Posts Tagged ‘Glendale’

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:

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:

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

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.  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

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.


Glendale’s Newest Trail’s are Complete

Monday, May 6th, 2013
Glendale's new Catalina Verdugo Trail

Glendale’s new Catalina Verdugo Trail

When the City of Glendale updated its Trail Master Plan for the City’s open spaces in 2007 and 2008, CORBA volunteers worked closely with City staff to map out existing trails and to identify where new trails would make the most sense. The first two of those new trails have  just been completed.

The Catalina Verdugo Trail loops around the Glendale Sports Complex at the end of  The northern trailhead is next to the Maintenance yard facility. The Southern end of the trail is behind the soccer fields, and comprises a series of switchbacks. Glendale has many difficult and steep trails like those at Brand and Deukmejian Parks, so City officials wanted this to be an easy trail for all levels of trail users to enjoy. The trail is open to hikers and mountain bikes only. The trail joins an existing fire road, from which there is access to Ridge Motorway, a lightly used fire road in the San Rafael hills.  From there it is possible to ride or hike all the way to the trail system at Cherry Canyon.

As with all newly constructed or recently re-built trails, it currently looks quite wide and raw. Over the coming months as the trail beds in it will naturally narrow down and brush will grow in along the trail.  It will be a beautiful, meandering trail through the Chaparral.  There is some steep slopeside exposure in a few sections, but overall it is a non-technical trail suitable for fit beginners and more experienced riders alike. Watch for poison oak along the trail, mostly on the north-facing slopes.

Mountain Do Trail exercise station photo by Robin McGuire

Mountain Do Trail exercise station

The second trail, and also a part of the Sports Complex trails,  is called the Mountain Do Trail. This is a wheelchair accessible, natural surface path, complete with a range of outdoor exercise stations, benches and tables. The Mountain Do Trail wraps around the soccer fields at the Southern end of the Sports Complex. Within the next month, signs and  interpetive panels with information on Flora, Fauna and local history will be added to both trails, making them a great educational resource as well. The Sports Complex is open from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 pm and the gates are locked, so access to the trail is restricted outside those times.

The City is planning a formal opening ceremony on June 1st, National Trails Day, but the trails are now ready for use. These trails were expertly designed and constructed by Bellfree Contractors, in accordance with the City of Glendale Trails Master plan. For more information, a map and more photos visit BellFree Contractors’ web site.

City of Glendale Trail Safety Patrol Program

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

The City of Glendale is looking to get more eyes and ears on its trails through the new Trail Safety Patrol program. The program will be similar to the volunteer patrols conducted by the Mountain Bike Unit (MBU) in the Santa Monica Mountains and elsewhere, except they are looking to enlist volunteers from both the hiking and mountain biking communities.  News about the program emerged recently through a story on the L.A. Times blog.

Mountain bike patrol applicants will be required to attend CORBA’s free skills clinic, while hikers must be able to hike Brand Motorway in under 2.5 hours. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, in good physical health with a letter from a physician indicating you are capable of participating in the program. A background check and registration as an official City of Glendale volunteer will also be required.

A more complete description of the roles and responsibilities of the Trail Safety Patrol program can be found on the City of Glendale’s website at:

We encourage anyone who is already riding the Verdugo mountains on a regular basis to consider joining the program. You’ll be helping keep the trails safer for everyone, and will be good will ambassadors of the mountain biking community as a whole.

The Trail Safety program is being developed by the City’s Community Services and Parks department. Volunteer training is expected to get underway in August.  If you’d like to be notified when the program is ready to accept applications, please email Marc Stirdivant at and the City’s Volunteer Coordinator, Iris Hidalgo, at  Include your name, address, phone number, summary of your experience as a hiker or mountain bikers, and why you’d like to be a member of the patrol. Volunteer patrollers will be expected to spend a minimum of four hours per month on patrol. If you’re already riding the Verdugo mountains regularly, it will be easy to meet the requirements.

Glendale Bike Skills Park – Show Your Support!

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Glendale needs a Bike Skills Park. Southern California needs a Bike Skills Park. Sign our petition and let the City of Glendale know!

Italian Bike Park showing Wooden and Dirt features

Bike Park showing Wooden and Dirt features (Italy)

Bike Skills Parks are a dedicated area for bicycles and include features like a pump track, progressive tabletop jumps, balance training features, XC short tracks, and much more. They can include dirt features, man-made (cut) wooden features, natural wooden features, and rock features. They are becoming more and more popular as people realize the skill-building fun and health-promoting exercise they provide.

A great example is the Woodward West Bike Park in Fresno. The City of Fresno, local mountain bike advocacy groups and the community came together to make this park a reality. We would like to see that model emulated here in Glendale.

In 2007 and 2008, the CORBA trail crew assisted the City of Glendale in developing their Trails Master Plan. In that plan are several desired new trail corridors in the Verdugos, San Rafael Hills and the foothills of Mt. Lukens. The biggest and most significant addition to the Trails Master Plan is a Bike Skills Park.

In Glendale’s Citywide Trails Master Plan for the San Rafael Hills (available as a PDF here), a bike skills park location is identified as “A” on the San Rafael map. Subsequent to the City’s adoption of the Trails Master Plan, CORBA volunteers worked with the City to identify the most suitable location.

With City Parks staff, we identified what we believe is an ideal location for a Bike Skills Park project. There is access from existing park facilities, and it could easily be tied in to the trail network of Cherry Canyon and the San Rafael Hills.  There are no nearby neighbors to disturb, and the location is surrounded by open space to the east and the 2 freeway on the western side. The land itself consists of debris fill from the construction of the 2 freeway.

Glendale will be revising its Bicycle Master Plan in 2011, and we want to see the Bike Skills Park included in that plan. As of this writing the public hearing dates for Glendale’s Bike Plan have not yet been set. When those hearings are held, we want to show how much demand and community support exists for a Bike Skills Park.

To demonstrate that need, we are gathering signatures on a petition. You can read and sign our petition online on If you prefer, you can print out a PDF version of our Petition and gather signatures from your friends, family and neighbors. If you choose the printed petition, please snail mail, email or fax the petition sheets back to us as they are filled.