News

Gonzales Park and Pump Track Proposal

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Gonzales Park Project Location: 3001 Gonzales St. Austin, TX 78702

Project summary

The proposed site is under the west end of the 7th Street bridge over Tillery Street between Pleasant Valley Road and the railroad tracks. The bridge structure is roughly east-west which provides a perfect shade structure for outdoor activities in the summer. A key feature of this site is a partnership with the Austin Public Library System and the Cepeda Library Branch to enable an urban trail through the library fence so that community members can walk directly through the park to the library rather than having to cross 7th Street and Pleasant Valley, or down to 5th Street and then up 7th.

We propose building two concrete or asphalt surfaced pump tracks in graduating size, complexity, and skill level to accommodate riders of a range of ages as well as to increase the number of concurrent riders. Building an additional “skills loop” around the pump tracks with varying beginner obstacles and challenges to serve very early riders is also a possibility. This would be paired with additional youth activity stations as determined through the community engagement process. Lighting, landscaping, parking, and other beautification like murals and kiosks would occur along with foot trails and park benches.

A pump track is a continuous loop that can be ridden on a bike without pedaling once a rider masters the proper technique. Tracks consist of a series of low rolling bumps (rollers) and banked corners (berms). The most basic pump track is oval in shape with one berm at each end and rollers in between, while more complex tracks contain multiple lines (paths) and sections with several berms in different directions. The Gonzales Street location would contain two progressive courses and geared towards youth (K-12) riders.

Desired Results and Benefits

To convert a derelict space that attracts dumping and contains unsafe conditions into a place for the community and recreation. The park would achieve the library’s goal of connectivity with the community they are tasked to support. The pathway to the library promotes a safe place for area elementary schoolers and neighbors to walk to the library. It will provide a place for youth and adults, close to their homes, to ride bikes in safe numbers and in mixed-age groups. The creation of a park with a bicycle-riding facility will engage community youth and youth programs to utilize park infrastructure for exercise, family outings, and community building. Similar to the other youth facilities at the Rosewood Recreation Center (pool, splash pad, playground, baseball fields, tennis court, etc.) this project will provide an additional activity-based destination for families and groups. This addresses the “Get Out And Play An Hour A Day” push, helps combat childhood obesity and non-active lifestyles, and helps reintroduce the local parks as a place to hang out and have fun.

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This park would serve these schools and youth organizations:
Ghisallo Cycling Initiative
Boys and Girls Club of the Austin Area (East Club, Chalmers)
Oak Springs Elementary School
Campbell Elementary School
Blackshear Elementary School
Metz Elementary School
Zavala Elementary School
Brooke Elementary School
UT Elementary Charter School
Maplewood Elementary School
Sims Elementary School
Martin Middle School
Kealing Middle School
Eastside Memorial High School
Gonzalo Garza Independence High School
Camacho Activity Center (Parks and Rec)
Rosewood Rec Center (Parks and Rec)
Metz Rec Center (Parks and Rec)
Austin CAN Academy
Huston-Tillotson University
Austin Community College Eastview Campus
Yellow Bike Project