceptual Bike Park Plan THousand Oaks

Note this is a “conceptual” placeholder design for the bike park area.

The plans will be presented to the City of Thousand Oaks Planning Commission for approval on October 10 at 6 pm.  We urge anyone, especially those local to the Conejo Valley, to attend the Commission hearing, fill out a speaker card, and express your support for the plan, including the trails and bike skills park components (and any other components you’d like to support).

 

Join our Board Meeting every 4th Monday

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

Come and join us to learn about current issues and let us know what concerns you! Always open to the public, the CORBA Board of Directors’ meeting is held the 4th Monday of the month in Woodland Hills. REI is kind enough to let us use their meeting room, for which we thank them profusely!

Every month (except December, when we have no meeting), we discuss these topics:

  • Issues of trail access for mountain bikers
  • Mountain bike advocacy and ambassadorship
  • Public involvement
  • The latest news from the land managers, including State Parks and National Park Service
  • Trail building and restoration
  • Furthering woman’s mountain biking
  • Bike parks and other dedicated mountain bike facilities or trails
  • Education and etiquette
  • Anything brought forward by members of the public

The meetings are 6 – 8 pm at the REI in Woodland Hills:

6220 Topanga Canyon Blvd
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
P: (818) 703-5300

Google Map and Directions

We look forward to seeing you there!

An Open Letter to the City of Glendale

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

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.

 

Castaic Multi-Use Trail Master Plan Meeting #2

Friday, September 18th, 2015

20150917001-Castaic Trail Master Plan-1Last night, September 17, 2015, LA County held the second in the series of planning meetings announced last month. Last night’s meeting was well-attended by mountain bikers, but also by local residents who are concerned about trails and fire roads through their properties at Tapia Canyon and other locations within the study area.

It was made clear at the meeting’s outset that the County trails policy is multi-use, and that nothing in this process takes away any property owners’ rights. Just because a trail is drawn somewhere on this plan doesn’t mean it will be constructed exactly where it is drawn, or that it will be constructed at all. It will guide the County’s planning efforts for future growth.

Disrespectful and illegal behavior by a small non-representative group of riders has tarnished the image of mountain bikers in the area, while at the other end of the spectrum the NICA SoCal League teams in the area have done an outstanding job of representing our sport responsibly.

About 50 people gathered around four tables packed with maps to point out where there are important existing trails, brainstorm on where they’d like to see new connections and access points, and what types of features they’d like to see at a bike skills park. Property owners pointed out where their properties are on the map, and expressed valid concerns about trails that pass through their properties.

12047030_10206819759845884_4543868626721243399_n-1Some important issues came up, such as the preservation of iconic and unique trails in the Tapia Canyon area, access to Forest Service and Tapia Canyon blocked by the Tesoro development, and potential impacts of the Hidden Ranch at Tapia Canyon Development. It is these and other development proposals that have prompted the County to take on this important planning task. There are more people coming to the Castaic area, more homes, more business, more kids on bikes and more demand for recreational trails.

For example, there’s strong demand for a regional-quality bike park facility at Grasshopper Canyon in the Castaic Lake State Recreation Area, as proposed by CORBA some time ago. We’d like to go big, including tot, beginner, intermediate and advanced pump tracks, progressive dirt jumps, a downhill flow trail, a permanent cyclocross/XC  training and racing track, dual slalom tracks, four-cross course, progressive dirt jumps and skills areas. We’d also like to see smaller community pump tracks at easily-accessible locations through the area.

Among the other items being discussed were:

  • A long-distance, multi-use trail around Castaic Lake including access to secluded bays and beaches.
  • Trail connections from the Sports Complex to Castaic Lake SRA and to Charlie and Wayside canyons.
  • Easier access to Tapia Canyon trails through the Tesoro development
  • Continued access to Tapia via Wayside/Junkyard through the Hidden Ranch at Tapia development.
  • Connections to Forest Service trails and fire roads
  • Connections to Ventura County and Los Padres NF trails
  • Preservation of iconic and unique Tapia trails such as Dog Tag, G-Out and others.

What else would you like to add? You can still let them know.

Make Your Comments Online at http://castaicmultiusetrails.org

The County understands that many people are unable to attend public meetings, or need more than just a meeting to consider their needs. An online Interactive Map allows members of the public to draw in where they’d like to see trails, bike park facilities or trailhead facilities such as parking, bathrooms and water fountains. This new planning tool also allows the public to upload gps tracks of existing trails. However, the interactivity goes both ways, once something is added to the map it becomes part of the public record that others can see an comment on. There are two more meetings scheduled, aimed at the hiking and equestrian communities respectively, though all meetings are open to all members of the public.

If trails and bike parks around Castaic and Santa Clarita Valley are important to you, visit http://castaicmultiusetrails.org to see what others are asking for and share your own thoughts with the County and planning consultants.

Glendale Park Planning Meeting – Sep 26

Friday, September 18th, 2015

2015 Glendale Parks MeetingThe City of Glendale is growing. The increase in development of the downtown area has provided the City some funds for parks, and they are asking the public how that money should be spent.

We have some ideas, and you might too. The City wants to hear from us on Saturday, September 26, 10 a.m. – noon at the Maple Park Community Center, 820 E. Maple Street, Glendale, 91205. A third meeting will take place at the Pacific Park Community Center on Saturday, October 3, 10 a.m. – noon.

In 2008, CORBA successfully lobbied the City of Glendale to include a Bicycle Skills Park and Bike-Only downhill trail in their Trail Master Plan. In 2012, CORBA and the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition advocated for a bicycle skills park in their Safe and Healthy Streets Plan (within Chapter 3, Encouragement, and Chapter 2, Education components of that plan).

We started a Glendale Bike Park petition in 2011 that gathered over 500 signatures online and several hundred more on paper. That online petition is still live and available to be signed at: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/glendale_bike_skills_park/. This pre-dates our current Los Angeles Bike Park Collective Petition which has over 1800 signatures calling for bike parks in the greater Los Angeles area.

in 2011 CORBA’s then Vice President Steve Messer and former high school mountain biking Coach Mauricio Barba testified before the Glendale Parks Commission to propose a new bike park. Not long after, the great recession forced the City to cut back and put many programs on hold, including our Bike Park proposal.

Earlier, in 2007 CORBA gave significant input to the City of Glendale Trail Master Plan. We proposed, and the City adopted plans for a number of new trails. Since the opening of the highly successful Catalina Verdugo trail, we believe the City is ready for a beginner-friendly multi-use singletrack trail connection from Brand Library to Las Flores Motorway and South Beaudry Motorway. Such a trail would connect these popular fire road routes and make much more interesting loop ride or hikes possible, at more beginner-friendly grades than existing fire roads.

The funds available to the City of Glendale are primarily allocated for the downtown and south Glendale areas, but there is an opportunity for some of those funds be allocated to projects that have a city-wide benefit. Come on out and ask Glendale for the Bike Skills Park, and new trails that will benefit the entire community, and/or a smaller Community Pump Track for South Glendale, or perhaps even the proposed Space 134 project, where you can currently vote for a “Bike Station.”