The Army Corps of Engineers, originally thought to be opposing the BMX park’s reconstruction, is in fact not against rebuilding it. The park is being bulldozed to accommodate a drainage basin being built where the current park is located.
They caution, however, that no federal funds can be used to rebuild it and that the park can not affect how the water flows in and out of the basins.
A resident in the neighborhood was told by an Army Corps of Engineers official that there would not be a BMX park built in any of the retention basins.
Suzanne Shields, the Pima County project manager, said the BMX park is not in any of the Corps plans because it will be given to Pima County once the basins are completed.
“The BMX park is a local issue,” Shields said. “It is not in the federal mandate to build a BMX park.”
She said they would work with the county’s parks and recreation department to rebuild the trails, but cautioned that the park may not have jumps as big as what is out there today because some of the jumps looked “pretty scary.”
Shields suggested representatives from Barrio Trails start meeting on a regular basis with her and the parks and recreation department.
Barrio Trails creator Rocky Serna said he was glad to hear that rebuilding the park wasn’t off the table.
“I was very nervous,” Serna said. “I thought they weren’t going to let us do anything. It would have broken my heart. We spent so much time and so much energy.”
Martha Lemen, chair of the Tucson-Pima County Bicycle Advisory mountain bike and BMX subcommittees, said she was happy to hear that the county was willing to work with them on rebuilding the park. She also said many of the park’s features that look dangerous aren’t and a little education can go a long way.
“I feel it is an education thing,” she said. “Tucson doesn’t know bike parks. It is part of a long term process to illustrate this is what is going on, these are the safety measures in place, this is what is happening in in other parts of the world. Tucson needs to catch up.”
More coverage of Barrio Trails here.