Hobart City Hall

HOBART – Opening a new bike park in Hobart will have to wait until the fall.

The park is proposed for a portion of city-owned property where Sixth Street ends.

Parks Director Kelly Goodpaster said the wooded area she’s eyed for the facility is overgrown, and she found plenty of poison ivy in the area.

She initially hoped to open the bike park as soon as possible. Now, she plans to wait until the fall so the poison ivy can die, Goodpaster said.

Although the wooded area hasn’t yet been designated as a park, there is already a 2-mile trail that was created by a resident in the location.

Goodpaster said the bike park would use the trail, and the department could later expand on it.

“This is just another step at being a healthy community,” Mayor Brian Snedecor said of the proposed facility.

“There seems to be wide-spread support of this," he added.

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The portion of the city-owned property proposed for the facility isn’t in the Parks Department’s inventory, so the Board of Public Works and Safety would need to authorize recreational use there.

The panel seems in favor of the proposal, but it will wait to take action until an agreement is developed detailing how different portions of the property is used by city entities. That includes Hobart’s Public Works Department.

Board members don't see issues with multiple entities accessing different areas of the land.

“I really like this idea,” board member Tom Ehrhardt said.

In addition to cutting back vegetation for the bike trail, a gate would be installed to prevent ATVs and other motorized vehicles from accessing the area.

Once fully-established, the park would require little maintenance, Goodpaster said.

City Councilman Josh Huddlestun said many communities are opening bike parks, and it isn't costly to create them.

As the Board of Public Works and Safety waits for the agreement to be created, the Park Board has indicated its in favor of the bike park, Goodpaster said.

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Assistant Deputy Editor

Andrew covers transportation, real estate, casinos and other topics for The Times business section. A Crown Point native, he joined The Times in 2014, and has more than 15 years experience as a reporter and editor at Region newspapers.