West Valley City opens brand new pump track next to skate park
Jul 29, 2019 04:17PM
● By Travis Barton
The pump track features various loops and turns for skateboarders and bikers alike. (Travis Barton/City Journals)
By Travis Barton | [email protected]
Adding to the growing arsenal of amenities at Centennial Park, West Valley City introduced the park’s newest attraction on July 16, a pump track.
Designed with a continuous loop of banks and turns, a pump track allows riders to maneuver around the track without pedaling requiring control, balance and coordination. The track, open dawn until dusk, is located just north of the skate park (3189 S. 5600 West) and will have two sections, a shorter one for beginners and larger for more advanced riders.
With bike tracks a growing trend nationwide, Parks and Recreation Director Nancy Day said they wanted to maximize that space, but it wasn’t big enough for a full bike park.
“We felt like a pump track would fit perfectly there and really continue to feed the need of those that also use the skate park,” she said, adding most communities in Utah don’t have this type of track. “We were really happy to bring that to our community.”
Harrison Read was one of the honorary first riders on the track. Read, a dual slalom mountain bike racer who competes internationally, said the track is similar to what he started on.
“It's solid, it's long, it flows really well,” Read, 20, said. “The geometry is really good, they did a good job on it.”
He compared it to a track in Spain made of the same material. The West Valley surface is a ¼ fiberglass composite with no slip riding surface.
“It’s honestly the best public pump track I’ve ever ridden,” he said.
Having the track should also alleviate the congestion on the ever populated skate park.
“It's one person at a time so it’s hard to get a lot of people on (the pump track) at the same time,” Read said. “So it'll kind of teach kids a little more etiquette, just not getting in the way of each other…it’ll kind of split the crowd.”
Final costs for the track will rise slightly above the $156,000 the West Valley City Council approved last fall for the purchase and installation, with the little extra going to finish the concrete walking paths.
Day said maintenance on the track should be minor, mainly checking the connection points and regular landscaping already done. The manufacturer, American Ramp Company, expects the ramp to last 10-15 years pending usage and weather, according to Day.
While there were discussions about installing a dirt track north of the pump track, due to the retention pond located there and increased maintenance involved, officials decided against it. Though Day said there may be other areas in the city for a dirt track.
Just as the skate park holds clinics and competitions each year, Day expects to do similar events on the pump track, but not until 2020 at the earliest.
But the pump track wasn’t the only grand opening of the day. Twelve pickleball courts were also unveiled on the east side of the park having been converted from four tennis courts. The pickleball courts are one more amenity to add to West Valley City’s largest park.
“It’s definitely a sports park,” Day said of Centennial Park’s role in the city’s landscape. “It fills that niche, but because it’s the largest, we can hold events like WestFest. But pickleball, pump track, skate park, have more of a sports aspect you could say, we've really kind of earmarked it for that.”
While the pump track is a welcome addition to the city, “it’s part of the bigger picture and part of the services we want to take to the next level,” Day said. “I'm really proud of it, but it’s one of many projects I'm working on that I'm really excited about.”
She highlighted a fully inclusive playground coming soon to Peachwood Park, the oldest playground in the city as one of them. That’s in addition to focus groups and an online survey planned in the next few months. Day said her department wants feedback from residents to ensure they are on track, meeting resident needs moving forward.
As for the pump track, it’s already fueling community interest. “Super stoked that West Valley decided to put this in,” Read said. “It’ll improve the skill of a lot of people.”