evidence-based design for supportive environments

Redmond Bike Park

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  • Redmond-Bike-Park-2
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  • Ribbon-Cutting
  • Signage
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Over the past 60 years our culture has witnessed a continuous, gradual, but ultimately dramatic decline in children’s opportunities to play freely, without adult control, and especially in their opportunities to play in risky ways.  Over this same time frame we have also witnessed a continuous, gradual, but ultimately dramatic increase in all sorts of childhood mental disorders, especially emotional disorders.

“The Bicycle Capital of the Northwest” addressed the cities concerns with persistent unsanctioned dirt jumps, that had been built for so many years tucked out of general sight, in the heavily wooded areas of Hartman Park by acknowledging the obvious need for this type of adventure play suiting a wide range of ages.

Rather than dissuade those who wanted to experience the thrill of this type of nature adventure, Carolyn Hope, Senior Park Planner, worked tirelessly with the community, designers and volunteers to turn this issue into a much loved community amenity, the Redmond Bike Park. The major hurdle on this project was gaining the acceptance of the adjacent neighborhood. The design was contested for a year after it had been submitted, expanding Audrey’s role as project manager from providing restoration-planting plans developed specifically for volunteer labor, into serving as an expert witness during the hearing which helped the city win their case and allowed the construction of the long awaited park to move forward.

Built with the help of many volunteers, the park was designed for local BMX and mountain bike riders of all ages and skill levels to practice and develop their riding skills in a safe and controlled environment. With dirt jumps, a pump track and skills trails that provide opportunities for riders of all ages and abilities. In addition, there is also a perimeter multi-use trail that circumnavigates the jump trails where the restored landscape is becoming lush as it matures. Whether you are there to ride or walk, the lush, heavily wooded site provides a level of adventure for all.

LOCATION
Redmond, WA

DATES
2012-2014

SIZE
1.8 acres

LEADERSHIP
Audrey West
As Managing Principal of Nakano Associates

TEAM
City of Redmond Parks Department 
Hilride
Nakano Associates

VIDEOS
Redmond Bike Park - October 2014  

PHOTOS
Courtesy of City of Redmond Parks and Recreation

RESEARCH

[1] Sandseter, E. (2011). Children’s risky play from an evolutionary perspective.  Evolutionary Psychology, 9, 257-284.
[2] Spinke, M., Newberry, R., & Bekoff, M. (2001). Mammalian play: Training for the unexpected. The Quarterly Review of Biology, 76, 141-168.
[3] e.g. Pellis,S., & Pellis, V. (2011).  Rough and tumble play: Training and using the social brain.  In A. D. Pelligrini (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of the development of play, 245-259. Oxford University Press.
[4] LaFreniere, P. (2011). Evolutionary functions of social play: Life histories, sex differences, and emotion regulation.  American Journal of Play, 3, 464-488.
[5] Gray, P. (2011). The decline of play and the rise of psychopathology in childhood and adolescence. American Journal of Play, 3, 443–463.
[6] Referenced in Burssoni, M., Olsen, L., Pike, I., & Sleet, D. (2012).  Risky play and children’s safety: Balancing priorities for optimal development.  International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 9, 3134-3148.

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