Informal mountain bike and BMX tracks are potentially dangerous and will be removed, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council says. Senior council officer Jessica Wingad said the tracks and jumps could “pose an unacceptable risk to other park users” and also damaged bushland and reserves, adding: “Our policy is to remove them.”
But Ms Wingad said the council understood the energy, creativity and enjoyment of those involved with creating informal bike jumps. “We’re currently investigating longer term options to respond to this need in a safe and collaborative way. The shire is also assessing the reserves and parks used without permission for the construction of these jumps.”
Breaking News reported yesterday that an online petition calling for improved BMX facilities on the Peninsula was gaining support. Almost 400 people have signed the petition, with some voicing anger that informal mountain bike and BMX tracks were being removed.
Petition supporter Courtney Smith posted: “I have three boys and every time they try to be creative, apply hard work and then push themselves in (a) positive endeavour, somebody comes along and knocks them over. For what purpose?”
Jodie Prendergast added: “The kids are being kicked out of the parks probably by the same people that say kids are on screens too much.”
Julia McCarthy started the petition after witnessing an adult swearing at children who were creating dirt bike ramps at a park on Mountain View Rd, Mount Eliza. “I was astonished anyone could feel this way as it has brought me such joy seeing the kids being kids at the parks – one of the silver linings of COVID,” she posted. “Let’s support these kids to get some sanctioned areas or facilities they can use and also some breathing space while so much is still shut down for them – this physical and creative activity is awesome, not harmful.”
In 2017, Frankston City Council angered parents after it removed bike tracks and jumps built by children in bushland near Overport Park in Frankston South. Council officials said the tracks had been illegally constructed and were causing erosion.