Monday, August 15, 2011

136th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,
BMX Athletes Want to Ride, Not Write

In the past week lots of Miles neighbors talked to each other about the proposed BMX dirt jumps in our new Arroyo Chico park. This is a good thing even though most of them didn’t know that BMX stands for Bicycle Motocross, a very popular bone breaking and nose bending sport millions of young men and women athletes just love. But who cares if they knew, they are getting involved in the community.

Barbara Farragut on 12th Street, which is near the BMX course, talked to her neighbors a week ago Sunday and the consensus was that if there were adequate parking for the BMXers and insurance coverage in case of injury, they were all for it. Of course, they also want the jumps closed by 10 pm. (This happens anyway because there are no lights.)

A BMXer’s World View – Whoa! This is not a sport for an acrophobic. Not only are there numerous heights to navigate, you fly through the air a lot, too. This photo was taken standing on the first mound above a sizeable pit.

The BMXers who built this site spent a lot of time, thought and energy making these mounts. The area is clean and no trash is visible except in the provided receptacles.

To check the course out for yourself, go south on Park from Broadway and then turn left at Miles Street. Drive to the end of the short block and turn left into the BMX grounds. (If you like, you can stop off at any one of those wonderful Mexican furniture store along the way.)

Parking Not an Issue – This is a long shot of the photo above—mounds in the background —which also displays about one third of the parking area available. There are other, less challenging mounts to the right.
Another neighbor, Greg Clark on Cherry Street, wrote a very informative letter he handed out and then posted in the Axis Food Mart.

“Current plans for the Arroyo Chico Detention Basin Park would remove the BMX area and replace it with a wide landscaped basin to catch flood waters, but Pima County is considering a proposal to keep a portion of the bike-riding area at its current street-level, and allow it to continue to be used as a dirt area for bike riding. There is no proposal to make the BMX area any larger or more elaborate than it is now, but only to make space at the westernmost end of the Arroyo Chico park to have a dirt course with dirt jumps amidst desert trees where biker are allowed to ride.

“Many members of the Miles Neighborhood believe that a BMX course is an excellent thing. It provides a fun local activity right here in the neighborhood. It promotes healthy athletic lifestyles, creates a recreational site shared by children, youth and adults—a place where people of varying ages and backgrounds gather and build friendships around a common interest. The area boosts the character and diversity of our neighborhood and generally makes it better, more interesting and fun place to live.”

A comment I heard was about tagging. My thinking is serious BMX athletes who use the course will probably only tag themselves—if there is any writing to be done at all—following in the tradition of the pros. Have you seen those champion bike riders on TV? Some major body art going on there.

You still have time to jump in on the BMX conversation and add your ‘two cents” before Pima Count Flood Control makes the final decision. Come to the Miles Neighborhood Association meeting this Wednesday, the 17th in the Miles Exploratory School gymnasium at 6:30 pm. Of course, you may drive, walk or ride your BMX bike to the meeting.

A Look at the Agenda
In addition to a conversation about the BMX course, there will be a discussion on introducing possible turf (grassy) areas in the Basin park, planning for a neighborhood clean up and the renaming of the new Cushing Street bridge in honor of Luis Gutierrez, our neighbor and long-time Tucson city manager.

Join us at the Miles Exploratory School Gym (pictured here) at 6:30 pm, Wednesday, August 17th.

Things Are Good Again
Any time I collect 168 lbs. of food on Sunday—our average donation over the past two and one half years—I’m delighted. Unfortunately, in the last few weeks I lamented that we were experiencing a decline. Today, I’m happy to report, “We’re Back!”

We collected a total of 178 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $35.50, a $25.00 check and $10.50 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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