Letters: Put BMX at SEAPARC

Bike club spokesman does not want skills park at SEAPARC

The Sooke Bike Club’s desired outcome from the meeting on September 23, is for SBC to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding, (MOU) with the District of Sooke.  The document could outline the scope of the project at John Phillips Park and the Sooke Bike Club’s involvement in it. It could include a generalized budget breakdown, a timeframe for a phased approach to construction, and methods by which the public could be engaged during the process, in order to identify their concerns so that we’ll have a bike skills playground that will be successful over the long term. With this MOU, the club can start identifying funding sources, construct a business plan and build relationships that will contribute to the quality and long term viability of this bike skills playground.

SEAPARC is not an appropriate venue for this kind of freely accessible, unsupervised activity. It is too isolated, meaning that we cannot have the safe, multi-age, multi-ability, tiered bike skills playground that we’ve proposed for our community.  SEAPARC is not an appropriate facility to invest in at this point because there are too many unknown variables.

The Sooke Bike Club is reticent to shift our focus to that venue for these reasons, but more importantly because we were originally engaged in order to move the John Phillips bike playground forward, and are committed to seeing the process through to the end.

The SEAPARC site is appropriate for supervised activity. It offers parking, change rooms, vending machines and bathrooms.  It can facilitate events. I personally think a BMX race track there would be ideal. The SEAPARC site can be controlled, as access is limited and this is something that BMX associations are looking for as a way to curb liability exposure and maintenance costs.

Council unanimously supported Mayor Milne’s initial motion to move forward at John Phillips. I feel their original decision was based on their instinct that this project would be good for Sooke. It is unfortunate that the first, positive decision was rescinded, as that opened the door for politics to take the project off the rails. There are hundreds of people within our community who support this project as proposed, and in the area specified. I know the project would be a success, and I hope we get the opportunity to prove it.

Lorien Arnold

Sooke Bike Club