Sugar Land City Council discussed in their June 22 meeting possibly adding a bicycle pump track at Crown Festival Park, as part of a larger city park improvements project that began in 2013 and is in its third phase of implementation.

The proposed pump track would be a connected system of rollers and banked turns for cyclists to ride with minimal pedaling, located next to the park’s parking lot. Director of Parks and Recreation Joe Chesser said this site allows the city to use infrastructure that is already there, including existing lights, pavement, parking and drainage.

Chesser spoke to the activity’s increasing prevalence in support of adding a track in Sugar Land.

“Pump tracks are growing in popularity worldwide and provide an opportunity for riders of all ages and skill levels to enjoy fine tuning their riding skills,” Chesser said. “Sugar Land has a very active and growing cycling community that has contributed many volunteer hours establishing and maintaining natural surface trails that are enjoyed not just by cyclists but by hikers, joggers and bird watchers. We believe the pump track will be a community amenity that could also become a destination for cycling competitions and an important part to the city’s desire to attract people of all ages to our city.”

According to Chesser, this improvement is estimated to cost the city $425,000 for the track itself, with $526,000 total for additional amenities—such as landscaping and a shade structure connecting the track, parking lot and walkway in between. The Sugar Land 4B Corporation has set aside $500,000 for the project, including initial funds for survey and design.

To determine the specific layout, Chesser said the city sent out a survey targeted to the Sugar Land bicycling community. Between two proposed options, the majority of respondents voted to include a beginners loop, which would be distanced from the tournament track portion and allow children and new riders space to grow more comfortable before joining others.

The track will also uniquely feature a riding wall, where cyclists are able to gain more height and speed.

Chesser said the track and parts of it that are below ground level should generally be safe from flooding, with the proposed location being protected by the park’s levee and the new infrastructure tying into an existing drainage line.

American Ramp Company, the U.S. representative of bike pump track world authority Velosolutions, has been hired to design and build the Crown Festival Park track, with some involvement from Sugar Land’s engineering department. Before a project timeline can be determined, Chesser said the Sugar Land will first need to get approval from the University of Houston, since the area is part of a property leased from the school. The city is in the process of asking for approval.