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Location of Brantford, Ont.’s proposed bike park meeting resistance: reports

Critics say that the bike park's location in Waterworks Park would pose a risk to the surrounding ecosystem

Image: Google Maps
Image: Google Maps

Since Brantford, Ont.’s new bike skills park was announced, its location—situated close to a meadow in Waterworks Park, occupying 2.5 of the park’s 220 acres—has been a cause for concern for local residents, the Brant Cycling Club told the Brantford Expositor.

But after listening to those concerns, club officials say, it’s hoped that a slight change will assuage some of them.

Specifically, the club has proposed shifting the bike park’s location to avoid encroaching too much on that meadow. “We’ve listened to the feedback provided through the public input sessions,” said Duncan Ross, the Brant Cycling Club’s president, “and addressed those concerns by moving the proposed area to the maintained grass area.” The club’s objective, Ross said, is to “provide the best bike park possible for the citizens of Brantford,” but to do so in a way that keeps the park’s recreational amenities relatively untouched.

“We are more than happy to be flexible,” Ross said. “At the end of the day, we simply want to provide the best bike park possible for the citizens of Brantford.”

The Park’s opponents, however—while not objecting to the idea of a bike-skills park in and of itself—remain unconvinced, saying that any location in Waterworks Park would have a potential negative impact on the local ecosystem. “We will not accept any change other than a complete relocation of the bike park,” said Bill LaSalle of the Brant Naturalists Association.

Coun. Richard Carpenter has a motion to review the appropriateness for the proposed bike park. Ross has said that if the councillor’s motion is passed, it could mean the end of the project.

Having retained the involvement of Hoots, Inc., a Vancouver-based park and trail-building company, the Club also received a $150,000 grant from Ontario’s Trillium Foundation to speed up its completion, with an additional $100,000 coming from the Rotary Club of Brantford—assuming that the present controversy over the park’s location can be resolved.

The park, Brantford city staff said, must be completed by Aug. 31, 2017.