Supporter pushes for bike park
Malcolm McCutcheon says Liberton is best location
By: Peter Boer
| Posted: Wednesday, Feb 06, 2013 06:00 am
The other locations
Administration surveyed and subsequently rejected the following sites for the bike skills park:
• Grosvenor Park
• Lacombe Lake Park
• Two sites at Kingswood Park
• Gravel pit in annexed lands
• Park at Morgan Crescent
•73 Forest Drive
• Environmental reserve at Riel Drive
• 145 Larose Drive
• Municipal reserve at Oak Vista Drive
• Municipal reserve at Park Avenue
• Park at Willoughby Drive
• Municipal reserve at Liberton Drive
• Municipal reserve at Deerbourne Drive
• Environmental reserve in Kingswood
• 176 Heritage Drive
• Park at 1 Sir Winston Churchill Drive
• Park at Alderwood Boulevard
One resident who was instrumental in bringing the concept for a mountain bike skills park to city council is hopeful councillors who oppose its location at Liberton Park will change their minds before the item returns for a vote in June.
It was Malcolm McCutcheon and a few friends who originally approached the city four years ago with a proposal to build a bike skills park in St. Albert. He said the Jan. 28 vote to postpone debate on building the park at Liberton until the end of June was disappointing.
“But we are looking forward to taking the time to give those members of council who weren’t fully supportive at the time to hopefully change their minds,” McCutcheon said.
Had Mayor Nolan Crouse not pushed the postponement motion through at the time, it appeared a majority of council would have voted down Liberton as a site, leaving the park with no place to build. McCutcheon said if that had happened, he wouldn’t have been sure what to do next.
“I assume it would have been along the lines of new locations again or going through the list, but personally I don’t know what would have happened. I assume re-assessing all the locations and deciding on different locations.”
Crouse’s postponement called on both councillors and administration to revisit the 34 alternate sites that had been examined. It also calls for councillors with questions to discuss them with staff, and for a new round of public consultation to take place with residents around Liberton Park.
McCutcheon said he was happy Crouse’s motion passed.
“I think it was a really good thing. It’s better to give a college try and make sure its what the council wants than see it shot down and not happen.”
Council had also been presented with the option of building it at Seven Hills, but rejected it due to the hill’s historical significance. Concerns about Liberton range from lack of parking and proximity to residential homes to simple appearances, something McCutcheon said shouldn’t be a concern.
“Just the placement of things esthetically, the goal is not to have mounds of dirt lying everywhere. It will be done in terms of the park being maintained.”
McCutcheon and other members are forming a club that, once incorporated, will start fundraising for the project and help maintain the park. He said enthusiasts like himself aren’t interested in causing trouble, only biking.
“All we do is bike. I know there are concerns about drug use and people swarming the hill, but the positives outweigh the negatives.”