Lantzville council approves bike park construction

NANAIMO – Lantzville council approves the construction of a 2,000-square-metre bike park in upper Lantzville.

A mixed-use bike park project in Lantzville is one step closer to becoming a reality.

On Monday, District of Lantzville councillors approved the construction of a 2,000-square-metre bike circuit for all ages and experiences, with a pump track, log rails and jump lines at Rotary Park, as well as a small basketball court.

Coun. Dot Neary, who is also chairwoman of the district’s parks and recreation commission, said the bike park comes after a lot of the feedback from residents during the planning phase.

“It’s quite exciting,” Neary said.

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There was a bit of concern about the park’s paved surface, which includes a basketball hoop and is not fenced in.

Coun. Mark Swain said he wasn’t sure if the basketball court was a good use of the space.

“I understand they are trying to use the space but I struggle with that piece of it … I don’t want to see any further delays to this,” Swain said. “It needs to happen and we have to move ahead with it just the way it is. It would be nice to make better use of that basketball court.”

Meanwhile, Coun. Denise Haime said she was fine with the way it was, adding that improvements and upgrades to the park can always be made in the future.

“I would leave it the way it is,” Haime said. “You can always add a fence later if that is needed for the basketball court. I worry about the safety issue if you put a fence around the court so close to the pump track.”

Mark Perdue, land owner liaison for the Nanaimo Mountain Bike Club, said bike parks are “really valuable” for communities big and small.

“The really important thing they provide is access for young and beginner riders to get into the sport and that is a huge asset,” he said. “Young riders don’t have quite the range to get to other parts of town, so it means they can get to their local bike park and hone their skills.”

Perdue said the new bike park will be a great addition for Lantzville, which already has some ideal biking spots such as the Foothills.

“This is a nice segue for people in Lantzville who want to start riding and want to start riding locally,” he said.

The project is expected to be completed sometime this summer at a cost of $32,000.