• Description

Freestyle BMX is growing increasingly popular. It appeals to youth, doesn't have to cost much, encourages active recreation, and is suitable for both rural or urban environments. Freestyle BMX riders need a legal place to practice and play, and skateparks are among the safest and best venues. Some skateparks deny access to bike riders, citing concerns such as liability, user conflict, and facility damage. At the same time, numerous skateparks have figured how to integrate biking and skating seamlessly. To see how bikers have successfully gained access to skateparks and how skateparks have safely and effectively managed bikers and skaters, Bikes Belong surveyed nearly 100 skatepark managers from 30 states. Here's what we found. Profiles of the skateparks surveyed

  • 77% public
  • 18% private
  • 5% public/private partnership
Profiles of the skateparks surveyed 46% don't allow bikes, why not?
  • 75% say it's too dangerous mixing bikers and skaters
  • 64% say bikes cause too much damage
  • 48% cite liability concerns
  • 30% say bikers weren't around when the park was built
  • 7% say the park is too small
  • 5% say they don't know why
According to the survey respondents, nearly all of these reasons for denying bike access come back to park design. Often, parks weren't designed for bikers because bikers didn't participate in the planning, fundraising and construction processes. Park managers are often open to reviewing their policy on bikes. But, nothing changes unless the bike community is well organized, professional and engaged. Some parks haven't considered allowing bikes because their insurance or park warranty banned bikes from the beginning. In these cases, it's the insurance carriers and park builders who need to be educated about the importance of making room for bikes.