Coun. Ned Taylor said the bike skills park responds to a demand that has gone unmet as evident by the illegal jumps that cyclists have been building in Haro Woods. Plans call for construction to start in 2020. (Submitted).

Saanich councillor says new bike skills park promises to improve recreational opportunities

Coun. Ned Taylor also said that Saanich may to have spend more than original budget of $167,000

Plans for a new bike skills park promise to improve recreational options, but could also come with a higher price tag than originally planned.

Coun. Ned Taylor, chair of Saanich’s parks, trails and recreation advisory committee, said the proposed facility responds to a demand that has gone unmet as evident by the illegal jumps that cyclists build in Haro Woods. Saanich has banned active bicycling – including mountain and BMX bicycling – in the municipality’s share of Haro Woods. The popular area in Saanich’s Cadboro Bay neighbourhood has been the site of several conflicts between cyclists and area residents.

The facility – which Taylor has described elsewhere as a crucial component of Saanich’s youth development strategy – will also help residents live healthier, more active lives.

“It says a lot about what we are willing to do to support recreational opportunities,” said Taylor.

RELATED: Saanich teams up with BC Hydro for bike park

He made those comments after Saanich announced it would lease a one-acre piece of land from BC Hydro for the development of a facility that may include elements such as bike skills, a pump park, parkour, skate, ropes course, zip line and bouldering. Saanich will lease the site, at the north end of the George Tripp Substation between Borden Street and Lochside Drive for $1, to be renewed every five years.

Taylor called the location “ideal” and said the value of the lease would allow Saanich to focus its resources on the facility itself.

Design details remain undetermined, but Taylor said plans call for construction to start in 2020, adding that he expects public engagement to start later in the summer, once staff have filled out details.

“With any new additions to our parks, we want to make sure that we hear from the public,” he said.

RELATED: Cycling advocate questions Saanich’s budget for bike park

Saanich’s 2019 budget includes $166,700 for the park and Taylor said it is possible that next year’s budget will need to allocate additional funding to the project.

Yvonne Mendel, vice-president of the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition and board member of the South Island Mountain Bike Society, had previously welcomed Saanich’s decision to include funding for such a facility in its 2019 budget, but also warned that it might not be enough.

“I’m a little bit concerned that it might not be enough,” she said. While this budget represents a “good start,” Namaimo’s “amazing” park “cost a lot more” than the current budget, she said.

Nanamio city council in 2016 approved $200,000 towards the Steve Smith Bike Park named in honour of the Nanaimo area resident who died in a motorcycling accident in 2016 after winning the 2013 downhill mountain bike racing world championship.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

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

Just Posted

Greater Victoria School District will rename George Jay Elementary

The board will develop a committee to choose a new name

Man with debilitating injuries from 2010 Saanich arrest will get new trial

A Court of Appeals Justice made the ruling on Monday in a Vancouver courtroom

Why one Langford teacher is giving his kidney to a stranger

‘You get butterflies in your stomach,’ says man who has had 12 reconstructive surgeries

Students protest UVic’s new divestment policy

Divest UVic calls policy to reduce carbon emissions by 45 per cent over next 10 years ‘greenwashing’

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Greater Victoria’s wanted list for the week of Jan. 28

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

POLL: Are you concerned about the coronavirus?

The coronavirus which has sparked concern around the globe has now arrived… Continue reading

‘Critically low’ caribou population prompts wolf cull in the Chilcotin

Itcha-Ilgachuz herd numbers down to 385, from 2,800 in 2003

RCMP to review fatal B.C. train derailment investigation after evidence points to ‘cover up’

The derailment, which occurred on Feb. 4, 2019, killed three men from Calgary

Family hopes Britain can get pregnant B.C. woman out of China’s coronavirus epicentre

Lauren Williams, who is about 35 weeks pregnant, has been stuck in Wuhan

Caregiver, society charged in death of developmentally disabled B.C. woman

The victim was not given the ‘necessities of life,’ police said

B.C. councillor runs afoul of Coastal GasLink protester

Northern pipeline not a Maple Ridge issue, insists Coun. Gordy Robson

Most Read