Park City bicyclists crank up effort to eliminate ban at skate park
May 17, 2016
City Hall built the skate park at City Park for skateboarders and inline skaters.
But bicyclists have long wanted to be allowed inside the skate park, too. Bicycles are prohibited, leading to occasional efforts over the years to drop the ban. Another move to allow bicycles in the skate park is underway, but it is unclear whether Park City officials will change the long-standing policy of only allowing skateboarders and inline skaters.
A man named Nick Van Dine appeared at a spring meeting of the Park City Recreation Advisory Board, a City Hall panel with influence on municipal decisions regarding sports facilities like the skate park. Van Dine and the panel members engaged in a discussion about the possibility of allowing bicyclists, but no decision was made.
Van Dine covered a series of topics related to bicycles and the skate park, according to the minutes of the meeting. He said "historically bmx riders fade out of the sport during their teens, but it lays the ground work for a life time of sport," the minutes of the meeting say.
He acknowledged that bicyclists move faster than skateboarders but also said bicycles "have far more safety mechanisms to avoid collisions," according to the minutes. He suggested that brakes be required on bicycles that would use the skate park since a few bicyclists do not ride with brakes and that bicycles be required to have pedals and pegs made of plastic. The plastic would be used in an effort to cause less damage to the skate park surface than metal pedals and pegs.
Park City Councilman Tim Henney, who attended Recreation Advisory Board meetings on behalf of the elected officials at the time of the meeting, inquired about whether it would be a surprise to skateboarders and inline skaters should bicyclists be allowed. Van Dine replied that a "small group of users will likely be frustrated," the minutes say. Tate Shaw, the assistant recreation services manager for the municipal government, acknowledged during the meeting that bicyclists have used the skate park for years.
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Other topics that were discussed at the meeting include the possibility of a notable increase in skate park users if bicyclists are allowed, a concern about youngsters riding bicycles in the park, whether there would be respect between the different users and the capacity of the skate park. Ken Fisher, the recreation manager for Park City, meanwhile, mentioned officials have cultivated skateboarding through camps.
Bicyclists have for years occasionally ignored the prohibition at the skate park, riding into the bowl and halfpipe to perform stunts alongside the skateboarders and inline skaters. The Park City Police Department is sometimes called to the skate park by people unhappy with the bicyclists. Police officers typically order a bicyclist to leave the skate park and warn them not to return. Scooters and motorized scooters are also banned. Park City, though, operates a dirt jump park for bicyclists off Holiday Ranch Loop Road.
In an interview, Shaw said there is a potential safety concern should bicyclists be allowed in the skate park in addition to worries about bicycles damaging the facility.
"There are bicyclists that are in there multiple times per week," Shaw said.
Shaw said the Recreation Advisory Board could discuss the topic at a meeting in June. The panel could make a recommendation in June or July, he said. The Recreation Advisory Board most recently researched whether to allow bicycles in the skate park in 2010, he said.
Park City is conducting an online survey regarding the skate park, including whether it should be opened to other sorts of users. One of the key questions in the survey addresses the possibility of other users. Answers to the question include BMX bicycles, scooters and roller skates as well as no other categories of users. Another question inquires whether the skate park is "too crowded" for other users while officials also ask whether hours and days should be limited if other users are allowed in the skate park.
The survey is available at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/K5LDFM5 . Shaw said City Hall has received more than 150 responses.