The Bike Skills Area and PROS Plan - What’s the Deal?
City staff recognizes that there may be confusion about the upcoming approval of the 2022 PROS Plan and the Bike Skills Area. We hope the information below helps provide clarity and context.
What is a PROS Plan?
A Parks, Recreation and Open Space (PROS) Plan is a six-year plan that anticipates the programming and capital projects necessary to meet the community’s needs for parks, recreation and open space, as well as trails, arts, and cultural events. This Plan is required to maintain the City’s eligibility for state grants, and allows the community and City staff to prioritize projects during the biennial budget process.
What about the Capital Facilities Plan (aka Master Capital Project List)?
The PROS Plan includes a document called the Capital Facilities Plan. This is just a fancy name for the long-term parks capital project list or the master project list. Staff endeavor to include all potential capital projects that may be considered over the next twenty years on this list. Mere inclusion on this list does not, however, signal that the project will be completed. In fact, many of the projects will not proceed due to competing priorities, limited resources, or for other reasons.
Projects included in the Capital Facilities Plan come from prior park master plans, staff recommendations and maintenance issues, anticipated asset replacement cycles, and community suggestions such as the outreach that just occurred as part of the PROS planning process.
The Bike Skills Area project was added to the Capital Facilities Plan as a potential project. At the time the Capital Facilities Plan was developed, the project assessment was in its infancy.
What does the PROS Plan say about the Bike Skills Area?
In the Fall of 2021, the decision was made to temporarily close the Bike Skills Area to address a number of concerns. These issues included repeated unauthorized expansion of the course, damage to soils and established vegetation, and construction of jumps that exceed park rules. It became clear to staff that addressing the current state of the Bike Skills Area was critical and the decision was made to temporarily close the facility and engage a consultant (Action Sports Design) to complete an assessment of the site.
At the time that the Capital Facilities Plan was developed, which was also in the Fall of 2021, the temporary closure had just occurred. A future potential project was included in the Capital Facilities Plan as a placeholder while the assessment work at the Bike Skills Area proceeded. The potential project is described in the Plan as “improve bike skills area at Upper Luther Burbank Park. Improvements limited to current footprint, final scope of work TBD.” The cost estimate for this project is listed as $215,000 in 2022. This estimate is a planning level cost-estimate.
Does Adoption of the PROS Plan mean that the Bikes Skills Area Improvement Project is approved?
The Bike Skills Area Improvement project is on a separate path from the PROS Plan. The project team is completing the assessment of the Bike Skills Area and will share that information with the Parks and Recreation Commission at an upcoming meeting. The meeting date has not yet been set.
Has the Bike Skills Area Capital Improvement Project been funded?
Funding for the actual improvements will require an appropriation from the City Council. The amount of the appropriation request will be based on a refined cost estimate developed during the design process.
How was the Bike Skills Area assessment funded?
Costs associated with the Bike Skills Area assessment and the recent restoration work are limited in scope and funded through existing capital budgets identified for small projects and capital reinvestment on park lands.
Will there be an opportunity to provide public input on the Bike Skills Area Assessment?
The Parks and Recreation Commission will take public testimony on the assessment before finalizing their recommendation to the City Council. The Commission meeting date will be shared on the Let’s Talk Page and through the City’s communications channels as soon as it is known.
What is the current status of the Bike Skills Area and the consultant report?
The Bike Skills Area remains closed while City staff await the completion of the consultant’s report. The final report has been delayed on the consultant’s side due to unexpected health reasons.
The final report will include recommendations to address the identified issues at the Bike Skills Area and a concept-level redesign of the bike area (incorporating feedback from the past two surveys). The report will also include a cost estimate for the construction of such improvements. As noted previously, this information will be presented to the Parks and Recreation Commission at a future meeting.
What work is currently happening at the Bike Skills Area?
City staff are working on some of the most immediate needs at the site. This includes flattening existing jumps to aid drainage and reduce pooling, re-grading the edges of the Bike Skills Area to ensure that undercut hillsides are stabilized, and replanting native shrubs and trees on slopes just outside of the course to reduce erosion.
The regrading and replanting work was identified early as an important priority to create a sustainable site for the Bike Skills Area. Native plantings are more successful if they are established during the ‘wet season’ and volunteers have been a big part in this planting work. Regrading and replanting is critical to reducing erosion and creating a safe park space.
This work was planned prior to engaging the consultant to perform the assessment, and would have taken place regardless of the status of the PROS Plan or any projects listed therein.
This project has concluded. Please see the New Bike Skills Area at Deane's Children's Park project page for the latest project information and to leave feedback on the proposed Bike Skills Area at Deane’s Children’s Park.