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Cycle of sadness

VIDEO: BMX park torn down by MBTA
By PETE STIDMAN  |  May 14, 2007

For cyclists who prefer to do their riding on thin air, the news spread fast. On April 26, MBTA backhoes ripped up the center of their community dubbed the “Fenway Trails,” a nest of bone-jolting jumps hidden in a corner of Riverway Park near the Landmark Center. The MBTA eliminated the jumps to make way for a side track off the D Line to aid in repairs and operations, says MBTA spokesperson Lydia Rivera. She did not comment on whether they notified or considered the affected riders.

“This must be how people feel when they knock down trees for apartments or something,” said Andrew Crede, 19, sitting on his tricked-out bike last Friday, looking blankly at the flat patch of raw dirt. “You know, like tree-huggers.”

“Now we’ll have to go steal old ladies’ purses,” joked James Ahern, 21.

Crede, Ahern, and their friends began riding the trails when the first jump was built on the sly in the late ’90s. Over the years, teens and college kids created a dirt park that could accommodate intermediate to irrational BMXers and mountain bikers. Before that, the spot was a trashed-out jungle for the homeless.

“It’s disappointing,” said Jody Stoddard, owner of the Timeless BMX shop in Cambridge. “There are a lot of baseball and basketball parks that don’t get used, whereas that park got used quite often.”

The irony grows richer when you consider that the Charles River Conservancy is raising $2.3 million for a similar venture: the Charles River Skatepark under the Leonard P. Zakim Bridge. Stoddard wants to build a new dirt park nearby if he can get the land donated by the Metropolitan Turnpike Authority. Meanwhile, an online petition in support of the park under the bridge gathered hundreds of signatures in under a week.

On the Web
Sign the petition for a new dirt park under Zakim Bridge: //

Related: RIPTA drones thrown under the bus, Celebration, Seven should-be habits of highly effective T-riding people, More more >
  Topics: Lifestyle Features , Sports, Public Transportation, Transportation,  More more >
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