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Port Coquitlam's bike skills park looks pretty sad — should it be fixed or removed?

A $40,000 upgrade for the Shaughnessy Bike Park was removed from the 2024-2025 capital plan while council considers whether to fix it or get rid of it altogether.

An aging bike skills park in Port Coquitlam needs an upgrade and could be a destination for young riders from the Tri-Cities.

It could also be replaced with another amenity for people to use who live in the city's north east neighbourhood near the Coquitlam River.

Once popular with youngsters of all ages, the Shaughnessy Bike Park was considered a great amenity when it was constructed about 15 years ago.

Now, it's a sad place, with graffiti covering some of the equipment.

When it was constructed, volunteers helped contractors bring in dirt and logs to create a multi-level skills park with wooden bridges and hills with entry-level obstacles and technical features for beginner, intermediate and advanced riders.

But in recent years, the park has deteriorated and was slated for a $40,000 upgrade in the city's 2024-2025 capital plan, with design in 2024 and construction in 2025.

However, city councillors have decided to take a step back and review the idea before committing to funding.

Should the bike park be used for something else?

At Tuesday's (Dec. 13), meeting, council withdrew the project from its multi-year spending plan for more study to determine whether the park should be upgraded according to plan, replaced with another amenity or improved to make it a "destination park."

Some councillors suggested the land could be better used.

"I'm not sure how many people use this park," said Coun. Dean Washington, noting that it's in a prime location, close to where the city is putting in more homes.

"Is is this the best and highest use for this piece of land, I’d like to know if it is," Washington said.

Council was told that bike skills parks are popular with youth, especially if they are challenging and interesting enough to be a "destination park."

Coun. Darrell Penner also questioned the use of the park as a bike skills park and said he hadn't heard from any groups advocating for its use.

However, Coun. Steve Darling noted that the park is used by children and youth of all ages and needs to be repaired.

"Right now there are kids who use it, I’ve seen them use it," he said, "It's even used by little kids, it needs to be repaired, it needs to be fixed."

After removing the bike park upgrade, council subsequently passed a multi-year plan with an investment of $48.6 million for numerous projects to upgrade infrastructure and parks.

Mayor Brad West said there is lots of time within the funding window to study the bike park plan.

Meanwhile, the plan sets in motion numerous projects for next year, with money to pay for the upgrades coming from reserves, grants, accumulated surplus and developers' contributions.

Here's what's in Port Coquitlam's capital plan

In 2023, the city will undertake upgrades to Leigh Square and an extension of Donald pathway, set to begin in late March. The tendering process will be finalized in early in the new year.

Plans include an upgrade to Gates Park to create an $11.4-million sports hub after the province announced an investment of $6.7 million into the project on April 22.

A total of $25.8 million in capital improvements were approved for 2023, including:

  • $12.2 million for upgrades to Gates Park and other parks, sports fields and sport courts
  • $7.2 million for neighbourhood rehabilitation projects including paving, utilities, sidewalks and streetlighting upgrades
  • $722,000 for a Terry Fox sculpture and interactive exhibit at Port Coquitlam Community Centre
  • $710,000 for Cedar Creek culvert upgrades
  • $710,000 for sidewalks and pedestrian safety
  • $400,000 for lane paving
  • $185,000 to expand the Port Coquitlam cemetery
  • $160,000 for a washroom at Blakeburn Lagoons Park
  • $120,000 for traffic calming

Other 2023 expenditures include more Hydro box wraps, invasive species management and a facility condition assessment for Hyde Creek Recreation Centre.

In 2024, a total of $22.7 million in capital improvements are planned, including:

  • $10.4 million for neighbourhood rehabilitation projects, including pavement, water, sewer, drainage and streetlighting upgrades
  • $3 million for major utility improvements, including replacement of the Dominion Sanitary pump station, and upgrading the Cedar Drive Drainage pump station to provide increased flood and fish protection
  • $2.3 million for fleet replacement
  • $435,000 for sidewalk and pedestrian safety
  • $425,000 for network server storage and protection
  • $400,000 for lane paving
  • $325,000 to complete the digital development application system
  • $320,000 for playground upgrades
  • $100,000 for traffic calming