Judd de Vall fielded questions for the community as to the concept plans for the Sooke Bike Skills Park at a meeting held on June 26. Below

Judd de Vall fielded questions for the community as to the concept plans for the Sooke Bike Skills Park at a meeting held on June 26. Below

Residents speak out on bike park

An informational open house was held on June 26 to give Sooke residents the opportunity to speak out about the bike park.

Pirjo Raits

Sooke News Mirror

The Sooke Community Hall appeared to be fairly equally split between those for and those against a proposed Bike Skills Park on a slope at John Phillips Memorial Park. An informational open house was held on June 26 to give residents the opportunity to speak out about what they thought of the proposal. About 75 people attended the meeting.

Judd de Vall, representing Alpine Bike Parks, was on hand to explain the plans and answer questions where he could. He showed videos of other bike parks so the assembled would have some visual idea of what the proposed park would look like and how it would be used.

The park will have medium to large flow trails, cross-country and multi-use trails ranging from easy to difficult as well as a variety of terrains with drops, table tops, berms, hips and other features,

The district paid $3,600 for the concept plans.

When asked what would be in there, de Vall answered by saying they had not yet placed features on the trail.

“This is the beginning of a dialogue. We want to know what you think is appropriate or what is not appropriate,” said de Vall.

He was unable to give an idea of how much the park would cost. Alpine was just doing the concept designs at the start of the process and an economic and feasibility study was part of this. He said there is gas tax money which might be available for park funding.

“The problem is, this sounds like it’s a done deal and I resent it,” said one resident. “A bike skills park is a phenomenal idea but not in that park.”

Reference was made to a 2006 Parks and Trails Master Plan, but what is being proposed now was not in the 2006 plan. The 2006 plan called for walking trails which would be handicapped accessible and primarily for pedestrians.

Issues of protection of riparian areas and trees were voiced.

On the pro side, it was stated that biking was a “phenomenal activity for youth and the pump tracks were the most important part.” The location was central which would be easy to reach even at a young age.

Most people were not against a bike park for kids; they had issues with the location.

One person said they would appreciate if the proponents “would stop playing the kid card” and there were other concerns such as taxes, infrastructure, sidewalks, etc. all through Sooke. Parking concerns, use at all hours, noise levels and the importance of supervision were all brought up by various Sooke citizens.

Promotion of fitness and the historical opposition to the boardwalk, Galloping Goose trail, skateboard park, etc. was mentioned. Creating safe spaces for kids was important as not all kids could afford organized sports.

“The key is it has to be a community project,” said de Vall.

Others reiterated that the bike park was in the wrong place and areas such as Harbourview and the Galloping Goose should be utilized and use encouraged as well at the old bike park by SEAPARC. A suggestion of a multi-use trail encircling the entire JPMP was brought up.

Lorna Barry said John Phillips Memorial Park was the last piece of property in the centre of town and it was “our Beacon Hill Park.” She questioned who would be liable if someone was injured and who was going to pay to maintain the park.

District planner Gerard LeBlanc said no decision has been made, and only general discussions on the park and the location have been carried out.

He said generally there would be some funding from taxpayer dollars, but the majority of funds would come from grants obtained by the bike club. He said the park was at the first stage, the first concept and they don’t even know if it’s been costed out.

One gentleman said that without supervision at the bike skills park, the insurance and maintenance would “go through the roof.”

Exercise, activities for youth and adults, fitness, increased tourism and getting outdoors were all brought up as reasons to build the bike park.

John Phillips Memorial Park is seven hectares in size and the bike park would take up 1.7 hectares.

Feedback can be sent to the District of Sooke at: http://www.sooke.ca/EN/main/government/devservices/parks/projects.html#BikeSkills

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This male Dungeness can safely be harvested after passing muster. An official with Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it is not clear how well locals on the Saanich Peninsula are complying with crabbing regulations, but her comments suggest that any problems might be of a minor nature. (Department of Fisheries and Oceans/Submitted)
Sidney and Sooke record 57 crabbing violations in 2020

While recreational crab fishery has ‘compliance issues,’ no evidence of ‘large scale poaching’

Police seek information after a pedestrian was hit in a crosswalk at the intersection of Goldstream Avenue and Veterans Memorial Parkway on March 3.(Google Maps)
Witnesses sought in Langford pedestrian hit and run

Suspect is older man driving four-door, gold sedan

The University of Victoria has said some of its students were impacted by an off-campus exposure to COVID-19 last weekend. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria students impacted by off-campus COVID-19 exposure

UVic has not specified where the exposure occurred

Const. Mat Jones of the CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit joined a team of Saanich police officers and ICBC representatives cracking down on distracted driving at the McKenzie/Quadra intersection in Saanich on March 3. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
‘Leave the phone alone’: 40 distracted driving tickets issued in two hours at Saanich intersection

Saanich police, CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit crackdown on drivers’ cell-phone use

Cleanup happens after an overnight flood Monday damaged areas of the Oaklands Community Centre. (Facebook/Oaklands Community Association)
Greater Victorians offer flood of support to Oaklands Community Centre

Blown hot water tank Monday night leaves staff cleaning up soggy mess

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforcement, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

Most Read