Exploring a potential wheel park for the City of Burnside

Consultation has concluded

Council seeks your input on the possibility of creating a wheel park in our City.

What is a wheel park?

To be more inclusive of all youth, Council is exploring an opportunity for a wheel park. A wheel park is a purpose built recreational environment made for skateboards, scooters, rollerblades or bikes (usually BMX bikes). These recreational facilities encourage youth to be physically active, improve youth mental health and improves city vibrancy.

An Australian study* shows that people aged under 18 made up 78.2 per cent of users, while 11–15 year olds made up 48.3 per cent of users of

Council seeks your input on the possibility of creating a wheel park in our City.

What is a wheel park?

To be more inclusive of all youth, Council is exploring an opportunity for a wheel park. A wheel park is a purpose built recreational environment made for skateboards, scooters, rollerblades or bikes (usually BMX bikes). These recreational facilities encourage youth to be physically active, improve youth mental health and improves city vibrancy.

An Australian study* shows that people aged under 18 made up 78.2 per cent of users, while 11–15 year olds made up 48.3 per cent of users of wheel parks.

Why are we exploring this?

Seventeen per cent of the City of Burnside’s residents are aged 5-17 years old*. By 2026, the largest age group in the City is likely to be 15-19 year olds*.

Council conducts a yearly community survey and the results are fully representative of our community’s opinions. In the 2017 survey*, Council asked the community if services for youth were important. Seventy three per cent of our community believe that having services for youth is important.

Of this 73 per cent, 38 per cent (unprompted) said that these services should be in the form of a ‘wheel park’, and 18 per cent said that more recreation facilities for youth are needed in our City.

Following a petition to Council seeking a wheel park for Constable Hyde Memorial Garden, Council resolved to explore the need for a wheel park in Burnside, and to work with wheel park groups to explore suitable locations for a wheel park in the City.

Some benefits of wheel sports & wheel parks

Accessibility

  • An affordable activity
  • Open to any age, background and skill level
  • Multiple sports - skateboard, scooter, BMX, rollerblades
  • No set days or rules

City Vibrancy

  • A positive impact on the local economy
  • Increases patronage to local businesses
  • Provides a public space for events
  • Safe spaces for skating

Health and Wellbeing

  • A positive impact on mental health
  • Improves balance, coordination and flexibility
  • Provides a physical activity alternative
  • Combats rise in obesity

See below to read the Wheel park Myths and to find out where the best wheel park sites would be in our City. You will see the strengths of the four potential sites below.

For a wheel park to be successful, its location is of utmost importance. In addition, there are some other key requirements which include:

  • Sufficient passive surveillance (ideally near arterial road)
  • Access to drinking water and toilet facilities
  • Accessible by public transport
  • Adequate car parking
  • Minimal impact on residents and existing site users
  • Size of site (no less than 750 square metres for a District Level Facility)
  • Provision of other facilities nearby (eg playground, courts, barbecue, seating).

Council considered 133 open space sites in the City and measured each against the above criteria for their potential suitability to support a wheel park.

Council also considered topography, existing infrastructure, flood zones, demographics, and the family-friendliness of the locations to identify four potential sites as the best locations, should a wheel park proceed. To read more about these sites, please see below.

Council is committed to listening to all relevant stakeholders as we embark on this project. We will be engaging with a wide range of individuals across our community, including residents, schools, the City of Burnside Youth Committee, and the skating community.

Come along and talk to council representatives and wheel park experts; free barbecue at all information sessions, as well as a come-and-try pump track at the Mellor Reserve and Kensington Gardens Reserve sessions.

Information Session Times are listed (above right) of screen.

Have Your Say by 5 pm Friday 14 June 2019.

Consultation has concluded
  • Four potential sites - strengths

    6 months ago

    J B Ware Reserve

    Portrush Road, Glen Osmond

    • High level of passive surveillance
    • Other facilities at location (playground and basketball ring)
    • Located on arterial road with bus routes
    • No major infrastructure impediments
    • Low resident proximity

    Kensington Gardens

    The Parade, Kensington Gardens

    • High level of passive surveillance
    • Other facilities at location (playground, courts, ovals, clubrooms)
    • Located on arterial road with bus routes
    • Off-street car parking
    • Located centrally within City

    Mellor Reserve

    Howard Street, Beulah Park

    • Other facilities at location (courts, playground)
    • Listed in Open Space Strategy as...

    J B Ware Reserve

    Portrush Road, Glen Osmond

    • High level of passive surveillance
    • Other facilities at location (playground and basketball ring)
    • Located on arterial road with bus routes
    • No major infrastructure impediments
    • Low resident proximity

    Kensington Gardens

    The Parade, Kensington Gardens

    • High level of passive surveillance
    • Other facilities at location (playground, courts, ovals, clubrooms)
    • Located on arterial road with bus routes
    • Off-street car parking
    • Located centrally within City

    Mellor Reserve

    Howard Street, Beulah Park

    • Other facilities at location (courts, playground)
    • Listed in Open Space Strategy as possible youth activity area with a skateable place linked to the courts
    • Adequate space
    • Located near bus routes
    • Currently underutilised

    Penfold Park

    The Parade, Magill

    • Other facilities at location (courts, playgrounds)
    • Large empty open space
    • Listed in Open Space Strategy as a potential location for entry-level wheel park
    • No major infrastructure impediments
  • Wheel park Myths

    6 months ago

    Council has investigated the common concerns that communities raise when wheel parks are being considered in their area and would like to share with you this information that is based on research and lessons learnt from other similar parks in Australia*.

    "Wheel parks are noisy - you hear people cheering and clapping and the clack of the skateboard wheels against concrete and metal surfaces"

    A wheel park noise study conducted by the City of Portland*, Oregon in 2001 concluded that skateboarding noise was negligible at a distance 15 m from the park, with the sounds from some tricks reaching 54-71...

    Council has investigated the common concerns that communities raise when wheel parks are being considered in their area and would like to share with you this information that is based on research and lessons learnt from other similar parks in Australia*.

    "Wheel parks are noisy - you hear people cheering and clapping and the clack of the skateboard wheels against concrete and metal surfaces"

    A wheel park noise study conducted by the City of Portland*, Oregon in 2001 concluded that skateboarding noise was negligible at a distance 15 m from the park, with the sounds from some tricks reaching 54-71 decibels (60 decibels is equivalent to a busy general office, and 70 is equivalent to a passenger car driving by at 60 km/h*). In general, the study identified that a wheel park is about as noisy as a playground.

    By locating a wheel park in a space that is not immediately adjacent to houses and designing the park with some surrounding vegetation, any noise will be reduced. At wheel parks located near arterial roads, the traffic noise is likely to be a lot louder than the noises that the wheel park generates.

    "Wheel parks encourage graffiti and litter"

    Graffiti can be an issue in any location - on signs, street furniture, playgrounds, fences, buildings and at wheel parks. Establishing a zero tolerance policy towards graffiti as soon as a wheel park opens is the best way to ensure that the park remains clean. Locating a wheel park in an area with plenty of passive surveillance can help to reduce this behaviour, while removing graffiti as soon as it appears denies vandals a showcase of their work.

    "There will be more traffic and parking issues if a wheel park is built near me"

    The majority of wheel park users make their way to a wheel park by riding there on their bikes, scooters or skateboards, or by using public transport. Some people will drive, especially parents accompanying their child at the park.

    For this reason, a key criteria for a suitable site is the availability of nearby car parking that will have minimal impact on residents. There will be a higher amount of traffic during school holidays and when competitions and events are held at the wheel park. However, this is no different to any sporting match which can generate a high number of cars parking in the area, or a popular playground.

    "Wheel parks encourage antisocial behaviour like vandalism, drinking, drugs and swearing"

    Providing a designated space for positive activities is the best way to curb unlawful behaviour among youth. Active adolescents are less likely to engage in risky behaviour such as smoking and drinking. The Tony Hawk Foundation* supports this: 'A skate park full of kids who are there to skate is a skate park full of kids not getting stoned... Skaters are there for a reason, and are generally very good at policing each other about behaviour that interferes with their enjoyment the park... Skate parks where the skaters have trouble with non-skating drug users and delinquents showing up are typically located in secluded areas, where causal supervision is infrequent or doesn't exist. It's an unfortunate situation, but it's one that the skaters suffer from, rather than create themselves.'

    Designing a wheel park that is suitable for all ages and has family friendly amenities, as well as passive surveillance, can assist the space to be welcoming for all. A wheel park in the City of Playford* engaged a group of volunteers aged 12 - 22 to promote volunteering, mentoring peers and running skate workshops. Since the program's inception in 2008 there has been a steady decline in anti-social behaviour and violence at the wheel park.

    ***Passive surveillance occurs when the park is visible to passing traffic, pedestrians, residents, other park users.***

    "What if you build a wheel park and no one uses it?"

    It is intended that the design of a wheel park will be created by expert wheel park designers with the assistance of skaters and local youth.

    There are four locations that are the most suitable in our City and, should a wheel park proceed, consultation on these locations will involve everyone in the community, with youth encouraged to have their say.

    "Wheel parks are dangerous and children can get injured"

    Injuries occur in every sport and on playgrounds. Using a wheel park should be viewed as another similar activity. A report from NSW* demonstrated that falls from playgrounds resulting in hospitalisation are far greater in numbers than falls involving ice skates, skis, roller skates, skateboards and scooters.

    Advocates for wheel parks argue that 'If your city doesn't have a skate park, your city is a skate park'* and that the availability of a place to skate or scooter will reduce death or injury to skaters. In 2011 in the US*, 42 skateboarders died, with 71 per cent of the deaths involving or being directly caused by a vehicle. In 2014 28 skateboarders died, with 82 per cent hit by cars. A good way to keep injuries down is to provide safe, designated spaces to pursue skating and scooter riding, rather than forcing skaters to the streets.