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Action Alert! Cedar Park Adventure Bike Park and Trial System Project Meeting Tonight!

May 14, 2012

In the last couple of posts I’ve talked with our Director of Advocacy and made mention about the importance of investing in cycling infrastructure. It makes for safer bike riding, increases ridership across every level of rider ability, and supports healthy living and lifestyles. Whether it’s a bike lane, a new trail, or a traffic signal, each of these investments can pay off by make riding safer and more enjoyable.

But what does that process look like and how does it start? It’s not as if you can walk into City Hall and order up a new bike lane or bike park.

Or can you?

Progressive communities, including many right here in Central Texas, are taking a look at cycling and realizing that investing valuable tax dollars to grow ridership in their cities and towns just makes good economic sense. After all, many riders spend much of their disposable income on riding. Not just on a charity ride like the Real Ale Ride, a mountain bike race, or a new set of panniers to make the commute to work or school easier, but also the secondary dollars spent in connection with those rides. Those dollars make cycling attractive to some towns to say nothing of the social and health benefits of an active population. And citizens are often given the chance to voice their support for the creation of cycling-friendly projects. In short, community leaders are figuring out that it pays to support cycling and riders want to see it happen.

The creation of cycling facilities and making a more bike and pedestrian friendly place to live is contagious. Look at the expanding network of newer, wider bike lanes in Austin. Or the growing number of cycling traffic signals or automobile traffic calming measures like the increased signaled pedestrian crossings along South Congress. Each of these things has made riding in town just a little easier.

Cedar Park residents will have their chance tonight. We received this press release (below) that outlines just a few of the benefits a new Bike Park would bring to Cedar Park. Here’s hoping that this vibrant and growing cycling community gets out to support this proposal.

Happy Bike Month!

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Date: May 12, 2012

To: Citizens of Cedar Park

From: Dimitri Nichols, Cedar Park Resident, City of Cedar Park City Parks & Recreation Milburn BMX Bike Park Volunteer Project Coordinator

Subject: Invitation to Attend Cedar Park Parks & Recreation Meeting

Monday, May 14that 6:30pm

City Hall, Council Chamber Building 4

450 Cypress Creek Blvd.

Cedar Park , TX  78613

You are invited to attend the City of Cedar Park Parks & Recreation Committee to support the Cedar Park Adventure Bike Park and Trail System Project through the development of a new Hard Surface Bike Park, Mountain Bike Trail System and connections to existing Cedar Park hike and bike trails.

Background 

It is thanks to Assistant City Manager Sam Roberts and Parks Director Curt Randa that we have had the support of the City to move forward with efforts to enhance the Cedar Park Hike and Bike Trail System to develop a new Hard Surface Bike Park at Milburn, to establish Mountain Bike Trails within existing Cedar Park Green Spaces and to create connection to the existing hike and bike trail systems.

The Cedar Park Adventure Bike Park and Trail System Project is consistent with the City of Cedar Park’s vision to be a healthy, well-planned recreational destination in Central Texas.

City of Cedar Park Parks and Recreation Mission

The mission of the Parks and Recreation Department is to efficiently maintain and operate park facilities, to provide recreational programs for the enjoyment and health of all our citizens, and seek partnerships to maximize recreational opportunities for our community.

Planning and Development Mission

The mission of the City of Cedar Park Planning and Development Services Department is to improve the quality of life for the current and future residents living and working within the City. This is accomplished through the proactive identification of solutions, maintaining an exemplary level of customer service, and keeping abreast of the most advanced trends in urban planning, land development, and inspection processes. Further, it is our mission to help carry out programs and projects through public investment, public-private cooperation, volunteer efforts, and enforcement in order to enhance the vitality and promote the orderly development of the community.

Proposal   

The Cedar Park Adventure Bike Park and Trail System Project proposes a new Hard Surface Bike Park at Milburn, to establish Mountain Bike Trails within existing Cedar Park Green Spaces and to create connection to the existing Hike and Bike trail systems.

The Hard Surface Bike Park (HSBP) will be located in Milburn Park. The Bike Park will utilize existing park space to provide an all ages and all skills space for all types of riding.  It will be a progressive environment that will accommodate all skills of riders from beginner to advanced. This location will serve as the Western Hike and Bike Trail Hub and provide the starting point for mountain biking in this part of the city.  This location will utilize the existing Milburn Park parking lot providing easy access to thousands of residents and city guests.

The Mountain Bike portion of the Park Bike Park and Trail System Project will originate from the HSBP and fan out in several directions into green spaces throughout western Cedar Park.

Initial planning indicates approximately 15 miles of mountain bike trails are available for almost immediate use with an additional 15 available following development.

The Mountain Bike Trail System coupled with the Brushy Creek Regional Trail allows for system of Hike & Bike trails exceeding 45 miles.

The Cedar Park Bike Park and Trail System Project is a comprehensive plan that will appeal to a broad demographic of residents and visitors from throughout Central Texas and beyond. Cedar Park offers some of the most interesting wild spaces in the area with numerous existing natural features, rock formations and named caves all of which are protected and identified.  These existing natural features make for an interesting riding experience and offer an educational aspect to the experience and promote a sense of conservation of natural areas.

The Cedar Park Adventure Bike Park and Trail System Project also ties together with the recent announcement of the arrival of Schlitterbahn to the area. These two recreational outlets help to solidify the desire of Cedar Park being a destination location. Destination locations tend to be very desirable areas to live, and maintain high property values even during economic down turns.

Demographics  

The City of Cedar Park has established and committed to an extensive Hike & Bike System within in the city.  The addition of the Hard Surface Bike Park and development of a Mountain Bike Trail System supports that commitment and provides economic incentives as well.

Mountain bikers are demographically comparable to golfers and spend their money accordingly.  After a full day on the trails with the families and groups are likely to spend additional monies buying food and beverages in the area.   Central Texas has a very strong biking community, with an emphasis on outdoor recreation.

Demographically, mountain bikers and the Cedar Park are perfect matches. Our terrain, views and amenities appeal to “high end” clientele. In short, mountain bikers spend money and they will spend it in Cedar Park.

Mountain Biker Demographic Stats

Mountain Biker population in the U.S. = 50,000,000

Male 88%  

43 years old

73% college or post grad

$106K median income

A favorite physical fitness activity of kids 6-17

Golfer Demographic Stats

Golfing population in the U.S. = 29,000,000

77.5% are male – 22.5% are female

46 years old

67% attended and/or graduated college

$95K median income

Conclusion 

The Cedar Park Adventure Bike Park and Trail System Project is consistent with the established and long-term effort to have an extensive Hike & Bike System within in the city.  The addition of the Hard Surface Bike Park and development of a Mountain Bike Trails System within existing Green Spaces and connections to the existing Hike and Bike trail systems is the next step to reaching our goals of being a well-planned, recreational, and fit City.

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