Written by SARAH McCRAW
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 18:32
Wooded trails in the City of Port Washington could soon provide new terrain for bicyclists looking to go off-roading with the sport of mountain biking.
The Port Washington Parks and Recreation Board on Aug. 8 discussed creating a mountain bike trail system extending from the Ozaukee Interurban Trail onto city land off Lake Street just north of Guenther Pond.
“I think it’s really neat,” Parks and Recreation Director Charlie Imig said. “The thought is to research a little more to see if it could be a volunteer-based thing.”
Imig said enlisting volunteers to help clear brush and build boardwalks on city-owned land would help lower the project costs.
Mayor Tom Mlada said several people recently suggested the city create a mountain bike trail system.
“I think if you cleared off some of the pathways, you could get a loop that would be of interest (to bicyclists),” Mlada said. “So it could be fitting for us as a city to look into and maybe reach out to see if they’d be willing to help.”
In addition to the trails, Imig said, a series of ramps for bicyclists could be developed on city-owned land directly south of the skateboard park off Moore Road.
“It’s kind of like a skate park, but for bikes,” he said.
A bicycle course would add to an area of the city that has been redeveloped to provide a number of outdoor activities.
“When you’re over there, all of a sudden you have an entertainment space in a defined park area,” he said. “You’ve got the horseshoes, you’ve got the bocce court, the skate park and you’d have the bike ramps.
“It would actually be a phenomenal reclamation of what was kind of a dumpy area.”
A basic closed-course starts at $10,000, Mlada said, adding that the skateboard park is not designed for bicycles.
“If you can create some designated zones, it creates a safer space for play,” he said.
The ramps and off-road trails are separate projects intended to attract both youth and adult riders to the community, Mlada said.
Imig said he will research the feasibility of both options for the city.
In other business, the board:
• Voted to apply to become an official bird city. Ozaukee County was the first county in the state to receive this recognition.
• Approved including a full-time recreation coordinator position to the proposed 2014 Parks and Recreation Department budget. The coordinator would be responsible for writing grants, working with volunteers, conducting on-line program registration, promoting events and partnering with area businesses on community events.