Auburn bike park site tour draws crowd

The Auburn Recreation District is moving toward a key decision today on a proposed bike park off Maidu Drive.

And it’s doing so with proponents and opponents both having a tour of the site last Thursday of the undeveloped property over looking the AmericanRiver canyon.

A public hearing is to take place today at the RecreationDistrictMaiduDriveCanyonViewCommunity Center, 471 Maidu Drive on state-mandated environmental clearances for the project. The district board will consider approval of the project, five years after deciding on the Maidu Drive parcel as its targeted site.

The board goes into the meeting at 6 p.m. today with passionate arguments from the public on both sides.

Jeff Ghiselin, a member of the FATRAC bicycle club advocating for the bike park, said that the group is in full support of the new facility.

A Rocklin bike-store owner, Ghiselin said that the emphasis on the park is to provide a place for families to ride. He challenges opponents to take a drive to the Truckee bike park – one of the closest to Auburn. There’s also a bike park in Elk Grove but a recent attempt to have one in Rocklin was turned down by the parks department there, he said.

“It’s (the Truckee park) crawling with kids and families,” Ghiselin said. “It’s a safe place for families who want to teach kids to mountain bike and don’t have a safe place to do it.”

But opponents of the location, like Carol Euwema – an 11-year nearby resident of the park location – say they have major concerns and would like to see the board reconsider and find a location not so near the canyon.

“I’m not a community activist but I feel very strongly about it,’ Euwema said.

Euwema said concerns include the possibility of fires caused by increased use of the area.

“It’s an extreme fire hazard out there,” she said. “I don’t hate bikes. It’s just that there are much better places out there that are a lot less risky.”

Ghiselin said that the bike park would decrease…

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