Editorial: Putting the brakes on park demands

Proposed bike skills park has detractors and supporters

There have been a lot of letters to the editor about the proposed bike skills park. Most of them have been on only one side of the fence. There are the detractors and there are the supporters, and it doesn’t seem they can come together for the good of all.

The site proposed by Mayor Milne is already in place. It doesn’t flood anymore than the ball diamonds do and the site in John Phillips Memorial Park floods as well, although not at the higher reaches of the park. Water is an issue we have to contend with in Sooke. We live on the coast and it rains and sometimes it submerges portions of land. That’s a fact. Bicycles in soggy weather will tear up the ground, wherever they go.

For any one group to say they can afford to build and maintain a bike park is questionable. Great if they can, but they couldn’t come up with the funds for a project plan, the district paid for that. It is most likely the district will have to subsidize the park, so it is only reasonable council has the say in where it is to go. There is no parking at the JPMP site while there is at the SEAPARC site. There are concerns with supervision and safety. Parents should be with their younger children and teens are going to do what teens do no matter where they are. And if the bike club states they are going to supervise, then there shouldn’t be any safety concerns. After all, ball players are there most of the time as well and they’ve been safe.

The area around Sooke is full of trails and places, like the CRD park off Harbourview, where cyclists can go to hone their skill and enjoy the terrain. In fact, outside of town is where they choose to go once they bore of anything in town. And that’s the way it should be.  They can learn to ride in a smaller bike park where they are with skilled riders and their parents. Compromise is the name of this game and that is what each side needs to do.