An empty seat was hard to find at a packed Midcoast Community Council meeting on Wednesday night as the discussion centered on the status of a newly created bicycle pump track in El Granada. Many of the 200 people who attended were under the age of 16.
With few options for organized outdoor recreation for young people on the Midcoast, people in the community created a pump track at Quarry Park during the holiday break. A pump track is a continuous circuit designed for bicyclists who typically are propelled forward over banks and berms not by pedaling but by “pumping” up and down body movements.
The track however, was built without county permission on county land, according to San Mateo County Parks Director Nicholas Calderon.
Calderon said, because the track was built illegally and without a permit, it would be removed. He said within the next four weeks the county would start the public process to construct an approved pump track in Quarry Park. He said construction would be finished sometime within the next year.
“So, that way, not just the community today can enjoy the pump track but future generations will,” he said.
Some parents, grandparents and children in attendance spoke about frustrations they shared waiting for the county to build outdoor recreation areas.
“Our children have used shovels and rakes alongside local families to help create a healthy fun space for us to gather,” El Granada resident and mother Rhonda Figone said.
San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley said he would like three weeks to look at the track so that he can have an informed position. He said he will return to the Jan. 29 MCC meeting and update the community on the next steps. Until then, the track will be closed to the public.
“The community is desperate for active recreation,” said El Granada resident Chris Johnson.