Letters: Work together

Bike skills park issue still at front of local comments

The Bike Skills Park proposed by the Sooke Bike Club (SBC) has become a hotly debated issue. The neighbours surrounding the park feel strongly about protecting the green space adjoining their properties from any development. The SBC sees the park as the potential central hub of a community committed to the benefits of physical activity, especially biking.

To move forward, the two factions need to look for some common ground, rather than wasting time arguing. With effective communication and negotiation, John Philips Memorial Park is large enough to be both peaceful green space, and a gathering place for Sooke’s growing active community.

It seems the neighbours of JPMP see the proposed plan as a license to demolish the big, beautiful old trees in the park, and fill the space with gravel, dirt, and noisy, swearing kids. In fact, the current proposed plan works with the present shape of the park, using existing trees as framework for trails, and adding, rather than removing shrubbery as buffer for neighbours.

Of course the park won’t be as quiet as it is now. You’ll hear the sounds of children laughing, or yells of jubilation as someone nails a trick. As for nighttime activity, the park promises to be empty once it gets dark, if there are no lights installed.

Another concern voiced is the cost of maintenance. Downhill mountain bikers are a community who meet regularly for work parties to maintain the trails they ride. The adults and kids of SBC have a wealth of energy and expertise that could be put to effective use in caring for a bike park, keeping your tax dollars safe for other purposes.

Also, from the beginning, SBC never asked for money to create the park. They asked for a License of Occupation Agreement so they could apply for funding to build the park. The original idea was one of fundraising and applying for grants to build a Bike Skills Park.

As for the series of jumps at SEAPARC, they were built to give riders a temporary place to practice. Though designed by a professional, they were improperly built. The new coat of gravel, a poor surface for a bike jump, is functional in showing in bike tracks how few riders make it to the end of the jump lines.

We are lucky in Sooke to have world class downhill mountain biking trails at Harbourview. But these are trails for intermediate to advanced riders. The mayor’s solution of a slalom course for kids eight and under in JPMP will be perfect for the little kids. But where do they ride once they outgrow that track?

With compromises on both sides, there must be a solution that can work for everyone. Let’s stop spreading misinformation, be honest about our wants and needs. Let’s do what we can to honour each other, to build a Sooke that includes both peaceful greenspace, and room for biking to grow and inspire a more active, vibrant community.

Anthea Browne

Sooke

 

 

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

Just Posted

Greater Victoria thrift shop quietly closes two locations indefinitely

Society of St. Vincent de Paul shut down Sooke and Central Saanich storefronts

Sooke councillor pitches another way to improve transit

Coun. Jeff Bateman wants free passes for youth on local routes

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Greater Victoria

Thunderstorm may produce strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain, warns Environment Canada

Sooke couple that owned Sooke Harbour House given $4 million after lengthy court case

B.C. Supreme Court rules in favour of Frederique and Sinclair Philip

Local MP Elizabeth May likes aspects of throne speech, but questions execution

According to May nobody is as ‘reckless’ as BC’s John Horgan in dismissing snap election

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cops for Cancer: COVID-19 can’t stop Tour de Rock

‘having the chance to come back and ride this year means everything to me’

People ‘disgusted’ by COVID-19 election call, B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson speaks to municipal leaders from Victoria

Horgan blasts B.C. Greens for refusing youth overdose detention

Lack of support key to B.C. election call, NDP leader says

Most Read