Opinion: I wish that silly unauthorized Burnaby BMX park had just stayed hidden

Well, this is another kick in the teeth for taxpayers.

And all because of an accidental sighting. The City of Burnaby is estimating it will cost $170,000 to dismantle an unauthorized bike park and remediate the “sensitive” conservation area where it hid for years. 

Yikes! That’s a lot of cash.

The BMX track is known as Kush Woods and for an estimated 25 years it stayed hidden and unknown in the wooded Capitol Hill Conservation Area in North Burnaby.

How does that even happen? How does nobody notice people on bikes going in and out of the place for more than two decades? How does nobody notice all the wood and items that the riders brought in so they could build jumps?

It’s an incredible story and one I wish I didn’t know about. I wish nobody had stumbled upon it and reported it to the city because now it has to be torn apart at a pretty significant cost.

The remediation of the site will include removing 124 features, tarps, wood, tools, 24 water drums and – “of particular concern” – steel drums containing a potential environmental hazard. 

The city says four steel drums were labeled “Genyk Thermal Green Resin” – a spray-on building insulator that contains tris phosphate (TCPP), a compound regulated by the B.C. Contaminated Sites Regulation. The company contracted to remediate the site found TCPP in “possible concentrations above standards” in eight soil samples, according to the city report.  

I don’t understand why this material would be used in a wooded. That sounds like a terrible idea.

The company also found hazardous trees and invasive plants that will need to be removed, according to the report. 

The good news, I guess, is that Burnaby has also hired a consultant to study potentially building a new BMX track near the existing Mountain Air Bike Park at the base of Burnaby Mountain. The city says it’s hoping to work with the local BMX community to “modernize and upgrade the park to attract riders of all ages and abilities.”

That means even more money being spent. Hopefully something gets done and we can put this entire mess behind us.

  • With additional reporting by Kelvin Gawley
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