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Bike track, skills park coming this summer to Saanich’s Tripp Station

Plans underway since 2015 coming to fruition, construction will take up to 12 weeks
High Voltage, design option C for the new Tripp Station Youth Park, includes a pump track, a sizeable jump area and a picnic space. (Concept plans courtesy the District of Saanich)

The construction of a bike facility at Tripp Station Youth Park is underway, after much deliberation over the past few years.

In December 2015, a youth development strategy and implementation plan was approved by council and called for the completion of a youth park in Saanich by 2019.

Construction is expected to take approximately eight to 12 weeks – completion is projected for the beginning of summer – and will see an asphalt pump track, dirt jumps and a skills trail created on the one-acre site at the edge of BC Hydro’s George Tripp Substation.

Additional park improvements include a gravel pathway from Lochside Drive connecting to Borden Street, park furniture, bike racks, a water fountain, signs and space for a portable toilet.

“This was a parks initiative and there were delays because we had some other priorities, but I’d like to see if we can get some more of them going,” said Mayor Fred Haynes. “I really thank all those who dedicated a lot of time and attention to make sure we were able to step forward on this initiative – especially parks staff, they really delivered.”

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Over the last few years the substation has received $47 million in upgrades, but the property at the north end was not being used for hydro purposes. The District of Saanich was granted permission by BC Hydro to use the site for building the youth park and the license of occupation is renewable on a five-year basis.

A survey receiving roughly 375 responses in May 2021 saw about 70 per cent of respondents say they were interested in the pump track, while the skills loop made 64.95 per cent of respondents’ lists, followed by the bike jumps (60.6 per cent).

That same survey showed that respondents were least interested in a proposed bike-share program with 177 votes confirming non-interest in the concept.

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