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Bike park not a magnet for drugs and sexual misconduct

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  |  Posted: Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 06:00 am

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In response to the article “Bike park will be the ruin of St. Albert,” St. Albert Gazette, Jan. 12. First off, this article I’m sure raised the eyebrows of a lot of fellow readers due to the completely obscured view of what this bike park is about. It is merely an extension of the great variety of extracurricular activities available to residents of St. Albert, as well as non-residents whom we should be embracing as a way to expand our city and its diversity, not to be scared or threatened by “people of all walks of life.”

What does that even mean? It sounds like racism and/or a fear of being infiltrated by Edmontonians or, God forbid, people from Morinville!! If I’m not mistaken we have a very successful skate park where kids on bikes and skateboards can all hang out together and have fun, which is preventing them from doing exactly what the writer was worried about – “kids just hanging out, loitering and relieving themselves wherever they want.” This is not a problem at the skate park and wouldn’t be elsewhere.

When the park is built (who knows if it will even be at the Seven Hills site?) I highly doubt there will be half pipes and bridges built through the old schoolhouse and we will protect any landmarks or historical sites, which would simply require a little common sense. I feel the writer of the previous letter thought we were talking about building a clubhouse for a notorious motorcycle gang, not a few bike trails for kids. I doubt “drug dealers and people performing acts of sexual misconduct” are riding around on mountain bikes.

Unfortunately there are people who are obviously scared of “strange faces loitering downtown” and perhaps their own shadow. It would be a good idea for people to get out and use some of the many trails and local parks, before forming such a negative opinion, and see that none of these existing areas are contributing to a rise in crime or misconduct.

As for me, as a mountain bike rider and resident of St. Albert for 30 years, I believe this is a great idea and will be there to volunteer to help build the park as soon as possible.

Kevin Metcalfe, St. Albert


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