Parks Foundation Calgary is paving the way for more pump tracks in the city.
A course with two distinct routes is planned for the community of Inglewood, right by the Bow River pathway.
A pump track has banked turns, rollers (small hills) and other features so that riders can gain momentum by "pumping" their bodies on down slopes instead of relying on pedaling.
Engagement is closing soon on the Inglewood project and construction is expected to begin this summer. Riders could be rolling through the track this fall, or sooner, depending on weather conditions throughout the construction season.
Since opening the South Glenmore track, Parks Foundation CEO Sheila Taylor says they've fielded calls from Calgarians asking for more tracks in the city.
"We want to create amenities that can stand the test of time and really be enjoyed by Calgarians," Taylor said. "So it's an exciting time."
The design in Inglewood will take some of the lessons learned from the South Glenmore project, adding seating and fencing along with a track for beginners, to make the course more accessible for little ones.
Pump tracks have become more mainstream over the past couple of decades. Initially designed for BMXers, the user groups have expanded to include virtually any wheeled mode. And, Taylor says, they are relatively inexpensive to maintain.
"That's one of the reasons it is an asphalt track. So sometimes when you really are thoughtful and invest on the front end of a project, that's how you can ensure that you are having a very sustainable maintenance situation over over the long term."
Money for this project will come from fundraising through the foundation and provincial stimulus money. But the project must be completed this year to take advantage of those funds. Taylor says up to $900,000 is budgeted for the build.
The community association is pumped about the amenity, but Naomi Withers says the engagement hasn't been smooth.
The association was brought on with details back in January. At that time, there were multiple proposed sites, Withers says.
Residents want to know why the site, near Seventh Avenue and 20th Street S.E. was chosen before engagement was launched.
"We just want to make sure that it's put in the best location that services Inglewood residents and Calgarians," Withers said. "But also addresses things like maintaining green space, providing adequate parking and understanding crowding in what was a very quiet residential area."
Easy access to river pathway
Taylor expects because of where the track is located, so near the city's pathway system, people will hop on their bikes to get there.
The city's parks manager, Nico Bernard, says this park design is a launching point, and indicated there may be more to come for parking and other uses on the plot of land once the pump track is complete.
"There's lots of options that people can get there and they don't need to park on the site," Bernard said. "Having said that, there would be a longer-term design or development process for this park."