City of Visalia and BMX enthusiasts agree – Visalia needs a bike track

They don’t know where, and they don’t know when, but BMX enthusiasts and Visalia agree the city needs a bike track.

On, Tuesday, April 16 at 6:00pm Vice Mayor Brett Taylor hosted a listening session with Council Member Wynn and City Manager Leslie Caviglia at the Visalia Convention Center.

“We encourage you to come with ideas, concepts, locations to review and pictures to help City staff better understand what you think might work best in Visalia. We appreciate your time and look forward to working with you!” the invitation read.

The meeting was organized in response to a groundswell of BMX enthusiasts protesting the city’s closing a surreptitious bike park on city land by Golden West High School.

James Karr, a bike park advocate, said that many participants spoke of how BMX changed their lives and the need for a track.

But the city had moved on, Karr said.

“They were ready to get feedback on what the track would look like and explore where the track should be built,” he said.

The city even entertained the idea of a temporary bike park while deciding where the permanent park should be built, he added.

“There are many options for bike facilities that could be built, but the group seemed to clearly focus on finding a new home for their biking community,” Taylor told the Valley Voice. “Several different ideas were brought up such as dirt jumps, BMX racing track, and pump tracks among other ideas.”

The meeting was held in the San Joaquin room where they set up 12 tables — almost every seat was taken, Karr said.

Caviglia passed the microphone from table to table so everyone who wanted to could speak.

Karr said the consensus among the participants was that the park be a dirt track with dirt jumps versus paved. He also suggested to the city that the park be about ten acres.

“The group discussed creating an inclusive area for all ages and abilities with the options to improve their skill level,” Taylor said.

“No location has been chosen but there are some potential spots,” Karr said.

He suggested during the meeting the lot across the street from the flea market on Mineral King because it is already zoned for a park.

“City staff are working on following up on locations that were recommended, and they will be presenting findings to the Park and Recreation Commission later this year,” Taylor said.

“At the end of the meeting Leslie handed out pads of paper and asked us to illustrate or describe what types of jumps we needed,” Karr said. “I was very happy with the outcome. The city is very willing to work with us and open to all our ideas.”

“We still have a lot of work to do but those in attendance were very positive and had some great suggestions,” Taylor said.

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