The Vanier Park Dirt Jumps took another step towards reality on June 23, at a Park Board open house for anyone interested in previewing the proposed look for the facility, meeting the team responsible for the design of the jumps or offering feedback on the project. Chris Young spearheaded efforts to rally the BMX community to the project.
“One of the things I’ve been pushing all along is to make sure it’s good for the kids, it’s good for intermediate users, it’s good for everybody,” says Young.
The jumps are to be built on approximately one acre of an eight acre parcel of undeveloped, wooded land, directly east of the Museum of Vancouver, H.R. MacMillan Planetarium, and Maritime Museum.
Initially, there were misapprehensions regarding the possibility of X-Games style festivals, motocross bikes, and similar large disruptions to the community. However, Park Board landscape architect Ted Uhrich feels the new park is unlikely to negatively impact its surroundings. View Vanier Park Dirt Jumps in a larger map
“Concerns in the past were around parking provisions, but it being a bike park on two bike routes, we don’t expect a lot of cars. There was concern about noise, but it’s going to be four hundred meters from the nearest residence. Once that was explained I think it mitigated some of the concerns.”
Pat Armstrong was on hand for the September 2009 Park Board meeting which saw the proposal approved. She was back again, offering support to her son and all the dirt jumpers and BMX riders, who have been hoping to create an approved set of jumps somewhere in the city, after the unofficial track at Oak and 37th Ave was flattened for sports fields.
“The consultation process seems to have galvanized a lot of young people who maybe weren’t particularly involved in the political process and Park Board issues before. It made them aware that their voices can be heard, which I think is wonderful.”