BMX track seen as 'icing on cake'

By Roger Moroney

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The proposed BMX ``pump track'', is the first active recreational facility to be planned for the southern end of the Marine Parade.
The proposed BMX ``pump track'', is the first active recreational facility to be planned for the southern end of the Marine Parade.

Napier's ongoing Marine Parade development is set to go south.

The Napier City Council has released plans of a proposed BMX "pump track" which councillor and chair of the former Marine Parade Development Group Keith Price said could be the "icing on the cake" for a seafront stretch which he said was fast becoming the city's jewel in the crown.

The track is the first active recreational facility to be planned for the southern end of the Marine Parade and would be sited opposite Ellison St, on the southern side of the parking area.

Mr Price said it would complement the planned skate park, the reef garden and amphitheatre and did not rule out it becoming the first and last public attraction on the open stretch between the National Aquarium of New Zealand and the Ellison St boundary.

"We are always looking at options," he said.

The proposed BMX track would be a circuit of rollers, berms and jumps that loops back on itself, allowing the rider to continuously ride it.

It had been designed by Jeff Carter of Rotorua's South Star Adventures and would cover an area 60m long by 30m wide and would consist of 500m of continuous track.

Mr Price said the popularity of BMX riding meant it had similar appeal to the activities at the Sk8Zone which had been going for more than 20 years.

"It doesn't go away.

"The basic goal of a pump track, besides having fun, is for the rider to learn how to 'pump' the terrain to maintain speed without pedalling at all," Mr Price said.

Should the community support the initiative, funding and tender options would be considered "immediately" and construction of the track could begin as early as June.

The proposal has gone into public consultation and the public is invited to complete the survey about the BMX track at www.napier.govt.nz (keyword #bmxpump).

The survey closes on April 28.

Mr Price said the development of the new skate park, to be built on the site of the former Marineland, was under evaluation and the financial aspects were still being looked at, with the full design stage set to take place "shortly".

He said the existing Sk8Zone would remain up and running until the new park was ready to open so skate and scooter riders always had somewhere to go.

The reef garden concept was still undergoing a feasibility study.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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