Saturday, July 4, 2020

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Moab, UT

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Moab
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    Bike skills park moves forward

    City will name facility in memory of Robin Groff; opponents like plan, but not location

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    Plans to build a bicycle skills park at Mill Creek Parkway are moving forward with an eye on giving children a chance to practice in a safe environment before tackling one of the local mountain bike trails.

    The Mill Creek Parkway is the site of a bike skills park that will be built this year. Photo by Doug McMurdo

    Moab City Engineer Chuck Williams and Maddie Logowitz of the Grand County Division of Active Transportation and Trails offered an update to the city council last week.

    “It’s moving along quite well, I believe,” said Williams. Fully funded through grants, the location was chosen because the city owns the property near the existing bike trail.

    Logowitz said the hope is to give youth a chance to hone their technical skills. Most of them don’t have ready access to mountain biking, she said, and the skills park would be a place where parents and guardians could take the kids.

    A restroom will be constructed near the park. The giant cottonwoods in the immediate area would be preserved during the grading process that is required due to drainage issues.

    The council agreed to name the facility Robin Groff Memorial Park. He and his brother, Bill, pioneered mountain biking after opening Rim Cyclery in the early 1980s. Robin Groff died in 2019.

    While the goal is to have the park up and running by October, the plan is not without controversy.

    Logowitz pointed out this won’t be a jump park, as some worry, but a low-speed training park. Council Member Mike Duncan said Sara Melnicoff, who started Friends of the Mill Creek Parkway along with the city in 2004, worries the riparian area might be damaged. Others worry construction will remove trees.

    Council Member Rani Derasary said people want the parkway to be “calm and meditative, not loud and rowdy with a focus on family.” Logowitz reiterated that children having fun would be the only sound.

    Logowitz and Williams said most trees will remain, but some might have to be removed by the grader to facilitate drainage.

    The annual maintenance costs would run about $10,000, primarily for the restroom.

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