Council Approves Turlock BMX Bike Park

The strongest show of support, thus far, showed up to show their desire for the bike park. About 50 people people showed up in support of the park ammenity while most were different faces than the attendees of previous meetings.


Bike Works owner Matt Narscimento spoke saying he brought a bigger army this time, as needed. Narscimento said that they really need this and the bike park would put Turlock on the map.

 

There aren’t really any dirt jump courses in the area. The course will work to provide a place for bike riding and bmx biking. The park ammenity will work to eliminate illegal bike riding on vacant dirt lots, the canal, and such.

 

David (DJ) Fransen was contacted by 14 year old Dominic Rufo over two years ago asking for help to get a bike park. Fransen took up the project and worked with city staff since.

 

Fransen spoke on the endurance of all the people that have been showing up to the meetings and working on the proposal for over two years.

 

The bike park proposal to locate the facility at the Christoffersen and Walnut storm basin, came before Council previously as Council Members wanted some clarity on exactly how this bike park would be operated to define the project for the residential neighbors and the Walnut Elementary School nearby.

 

Tuesday nights proposal did just that and included some compromises by the community group that has been working on the project.

 

The bike park will open at 3:45pm and close at sun down on the traditional school day schedule. On holidays, weekends, and summer days, the park will be open from 8:00am to sun down.

 

Rules include wearing a helmet, no motorized vehicles, scooters, foot traffic, bringing in additional obstacles, and more. Violations will come with fines of $100 for the first offense and up to $500 for the third offense.

 

The bike park will be funded with $15,000 from a park improvement fund (non General Fund) and $10,000 in private donations to be fundraised.

 

Fransen stated earlier in the meeting that Dr. Robert Santos and himself are committed to donating $1,000 each. Attorney and former Turlock City Councilman Ron Hillberg, Robert Fernandes from Jim Fernandes Construction, Cycle Masters owner Gary Hudson, and Bike Works owner Matt Narscimento total another estimated $3,000 making the total $4,000 in commitments in one day.

 

No opposition was presented on Tuesday but the TUSD superindendent sent an email that was entered into the record stating his concerns mostly including the operation that may involve using the school parking lot during special events, the lack of restrooms, and asking that the time the park opens be revised from 3:00pm to 3:45pm.

 

Councilman Spycher said that he was pleased with the proposal and was ok with approving the project.

 

Councilman Howze spoke to the crowd giving them advice to “police yourselves, this is your park.” Howze stated that they could mess it up as the bike park proposal included a 1 year trial period.

 

The Turlock City Council approved the bike park proposal with a 5-0 vote.

 

When asked by several reporters how the projects originator felt about the Council’s approval, Dominic Rufo said “that’s sic!”

 
If you are interested in donating towards the Turlock BMX Bike Park, please contact the City of Turlock Parks at 668-5599, Cycle Masters at 634-8123, Bike Works at 250-1152 or DJ Fransen at dj@turlockcitynews.com or 209-678-7759.

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