The BMX track at South Bear will be converted to a bicycle skills park.
City Council has voted to take two hundred thousand dollars out of a reserve fund to help pay for this.
Parks Planner Lindsey Juniper says there is no BMX club in Grande Prairie, so the current track is not being used as intended.
“What we’re looking at is what is called a bicycle skills park and these are facilities that are designed specifically for developing your skills to be able to ride on bridges, ladders, things that you might encounter when you went out to the west coast or the Wapiti Nordic Centre.”
He adds this would keep people safer by allowing them to learn confidence and skills while on a mountain bike.
“(It would) get kids building that level of confidence, getting adults and their children that level of confidence, that they feel that they (can say) ‘You know, lets go out west now, we’ve got some skills under out belt, lets go out there for a summer vacation; or, let’s go to Nitehawk.”
Juniper says once a bid to do the work comes in, there will be a consultation process.
“We would start that public consultation and engagement process in, probably, fall. So, once kids are back to school, we would go through that consultation process, put some designs together over the course of the winter and maybe have that final consultation process (after that).”
The new park would be ready for use in the summer of 2018.
Council has voted to take $200,000 out of reserve fund set up for recreational facilities to help pay for this. There will still be $2.2-million left in that reserve account.
A large delegation from the GP Wheelers Cycling Club spoke in favour of the change at Monday night’s Council meeting. Club representatives say this will get more people interested in cycling and enhance rider safety.