Bike track at local school leveled; district cites safety concerns

An areial photo of Elvira's grounds.

Sunnyside School District officials removed a bike track recently built on Elvira Elementary’s playground.

Sunnyside’s public relations representative Misti Nowak said the district had safety concerns about the track and the proper approval from the district administration wasn’t obtained.

She said it was an honest mistake on the part of school officials and the district hopes to create something that will benefit students and meet the district’s safety requirements.

“We were genuinely concerned with students’ safety while using that track along with the obvious liability,” Nowak said.

She said the district, school officials and the volunteers who worked on the project will meet in a few weeks to try to create a new track that the district administration, legal council and safety coordinator would approve.

“We really value the energy and excitement that these cycling groups have shown and all the time and effort that went into building this track,” Nowak said. “Trust me there were a lot of disappointed people. We don’t want to lose that momentum.”

Here is the districts official statement:

Elvira Elementary School and its community partners intended to provide a unique venue for teaching bicycle skills and encouraging physical activity by building a bike track for students.

However the track, which was built on school grounds without the knowledge or approval of district administration posed far too many risks to students safety.

It was leveled this morning.

Elvira Elementary School and the Sunnyside District  will meet with community cycling groups to explore other bicycle options for this space which are more in line with the district’s safety standards.

9 comments
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Jdfka
Jdfka

SHAME on Sunnyside. Kids do NOT need to constantly live in a bubble wrap world.

Jimg
Jimg

Tucson has very few places for a lot of these kids to hang out. On any given day we have 7 to 20 kids at my bike shop. Yep, you guessed it, just hanging out, staying out of trouble, playing video games and talking about riding. When the shop hosts a game of bike, a video premiere, game of kickball or a ride session we can always count on 60 to 75 kids. Tucson needs to create a BMX park that provides a safe environment and place for these kids to go. Chandler has one, Sierra Vista has one, Silver City has one, Tucson has nothing. Guess I'll start talking to the City Counsel members. Who knows, just maybe they'll realize that Tucson still has kids.

mlemen
mlemen

Bike parks are in the works, but it will take time to realize. The Kory Laos dirt BMX park, located in the Pima County Flowing Wells park on N Shannon at the south bank of the Rillito is a week or so from completion; the Barrio Trails dirt BMX park has several more months left before the tear down to improve Arroyo Chico starts; a huge park is in the very beginning stages of development/permit approval; there's interest in an additional park nearby on Aviation/Country Club - this one is no more than an idea at the moment. Things are happening at the pace they happen, despite the dedicated volunteers' efforts to speed things along.

JustLetEmRide
JustLetEmRide

Swerdna, How high do you need to go to get authorization for a project? If a principal approves anything on their own school grounds, do you need higher authority? If the Superintendent gave approval is that high enough? If the School Board said OK should they call the state legislature. Really, Pima County should have just called President Obama and asked his permission. Wait, don't forget to have both house and Senate approval.

Jimg
Jimg

And you wonder why Tucson is full of graffiti, crime, high school drop outs and violence amongst teens. Keep taking everything away and that’s what you get. When they having nothing positive to do, they’ll find something negative to takes its place.

Martha Retallick
Martha Retallick

Agreed. When I was a young pup, the local Boy Scout troop built a nature trail in the woods behind the neighborhood grade school. I supposed they got the required approvals from the school administration and the district, but I don't remember. What I do remember was that the nature trail was quite popular with all the kids in my neighborhood. Didn't matter if they were in the Scouts or not -- it was the place to go. And that Boy Scout troop was justifiably proud of the trail.

zz
zz

Well, that was back in the good ol' days. Too much of YA needs to be C'd now. It didn't have specifications, certified builder or an inspection or a ½ million dollar budget. Sorry kids, that one won't be back.

mlemen
mlemen

This is just a bump in the road we will get over. Because this is a new feature on any school, all of us are learning and creating the process as we go.

Red Star
Red Star

Good move, Sunnyside. There's a right way and wrong way to implement bikey things... subtext: the wrong way wastes time and resources.