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Find new home for bike skills park


  |  Posted: Saturday, Dec 07, 2013 06:00 am

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I have strong concerns about the proposed placement of a mountain bike skills park in Gloucester Park. In March of this year, Liberton-area residents successfully convinced city council that the mountain bike skills park does not belong in their residential neighbourhood.

How is the Gloucester Park site any different than the Liberton Park site? Many of the issues are the same, because Gloucester Park is also situated in a residential area. A mountain bike skills park in a residential neighbourhood brings the potential risks of increased noise, traffic, light pollution, parking problems, petty crime and vandalism. Furthermore, residents will lose the use of their local park, which they currently use for skiing, snowshoeing, soccer, playing, dog walking, etc.

The other site under consideration in Riel Business Park is a superior choice. It is adjacent to the Red Willow Trail system, allowing bike park users to safely ride to the site from many neighbourhoods in the city. It is close to other recreational areas such as picnic sites, playing fields and the BMX park. The washrooms proposed for the mountain bike skills site could be of benefit to users of other recreational sites in the area. Parking is available. Noise and light pollution would not affect any residential areas.

City administration has stated its preference for the Riel Park site, because this site will not disturb residents (as per the City Council Agenda Report, September 23, 2013, File No.7250). RCMP have stated that the Riel site would be easier to police.

No residential neighbourhood in St. Albert should be expected to bear the burdens and potential risks associated with the mountain bike skills park. I urge city council to remove the Gloucester Park site from consideration and place the mountain bike skills park where it belongs, in Riel Business Park.

Don Wilson, St. Albert


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