August 6, 2001
City levels hazardous kid-built BMX track
by Lisa Allen
Valley View Editor
DUVALL - The city has bulldozed a dangerous BMX track at Taylor Park that was apparently made by a group of local youngsters.
At a recent council meeting, Mayor Glen Kuntz said the city had been alerted to the track by a July 9 article in the Valley View that stated that some teenagers had constructed bike jumps at Taylor Park.
"We didn't know they were doing that," said Kuntz. "So we checked it out and found a dozen pits that had been dug. They were so deep we took pictures of (city employee) Jerry Marlette standing inside of one."
Kuntz said that the youths had taken landscape timbers along the trail that were held in place by eight-inch spikes, and turned them around so that the spikes were pointing upward. They were placed in the bottoms of the pits so that "anyone who wasn't able to make the jump and fell into the pits would be impaled by the stakes."
The article Kuntz referred to focused on a Duvall youth who had been injured after attempting to jump a three-foot high chain with his bike. The 15-year-old was being videotaped by his friend while doing jumps at Cherry Valley Elementary. As the bike's rear wheels caught the chain, the youth, who was not wearing a helmet, was thrown head first onto the ground, fracturing the bones in his face. The videotape was show on the TV show Real TV on July 11.
The article noted that after the boy's recovery, he and his friends decided to build a dirt track for some BMX jumping at Taylor Park. He was quoted as saying, "We've probably put over 100 hours into the project so far and we've made some decent jumps, anywhere from two to five feet high. Our goal is to get the city to approve the track and officially open it to the public so we can ride on it legally."
Kuntz said that when he saw what the kids had done, he ordered the track and jumps to be bulldozed.
"These kids put in a lot of time on this," he said. "The kids had a good track, but it was very unsafe."
The mayor said that it is obvious the need is there for the youngsters to have a track, so the city will install one at the new sports fields at Big Rock Road that are are now under construction. Plans are to create two baseball fields and one soccer field (and now the BMX track) on the 11-acre property.
Capital Project Manager Connie Zimmerman said the fields should be ready to practice on this fall.