Bike Park Project Introduced to Glendale Commission

Monday afternoon, April 18, 2011 at 2:30pm was the monthly meeting of the City of Glendale, Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission. CORBA’s Steve Messer spoke during the Oral Communications period of the meeting. The Commission were introduced by Messer to the Glendale Bike Skills Park project.

The Bike Skills Park wasn’t an agenda item, and oral communications are limited to five minutes for each speaker. After Messer made his quick presentation several questions were asked by the commissioners. They were surprised that there isn’t any other bike park in Southern California. They were also surprised that there are four High School teams using Glendale trails for training.

More questions followed about the land requirement and how this proposal dovetails with the Safe and Healthy Streets Plan, which was to go before City Council the following day, Tuesday, April 19 (see below).  The Safe and Healthy Streets Plan has been developed by Colin Bogart of the L.A. County Bicycle Coalition in partnership with the City of Glendale, under a grant from the County of Los Angeles. It includes a recommendation for a Bike Skills Park in its educational section.

Even though this was not an agenda item, Jess Duran, Director of the City’s Community Services and Parks Department made the recommendation “for the department to do a quick feasibility analysis, to put a group together including Colin Bogart and see what the feasibility might be.”  He also added, “I can tell you that now is not a good time to be requesting new projects given the challenges of the budget and the staff resources, but we could do a quick feasibility analysis. I’d also like to get some background from staff to what extent we’ve evaluated this type of project before.”

Once the presentation and questions were over, Commissioner Sharkey complemented Messer on his “impressive presentation,” and thanked him for coming. It seemed like the project proposal was well-received.

Both the Commission and the Community Services and Parks Department staff received a copy of the new Native Eyewear documentary “Bring the Riding to the People” which was released at Sea Otter just two days prior.  Steve worked at Sea Otter with Terry Breheny, and other IMBA staff. Terry is featured in the documentary as one of the people behind the Golden Bike Park in Golden, Colorado, which opened in October 2010. The documentary is a great tool that illustrates how the community comes together to volunteer and make a bike park happen.

Mauricio Barba, who is a Glendale employee and coach of the Burbank Burroughs High School Mountain Bike team also spoke about how important a bike park will be to the community, and how the high school athletes will be more than willing to pitch in and volunteer when the time comes. His talk reinforced for the commission the importance of this project.

This isn’t the official go-ahead for the park, but it is the go-ahead for the Community Services and Parks Staff to move forward on a feasibility study. This is the outcome that was hoped for the May meeting, and it came as a surprise to have a feasibility study called for after this single presentation.

Though Messer mentioned the 600-plus signatures we now have on our petition in his presentation, the petition was not presented at this time. We’re continuing to gather signatures. If you haven’t yet signed, please do so and be sure to add some personal comments, which can help a great deal. There is a groundswell of support growing for the park, especially since the recent bulldozing of several unauthorized jump parks.

 

Steve Messer and Mauricio Barba’s presentations:

Video of the entire presentation is available on City of Glendale GTV6.  The complete letter to the Commission is available as a PDF.

 

Safe and Healthy Streets

The following day, April 19 at the Glendale City Council meeting, the Safe and Healthy Streets Plan (SAHS) was on the agenda as an action item. It had received recommendations from all the commissions and departments who had seen it, and it had very strong public support.

The SAHS plan is a reference document that will help guide policy and decisions in favor of cyclists and pedestrians, creating a more livable City. It is divided into five E’s:  Education, Enforcement, Encouragement, Engineering, and Evaluation. Glendale is already moving in the right direction having already implemented several aspects of the plan, including newly place Sharrows, bicycle parking, and the Riverwalk Project which broke ground last week.

Messer was one of twelve members of the public who spoke in support of the plan. In his presentation he mentioned the educational component and the bike skills park. The Plan was adopted unanimously by City Council. Newly seated Mayor Laura Friedman spoke in no uncertain terms about the City’s need to adopt and act on this plan.

 

Steve Messer’s Safe and Healthy Streets comments:

 

The entire Safe and Healthy Streets agenda item:

 
Video of the entire session of City Council is available on City of Glendale GTV6.

 

 

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