BRENTWOOD -- Three years after a local skate park was opened up to BMX bikers because of the popularity of the alternative sport, usage by the local BMX community has dramatically declined and the park will soon be less accessible to them.
Starting in late July, four days per week will be dedicated to skate boarders and three days will be designated for BMX riders at the Brentwood Skate/BMX Park at 195 Griffith Lane. BMX riders can enjoy the park on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, and the remaining days of the week will be focused on skateboarding.
"The goal is to add one more day for skateboarders," said Brentwood Parks and Recreation Commissioner Eileen Hofstadt.
When BMX riders were first allowed to share the park with skateboarders in 2011, the interest and usage was high because there were few places for them to ride in Brentwood without being fined or forced to leave parking lots or other public places. But hourly attendance checks at the park indicate that as few as three BMX bikers have used the facility on numerous days, according to Brentwood Recreation Supervisor Barbie Gary .
"Over the past two years, particularly the last 12 months, there has been a rapid decline in the use of the park by BMX riders on their designated days," she said.
In contrast, the average number of skateboarders on their days is 20 to 50 users. Gary added that skaters use the park four times more often than bikers on a monthly basis.
"(Statistics) shows plainly that the BMXers were thrilled to be there in the beginning, but their interest has waned," Hofstadt said.
Before this upcoming change was decided, skaters and bikers could use the park equally on alternating days. The joint usage was spurred by the once-growing popularity of freestyle BMX biking that previously drew twice as many bikers to the park than skaters on an hourly basis in 2011 and beyond.
Hofstadt said some of the bikers may be using dirt lots around the city because they prefer that type of venue over a "concrete jungle."
"All activities come and go with time," she said. "I am glad that staff is flexible enough to give us the statistical information to set hours. It gives us the opportunity to constantly know what is going on."
Reach Paula King at 925-779-7174.