.Pushback Against Felton Bicycle Track

Opponents spoke out against the track at the Board of Supervisors meeting

Plans to potentially put a bicycle track in Felton Covered Bridge County Park—which would replace an aging and unused volleyball court—has stirred a modicum of controversy in the small community. 

Supporters say the new track would give a recreation opportunity for young people.  

Opponents, meanwhile, claim the paved pump track does not fit in with the spirit of the beloved and historic park.

The track has not yet been approved—the Board of Supervisors would need to give their stamp of approval to the plans at a future meeting. Still, several people spoke against it on Tuesday during the Board of Supervisors meeting.

Brianna Goodman, a board member of Valley Women’s Club of San Lorenzo Valley, asked the board to consider other locations.

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She said that the county has not taken seriously concerns of flooding and of parking impacts. She also points to a petition on which opponents gathered 1,100 signatures, to counter a petition that 1,800 supporters of the project signed.

Cyndi Maskolunas of Felton said that the park’s large, open lawn and idyllic setting fits in better with the Felton Town Plan, while the proposed bike track would detract from that. Instead, she said, the county should consider putting in “something usable” such as a pickleball court or a community garden. 

“This process has created divisiveness, and it’s showing our youth that you can have what you want and not think of others,” Maskolunas said. “That’s not how we should be conducting ourselves or teaching our kids or running our community.” 

Maskolunas added that the park’s designation as a historical site requires the county conduct an environmental review.

But county officials say that’s not the case, since the track would be a minor change and replace an existing recreation use.

Santa Cruz County Deputy Parks Director Rebecca Hurley said that Felton and its environs has been identified as an underutilized area, with many young families living there.

“There’s not a lot of things for young people to do in the (San Lorenzo) valley,” she said. 

Covered Bridge Park, Hurley said, is an area whose master plans already call for active uses.

The new pump track, if approved, will not be the eyesore that many detractors believe, Hurley added. 

“Nothing is going to take away from the view of this historic bridge, nor would we ever approve anything that would do that,” she said.

Hurley added that ongoing safety improvements along Highway 9 should make biking to the park easier.

Pump tracks are designed for riders to navigate a series of features as they create momentum by “pumping,” or using up-and-down body movements to keep moving.

Matt De Young, executive director of Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Stewardship, said the organization would plan and fund the project, expected to cost roughly $500,000. 

Once approved, it would take 6-8 weeks to build.

The organization has already built pump tracks at Harvey West Park, in the City of Santa Cruz and in Ramsay Park in Watsonville. All of them, De Young said, have been “resounding successes.”

“They appeal to a wide audience of people, different types of people, different age groups, diff skill sets,” he said. “They’re really inclusive places that bring a positive activation to park spaces.”

De Young said he was not surprised at the community pushback.

“It’s pretty  par for the course for anything new,” he said. “Anything new that we do or that  anyone else does, there is a contingent of folks who oppose it for one reason or another.”

He added that the track will not be so big as to affect the view of the bridge and would keep the spirit of the park.

“It’s going to be a great asset for the community,” he said. “It’s really targeted at families and kids, and there’s just not a lot of park access in the San Lorenzo Valley, so we see this as a prime opportunity, a prime  location to activate an underutilized space.”


  1. NIMBY strikes again!

    Environmental studies are a last ditch effort to stop progress.

    Good on the councils for shooting that down.

    Arguing that pickle ball is a better use is bonkers.

    Flat concrete vs bumpy concrete …. No difference

    Let the kids play.

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