New Inglewood pump track to be geared towards all ages, abilities

Proposed bike pump track will incorporate feedback from South Glenmore track

Pump tracks, such as the Fairview Pump Track, use up-and-down pumping motion instead of pedalling. Photo: KIRSTEN PHILLIPS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

Parks Foundation Calgary and the City of Calgary are teaming up for a second time to create a brand-new pump track – this time in Inglewood.

Due to the recent temporary closure of the Inglewood Aquatic Centre, people in the area are now looking for other leisure activities to enjoy. Area Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra said the area just can’t sustain a standalone pool facility. They need to think about long-term opportunities for people in Inglewood.

“The other thing is that we need is a bunch of other recreational offerings and so, those are in Inglewood. The pool will be replaced by a suite of other recreational offerings,” Carra said in a recent interview.

“The other recreational opportunities are starting to solidify and the first one to get real solid is the pump track.”

The first full-scale track built in Calgary opened last year – South Glenmore Bicycle Pump Track.

The land designated for the new Inglewood bike pump track, located at 7 Avenue and 20 Street SE. Photo: KIRSTEN PHILLIPS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

During its first year, the track has seen a lot of use and has been well-loved, Parks Foundation Calgary CEO Sheila Taylor said.

“There’s a huge demand for pump tracks in the city right now. And we’ve seen a really large increase in the popularity of biking overall in the last year, and it’s created a lot of excitement,” she said.

“Every single day, we hear from people who say, ‘please build more of these, please.’ They’re bringing out families. We’re getting so many teens who we don’t normally see out in parks instead of sitting at home.”

Construction

Over the past year, people have been providing their feedback about the South Glenmore facility. That’s impacted the plans for Inglewood, Taylor said.

“The learnings that we had out of the South Glenmore bicycle pump track, we’re going to be incorporating those into that construction effort in Inglewood,” she said.

“One of the great features is that this one is going to be divided into two tracks, one track for really beginner kids, and then one for intermediate.”

South Glenmore pump track is under construction, to better suit users. Photo: KIRSTEN PHILLIPS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

The Inglewood pump track construction is set to begin this summer and expected to be completed by this fall.

The proposed cost of the track is $900,000 which is funded through the Province of Alberta’s Municipal Stimulus Program and fundraising from Parks Foundation Calgary, Taylor said.

South Glenmore pump track is currently undergoing renovations to improve the facility.

“So we’re adding more informal seating to the park. And we’re improving the resilience of the park – because it’s saw so so much use. And so then that grass, there was a lot of wear and tear,” Taylor said.

“We’ve been just improving some of the resilience, adding some better landscaping features so that it can really stand the test of time.”

Public engagement

The Inglewood Pump Track announcement was made this spring. The next step is to get the public’s input on how the space can be used to improve user experience.

“So part of that is certainly that we want people to communicate their questions, their concerns, their ideas through that process. And then we also directly communicate with the residents that live nearby,” Taylor said.

Jenna Dutton, a resident in the area, expressed concerns about the possibility of the land not being used to its full potential. 

“I think it has a lot of potential to kind of have different uses, like seating for people, and sort of different, maybe, recreational pursuits,” Dutton said.

“And then also, if it’s a pump track that’s great, but also like considering people with like mobility and accessibility issues, and kind of creating a place where people may be able to like sit and hang out as well.”

Nico Bernard, the manager of Parks at the City of Calgary, is aware of the importance of creating a space that can be enjoyed by as many people as possible.

“It’s really a multi-age facility that people can use and it’s the ones we’ve built so far. It’s extremely popular, so I’m pretty confident that this one will be popular to, and well used,” Bernard said.

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