Councillors! BMX track needed, south

David says @ https://dunedinstadium.wordpress.com/2009/09/11/city-parking-issues-not-abating/#comment-8931

“A BMX track is needed out south. Kids in St Clair have to cycle a 28km return trip through the centre of the city if they want to go to Forrester Park BMX track. Not a particularly appropriate commute for kids on bikes. Otematata has a population of just 200 and they have one.

“They’re cheap to build, and there’s a perfect unused piece of council land opposite Forbury Park, below Little Kettle Park beside the tennis courts. It even has a natural start ramp.

“We’ve got Marlow Park for little kids who are learning to ride, and there’s Signal Hill and Forrester / Bethunes / Mt Cargill tracks for experts, but there’s not much for most children in the 5-15 age group.

“NZ recently had 220 riders compete overseas in the age groups BMX world champs (what other overseas world champs would get 220 Kiwis competing?) and we currently have several world champs, including in age groups 5-6 years old, 12 years old, and of course Sarah Walker.

“Unfortunately for many Dunedin kids, a 28km cross town ride or commute means this highly popular sport that NZ is very good at, is not available to them. They have the bikes – they just need some mounds of dirt to ride on.”

****

### Vorb Sun 26th Jul 2009 8:22am
Sarah Walker Wins Uci Bmx World Championship Title
By Melissa_Theuriau
Sarah Walker, who turned 21 this month, definitely came of age when she claimed the UCI BMW World Championship in Adelaide last night. Walker totally dominated the opposition, winning all three qualifying motos, her semifinal and the final in a brilliant display to complete her set of world championship medals.
Read more

### TVNZ News 10:01AM Saturday August 22, 2009
Walker tops World Supercross qualifiers
Source: ONE Sport
BMX world champion Sarah Walker has topped qualifiers at the second round of the UCI World Supercross in South Africa on Saturday.
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sarahwalker96

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

8 Comments

Filed under Design, Economics, Events, Fun, Inspiration, Site, Sport, Town planning

8 responses to “Councillors! BMX track needed, south

  1. David

    The more kids we can get into sport the better. Not everyone is into team sports, which are reasonably well catered for.

    A friend who is a cop in Melbourne had some recent stats from the West Melbourne youth court – of 501 young offenders, just three played regular sport. What does that tell us?

    Hence the saying for kids “sport or court” (it’s even on billboards across Aus).

    So I reckon facilities like BMX tracks have wider benefits for the whole community, as well as being a fantastic place away from traffic for children to ride and improve their skills.

    How about it DCC ? – a fantastic and much needed facility, at a low cost, and you have the land available.

    Simple – lets do it.

  2. Phil

    If memory serves me correctly, and it was come years ago now that I had the conversation, the GIS boffins within the DCC hold current census data in GIS map format. Not down to the detailed information for each house, but a summary of information for each city block. Numbers of people, ages, genders, that sort of thing. Working with that, it should be an absolute breeze for their computer to spit out a map showing exactly where different community facilities should be located in order to maximise their use. I can bet that not a lot of skateboarders live on Port Otago owned land.

  3. Richard

    A good idea – worth seriously investigating.

    I have a vague recollection from some years back, that the BMX club raised this possibility. Or I might be confusing it with a skateboard ramp.

    Certainly before the sandhills at the western end of Kettle Park were flattened, kids (me included)used to ride their bikes through them and the belt of tress opposite Forbury Park (pre-BMX days, of course) so the “activity” would not be exactly new to the area.

    Could be done quite easily and David’s idea of (perhaps) utilising the diggers currently used for remedial/protection work on the beach is worth looking at. Doug Hall is a very practical operator!

    The work may need a resource consent, it may not as it is already a reserve. Then there is the question, of course, as to what is to happen to this area given the extent of coastal remedial work that may be required on the beach or not. Shifting some dirt around to provide a BMX course or track should not, however, interfere with that even if it would be temporary.

    Those things aside, this is the sort of thing we should find reasons to do if there is good support for it.

    With the acquisition of Carisbrook and the possibilities that offers for relocating some organised sporting activities etc (I am, as you all know of the view that it should remain a sports ground), there is the opportunity in to change the use of other open spaces on “the flat” (or develop new ones). That will need a lot of this sort of thinking or “brainstorming”.

    I suggest that David and any others interested come to the next Public Forum on Wednesday 2 December and speak with councillors.

  4. Elizabeth

    Comments that first appeared at City parking issues NOT ABATED have been copied here for ease of reference:

    David
    Submitted on 2009/11/03 at 11:37pm

    Richard – while you’re asking for ideas, a BMX track is needed out south. Kids in St Clair have to cycle a 28km return trip through the centre of the city if they want to go to Forrester Park BMX track. Not a particularly appropriate commute for kids on bikes. Otematata has a population of just 200 and they have one.

    They’re cheap to build, and there’s a perfect unused piece of council land opposite Forbury Park, below Little Kettle Park beside the tennis courts. It even has a natural start ramp.

    We’ve got Marlow Park for little kids who are learning to ride, and there’s Signal Hill and Forrester / Bethunes / Mt Cargill tracks for experts, but there’s not much for most children in the 5-15 age group.

    NZ recently had 220 riders compete overseas in the age groups BMX world champs (what other overseas world champs would get 220 Kiwis competing?) and we currently have several world champs, including in age groups 5-6 years old, 12 years old, and of course Sarah Walker.

    Unfortunately for many Dunedin kids, a 28km cross town ride or commute means this highly popular sport that NZ is very good at, is not available to them. They have the bikes – they just need some mounds of dirt to ride on.

    ****

    Elizabeth
    Submitted on 2009/11/04 at 12:07am

    David – the BMX track you’re suggesting would get untold use and heaps of community support – it’s something “DCC+Community” could do immediately. Are there any reasons why not at DCC, Richard? This should go to the next public forum with pre-forum in-house lobbying. What would it cost, surely it would attract volunteer help and donated resources – wouldn’t cost DCC much. If DCC can say yes to groups wanting to set up community gardens, then yes to a BMX track too?

    ****

    David
    Submitted on 2009/11/04 at 12:40am

    The diggers already seem to spend a lot of time parked up around Middle Beach by the tennis courts – less than 100m away.

    All that needs to be done is mould piles of clay into the right shaped mounds at the right distance apart, and hey presto – we have a BMX track.

    Good planning with correct surface falls should avoid expensive drainage (the sandy soil there drains pretty well anyway – Little Kettle Park is a lot drier than most sports grounds after rain).

    I’d happily put some voluntary time in.

    ****

    Phil
    Submitted on 2009/11/04 at 12:50am

    Good points regarding the BMX track. We have some excellent facilities in the city, but they fall down on locations that are not suitable for the demographic. The skateboard park behind the railway station. Looks brilliant. Well thought out with jumps and ramps and stuff. But probably two thirds of skateboarders in the city would be aged under 13. I’ve got a big grown up boy these days, but when he was an 11 year old skateboard nutter, there’s no way I would have allowed him to make his own way across town, through the biggest commercial traffic areas. The only alternative for him would have been for me to take him there myself. Which immediately limited the time that he could use it. And he’s in the prime user group.

    Ditto for the BMX track at Forrester Park. Looks a top facility. But completely out of reach for 75% of the prime users who don’t have access to a car.

    Having Moana Pool off the beaten track is ok. There is a good safe bus service almost to the door, and you don’t need to clamber on board the bus with a bicycle under your wing.

    If there’s a shortfall in the design of community assets, it’s often not giving enough consideration to the location of the prime users. And the limitations of those users in accessing the facility. Part of the reason why the Edgar Centre works so well is that it is easily accessible by kids, who probably account for 75% of the through traffic.

    Stick a skate park or a BMX track into the main residential areas and you’ll be fighting them off with a stick. And more likely to encourage organised clubs to form and grow at such sites.

  5. David

    A quick chat about a BMX track with a few parents at the South Zone school sports day today, has met with an overwhelmingly positive response.

    “brilliant”, “excellent idea”, “just what we need”, were typical comments.

    The kids absolutely love Forrester Park but no one I talked to gets there very often. Kids can’t go there by themselves, and a 28km return cross-town drive doesn’t fit into busy schedules very often.

    As someone pointed out, you’d be able to go to a St Clair BMX track, give the kids a half hour ride, and be home again in less time than just the return drive to Forrester Park (usually takes 40-50min return from Kew).

  6. Richard

    I have run a quick check with DCC staff since my original post (above) and yes, the area is within the Ocean Beach Domain area and thus governed by its reserve management plan.

    Outside of funding – and that’s where assessing and determining priorities apply, e.g. this against (say) the safety fence at Lawyer’s Head, I personally do not see getting approval as being a problem if there is real interest and support for your idea.

    And I am certain some – if not all – funding could be sourced from outside council given that what you are suggesting is obviously smaller and not as elaborate as Forrester.

    As someone has observed, “shifting piles of dirt” is really what it would be about.

    So hopefully you can ‘gather the troops’ and make your case at the Public Forum – that is what it is for.

  7. kate

    Chris Arbuckle and some other cycling gurus are working on a cycling plan as users for Dunedin – I am meeting with him next week about other issues – he works for MAF – and will raise it with him – but my understanding is that if you call it a BMX track it has to meet certain standards, if you just call it a track – then it is not so difficult to do – subject of course to land ownership issues

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