Oshawa to open new bike park this fall to replace unsanctioned ‘Greenland’ park

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Published August 5, 2021 at 8:41 pm

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The design/plan stage for a new City-built Bike Park in northwest Oshawa is nearing completion, with construction expected in about a month.

The Bike Park is a replacement for the unsanctioned ‘Greenland’ – a hand-made, large-scale course that featured jumps and dirt trails – that had been carved out of a forest near the Oshawa Airport by BMX and mountain bike enthusiasts.

The park was an open secret among riders for more than a decade before the City, citing concerns over safety, liability, and access for emergency vehicles, blocked access to it late last year.

But a widely circulated petition got sentiment moving in favour of the riders and Oshawa Council agreed this spring to build a new park, at an estimated cost of between $520,000 and $1.5 million.

The first phase of the project is expected to cost about $100,000, with maintenance, monitoring and repairs coming in at $50,000 per year.

Ward 4 Councillor Rick Kerr, whose motion on the council floor got the ball rolling on the project, said it had been a “joy” working with the cycling community and city staff on the bike park and is confident BMX riders and mountain bikers will be able to use it this fall.

Kerr said there was an archeological find – early pioneer, not indigenous – which delayed progress a bit and feedback on the first design that “necessitated some adjustment,” but he fully expects the park to be operational by October at the latest.

“That’s the goal,” he said. “September is hopeful but a little later is likely.”

Actual construction, he said, should only take about three weeks.

Riders can expect a range of cycling challenges from beginner to expert, he added, so parents can also bring younger riders as well as their more experienced brothers and sisters.

“The bike park will be great for riders of all ages and levels of experience, and it will be safely accessible via the new multi-use path being constructed along Thornton Road,” Kerr said.

The Bike Park is also expected to host a pump track, which is a circuit of banked turns and features designed to be ridden completely by riders ‘pumping’ – generating momentum by up and down body movements, instead of pedaling or pushing – through corners, loops, and down slopes.

The park will eventually expand to a full-scale Community Park, complete with sports fields, a splash pad, basketball court and site amenities. The design stage of this final phase will begin next year, with final approval in the hands of a future council.

Photo courtesy of change.org

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