Consolidating Bike Jump Sites
Published on 16 July 2021
Supported bike jump sites in Wangaratta will next week be consolidated to the West End and Arlington sites, with the Railway Bridge site to no longer be supported.
After a prolonged period of anti-social behaviour and vandalism at the Railway Bridge site, including constant littering, poor language and behaviour, and damage to signage, Council has made the decision that the jumps will be removed.
Expectations around behaviour, protection of the environment and respect for other community members have been developed in partnership with young people and clearly communicated over the last two years.
We are also aware of the recent damage to trees and signs at the Arlington site.
By contrast, there have been no reports of negative behaviour at the West End jumps site where local young people have built jumps suiting different ability levels. To reward this behaviour, we will deliver more dirt to the West End site.
Council’s Director Infrastructure Services Marcus Goonan encouraged bike jumps users to do the right thing at the remaining sites.
“As far as we know the Rural City of Wangaratta is the only Council in Victoria that has allowed young people to build their own bike jumps on Council land,” he said. “We know that most people have been doing the right thing and it has been great to see the enjoyment on young people’s faces as they build and ride jumps at the West End site."
“The Railway Bridge site has been where most of the complaints have come from and we need to take a firm position that this will not be tolerated. When signs are destroyed, rubbish is regularly dumped and many young people don’t feel safe using the jumps, then we have to draw a line in the sand.”
Wangaratta Landcare and Sustainability committee member Helen Twitt said, “Wangaratta Landcare and Sustainability has had concerns regarding the development of bike tracks and jumps especially along the creek and river frontages."
“There has been considerable damage to stream banks and sensitive swampland vegetation, and often rubbish left to litter the area. WLS volunteers have spent thousands of hours involved in restoration along Wangaratta creek and riverside areas over the last twenty-five years. We commend the efforts of council to encourage and support bike activities whilst minimising any damage to the environment.”
We will remove jumps at the Railway Bridge site and will continue to remove any jumps that are rebuilt at that site.
As well as setting aside supported bike jumps sites, over the past year Council has constructed the Mitchell Avenue Pump Track, built a new skate park at Mitchell Avenue, and allocated $15,000 to Wangaratta Cycling Club for the design of mountain bike tracks at the foot of the Warby Ranges.
“Council has listened to our young people and their parents and has invested significant resources into supporting the growth of mountain bike and BMX riding in Wangaratta,” Mr Goonan said.
We have recently received funding from the latest round of VicHealth Reimagining Health Grants, which will be used to host workshops with local bike jump loving young people.
Workshops, run by an experienced facilitator, will be held at the Mitchell Avenue skate park, and will include topics such as safe, environmentally friendly construction of bike jumps, personal safety, and skills development.