June 7th – Micro Bike Park Town Hall Summary
In attendance: 19 BMCA Members (including one representative from Bike Cochrane), 2 Bow Meadows Residents, 1 additional Bike Cochrane Representative
- Bike Skills Parks are free, fun, and safe place for people to learn, practice and hone their cycling skills. Bike skills parks contain a variety of natural and man-made features such as jumps, rocks, logs, pump tracks, ladder bridges, teeter totters, and a flow trails.
- The long-term plan is to have bike parks throughout the town to be designed and built to be used by cyclists of all ages and abilities. We hope that children will grow up with a lifelong love of cycling and physical activity and youth will be able to spend their time in a positive way.
- The micro skills park being proposed for Bow Meadows will target ages 8 – 12yrs
- It is intended for people to recreate while biking through the community
- Bike Cochrane will provide the funding and volunteer hours for construction of the bike park, amenities and maintenance
- Those interested in helping with the project if/when it moves forward must be members of Bike Cochrane (for insurance purposes)
- The bike park would support investing in our children
- Encourages risky play, confidence and independence in children
- Allows for increased recreation while moving through Cochrane on bike
- Jumps and other obstacles are being made by individuals/groups in the area showing an interest in developing bike skills
- An opportunity for Bow Meadows to be the first residential neighborhood in Cochrane with a bike park
- Parking: concerns expressed about increased traffic and parking in the two small lots along George Fox Trail and on GFT itself. Bike Cochrane stated that the intent is not for the bike park to be a destination but a place for people to recreate as they bike through the community. It would be up to the TOC to address parking issues.
- Safety: discussion regarding the steep cliff along the river adjacent to the proposed site. Bike Cochrane stated that they would design the park to deter individuals from going near the cliff. A berm would be used as necessary.
- User conflict: discussion about the many walking and exercise groups that use the parking lots and fields for programs. Those in attendance were interested in seeing a more detailed plan of the proposal that would address potential user conflicts and safety concerns.
- Aesthetics: inquiry about keeping current features of the area including grass/green space and large rocks that are already in place. Bike Cochrane discussed plans to include the large rock(s) in their layout. After the bike park was completed, they would reseed the area. Features such as picnic tables would be added.
- Increased garbage: Bike Cochrane would work with the TOC to install garbage and recycling receptacles near the park.
- Accessibility: The park would not be fenced or monitored. It would be open for public use.
Many individuals who were present at the meeting and/or engaged in the conversation online expressed support for the Micro Skills park in the Bow Meadows neighborhood IF the above concerns were addressed by Bike Cochrane and/or the Town of Cochrane. Others believe that the park would be best left untouched.
Below is further information provided by Bike Cochrane addressing some of the concerns raised.
Bike Cochrane conducted a parking lot survey in June 2023 to assess the parking as requested by the community. The parking lots were observed on Tuesday June 13 at 8pm, Thursday June 22 at 7pm, Wed June 28th at 8pm. The study showed:
- West parking lot – This lot is closest to the proposed micro skills park and was not heavily used on the observed dates and times.
- East Parking lot – This lot is heavily used by Cochrane Minor Soccer. The parking lot issues would not likely be exacerbated by the addition of a micro skills park. The West parking lot would be used by those using the bike park as it is closer to the proposed site.