Neighborhood Councils Support Bike Park; Sapwi Trails and Puente Hills Update

20160224004-Encino Neighborhood Council

Last week, the Encino Neighborhood Council Parks Committee heard a presentation from Steve Messer of CORBA and DJ Cosgrove of the LA Bike Park Collective about our proposal for a bicycle skills park in the Sepulveda Basin.  The Parks committee raised some concerns in how our proposal might impact a proposed veterans memorial park for the same general area, so rather than support our specific proposal for Pedlow Field, they supported the concept of a bike skills park somewhere in Sepulveda Basin.

Late last year, the Lake Balboa Neighborhood Council gave a full endorsement to the proposal, asking “can we make this happen tomorrow?” The LBNC has already written a letter of support to the councilmember and the Rec and Parks department expressing their enthusiasm to see the project happen.

With the support of both local neighborhood councils, and public support in well over 2000 petition signatures (You can sign here if you haven’t already), including both online and locally sourced signatures, we are now in a good position to approach the Parks Department and City Councilmember Nury Martinez to formalize our proposal and begin the planning process.

We’ll keep you updated as things develop. When the time comes for public meetings, we’ll need to have a show of support: people turning up in person to meetings to ask for and demand a bike park facility for this unused patch of dirt in the Sepulveda Basin. A show of numbers is the strongest and most compelling argument that can be made to urge the parks department to move forward on our proposal.

 

Thousand Oaks

In 2012, when the City of Thousand Oaks was debating what to do with the Sapwi Trails Regional Park, for which they had spent considerable funds in developing an elaborate, but ultimately infeasible master plan, they reached out to the public. We rallied the local troops to show up in numbers. We filled a room with over 100 people asking for a bike park. After a series of subsequent meetings, the draft plan was begun, including the called-for bike park facilities.

We recently learned that the revised master plan for Sapwi Trails is still going forward with the bike skills park and trails included. The plan also calls for a model aircraft field, off-leash dog park, nature reserve areas and other amenties. It is scaled back from the original infeasible plan that was originally developed. The plan is currently undergoing an environmental review process under CEQA. The Conejo Rec and Parks Department expects to present the final plan to their Parks Commission later this year for approval. Construction could begin as soon as Fall 2017.

Puente Hills

The Puente Hills Landfill Park Master Plan has released their final draft. Included in that draft is a bike skills park to be developed on the Western Deck as a part of Phase One. Phase one will be the first to be constructed between 2017 and 2019. When that plan is presented before the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, CORBA will be there to speak up in support of the bike park and trail components of the plan, and we could use as many people as are willing to speak in support. That won’t be expected until later this year or early next year.

Los Angeles County Park Needs Assessment

Currently Los Angeles County is doing a County-Wide Park Needs Assessment. At each of the 172 planned meetings, the public are being asked what are the conditions of their current parks, what type of park facilities are missing (answer: Bike Parks!), and what they would like to see as additions or improvements to their local parks.

CORBA has attended a number of these meetings and consistently raised the question of Bike Park facilities. The more people who attend these meetings and ask for bike parks, the more likelihood there is that they will begin an earnest effort to provide bike parks throughout the County.

Other projects: 

We have other bike park proposals and projects in various stages of planning and development, but these are the most promising and important at this time. Our other proposals include Castaic Lake, which is being considered within the Castaic Area Trail Master Plan by Los Angeles County, the City of Glendale.

We are exploring other opportunities in other areas, and will continue to seek opportunities to bring more mountain biking opportunities to more areas around Los Angeles and Ventura County.

As a participating member of the Los Angeles Bike Park Collective, CORBA would like to see bike skills parks and pump tracks as common as Skateboard parks: at least one in each Council district, and one in each County district. There is certainly demand, but in many neighborhoods, residents have never seen or heard of bike skills parks, so they don’t know to ask for them. Once the word gets out, we’re confident that they will become increasingly common.

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