Steamboat Springs School Board Superintendent Brad Meeks with School Board President Robin Crossan attends Meeks’ first meeting Tuesday.

Photo by Scott Franz

Steamboat Springs School Board Superintendent Brad Meeks with School Board President Robin Crossan attends Meeks’ first meeting Tuesday.

Steamboat Springs School Board weighs easement

Planners of bicycle training track near Whistler Park want permission to access district property

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— “It’s been a busy couple of weeks,” Steamboat Springs’ new superintendent told School Board members Tuesday night at his first board meeting. “We’re busily getting ready for the start of the school year.”

During Brad Meeks’ first meeting as superintendent, the board outlined the district’s back to school schedule and discussed whether to grant planners of a proposed bicycle training track near Steamboat’s Whistler Park access to a dirt trail on district-owned land during the park’s construction phase.

Track planner Blair Seymour told the board the park was a “much needed component” of the town’s Bike Town USA initiative that would become a place for cyclists to learn basic skills needed to tackle Steamboat’s more challenging trails. She said the proposed project on Mount Werner Water District land would be a temporary park that would be kept up for three years.

“To have an environment like this to teach bikers basic skills is going to be positive,” she said.

Seymour said the track that would include a dirt course, jump lines and a pump track is in the conceptual phase. She said if the easement from the school district is approved, and the city’s Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services department signs off on it later this month, construction on the track could begin in fall.

But the project has drawn criticism from some residents who live near Whistler Park.

“This proposed bike park is not a good idea,” Meadow Lane resident Leslie Hannah told the board. “By granting them the use of your land you will directly impact at least 25 residences with dirt, dust, traffic and noise.”

She said the construction of the park also would bring unwanted traffic to her neighborhood.

After also hearing from trail designer Aryeh Copa, who spoke in support of the project, board members said it wasn’t their responsibility to decide whether the park should be constructed. Instead, they said their charge was to determine whether it was in the district’s best interest to grant the park’s planner’s permission to use a dirt path on their land while the park is constructed.

“The primary mission of this district is education, and this (easement request) is kind of an accidental thing we’ve stumbled on,” board member Brian Kelly said.

Board members cited the condition of the dirt trail trucks would use during the park’s construction, the potential inability for emergency vehicles to access the construction site and a potential increase of bike traffic on their land as concerns they will weigh as they make their decision.

The board is expected to vote on the easement request at a meeting next month.

Board retreat

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, Meeks told the board he would like to find out what their prioritized goals are for the district when they meet again next week for a two-day workshop. Meeks’ suggested discussion topics for the upcoming retreat include the district’s academic achievement, budget, use of technology and the possibility of conducting paperless board meetings.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

Jeff Kibler 2 years, 8 months ago

The emphasis of this article is Bike Town USA. It's hard to fathom that much more pertinent and important issues didn't receive the same attention and scrutiny as " ... a place that would become a place for cyclists to learn basic skills ..."

And, “To have an environment like this to teach bikers basic skills is going to be positive”

This was a school board meeting? I sincerely hope that much more serious issues were discussed the majority of the time. How about basic skills such as reading, writing and arithmetic?

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1999 2 years, 8 months ago

really?

they need a skills park? really? has this person been to the awesome pump track or the excellent BMX track or any of our other thousands of places to learn basic bike skills.

hey Blair!!! there is a pump track less than a mile away.

and it certainly is NOT a "much needed component of BTUSA."

good god.

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beentheredonethat 2 years, 8 months ago

A better place for a bike park would be on the street where this Blair Seymour lives. Are you kidding me? What a stupid idea to bring up at a school board meeting.

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Grey Schuhmacher 2 years, 8 months ago

Where exactly is the land that would be the easement? Where exactly would the track be? I know the Whistler Park area well & I'm trying to wrap my head around this...

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steamboatsconscience 2 years, 8 months ago

So now BSUSA feels so entitled that they want to use the land we taxpayers have footed the bill for? And for nothing? Didn't hear any $$ figures thrown out there. And does anyone think the bikers will only use the existing trail and not create their own trails (because we can!!). How about liability when someone gets hurt on the property? I assume the Board will blow these people off, and I feel sorry for the folks living there. Biketown usa, I think not..... http://www.thestreet.com/story/11190564/1/10-best-us-bike-cities-of-2011.html?CM_VEN=AD|TWR|JC

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valerie jarvis 2 years, 8 months ago

The school board gives it's decision tommorrow night in regards to the proposed bike skill park at Whistler park. I wonder if they are aware of the 74 signatures of neighbors in the area asking Mt. Werner Water to not use the property in this way. I also wonder if they are aware that the people that all stood up in favor of this propasal all had something to gain from it....SSWSC administration and coaches, and bike park designers. I hope that board members will drive out and look at the location of this proposed bike park before they make their decision, and see what they will actually be destroying, with a giant dirt pile! Have you seen how ugly the little one at Mt. Werner is? Is this really how we want Steamboat to look? Blair Seymour should put the "much needed" park in her backyard. vkj

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