The mission of the VLPRA is
“to provide quality Recreation and Parks, and to advance environmental conservation, which promotes the highest quality of life for the entire community.”In the upcoming months, the VLPRA will begin revising its master plan.
At the November City Council Meeting Lee Jones, a local cyclist, walked up to the podium at City Hall and spoke on the need for a bike park in Valdosta. He explained that he doesn't feel comfortable allowing his daughter to ride her bike on Valdosta's streets and suggested that a bike park would be a safe alternative. To borrow the language of the dog park advocates, one could argue that Valdosta should “create a bike park, accessible to all residents and visitors where cyclists can safely ride for exercise and play.”
When I learned about these meetings I began asking around the local bike scene for suggestions. “A velodrome,” replied one avid rider. As he explained, the project could be expensive, but would draw in tourists since the nearest track is in Atlanta. Another rider suggested looking into Ray's Mountain Bike Park which turns abandoned warehouses into bike parks. “Imagine,” he told me, “The Remerton Mill loaded with inclines, berms, and jumps for mountain bikers and bmxers.” A park like the ones featured at raysmtb.com would be a welcomed topographical alternative given the mostly flat surfaces around Valdosta. Others have suggested a cheaper option of setting up a cyclocross course at Freedom Park, which could be done easily and would also attract riders from around the Southeast.
It's time for you to get involved. Are you interested in helping make Valdosta a more bike friendly city? Then begin considering what kind of projects you would like to see in the community and plan to attend the upcoming VLPRA meetings.