North Houston Bike Park
North Houston Bike Park
The North Houston Bike Park is a premiere BMX destination and among the biggest bike parks in the country. BMX, or Bicycle Motocross, is a competitive bicycling sport. Bikers can either race on a track, pull tricks on obstacles, or ride their bike completely freestyle.
Among the features is a BMX-sanctioned race track, allowing the park to host national professional competitions. Adjacent to the recently constructed North Houston Skate Park, also developed by the Greater Greenspoint Redevelopment Authority, the publicity from the park and the stream of visitors it generates is helping to revitalize the Greenspoint neighborhood.
The site lies at the confluence of two bayous, the North Fork Greens Bayou and Greens Bayou. Development of this site required a significant Water Resources Engineering component to prove that the proposed project would have no hydraulic impact to the surrounding area. The analysis also ensured that the project would not exacerbate flooding in an area where recent flood events had been federally declared as having caused states of disaster.
Four architectural / park design firms worked together to create the assortment of features on site. With so many firms working on individual park elements, the Walter P Moore Civil Engineering team served a crucial role, working to coordinate each element and ensure they would function effectively once integrated into the park as a whole.
How does the nomination support (any or all of) the '5 Coordinates'?
Passion/Expertise/Performance [PEP] — The site had a variety of hydrological challenges: it is completely in the 100-year floodplain, it is located at the confluence of two bayous, and the Greens Bayou floodway overlaps with the tip of the property. Per City of Houston requirements, the BMX track typically would not be allowed to overlap with the floodway. The firm's Water Resources and Civil Engineering teams successfully submitted a report proving no hydraulic impact, allowing the client to position the BMX track in their preferred location.
Teamwork Integrates Knowledge [TIK] — This project was an exercise in coordination both internally and externally. Internally, the Water Resources team worked with our Civil design team to analyze the site and its impact on the adjacent bayous. The Pune and Houston Civil design teams coordinated on a near daily basis to expedite the design process. Externally, Walter P Moore worked closely with five different design firms (Stantec - BMX Track; Paul Endres Studio - Structural/Architect; Office of James Burnett (OJB) - Client/Landscape Architect; Site Design Group - BMX Obstacle Designers; Wylie - MEP Engineer) to complete design of the park.
Innovation Not Optional [INO] — When the detention requirements threatened to halt the project, Walter P Moore created an innovatie solution. By switching to a permeable pavement system, we were able to fix the problem and improve the project as a whole. The implementation of the TrueGrid™ system lowered detention, allowed areas designated for surface ponds to remain as wooded areas, and marked the North Houston Bike Park as a pioneer of Low-Impact Developments (LID) in the Houston area.
Extraordinary Client Experience [ECX] — The North Houston Bike Park was our client's (OJB's) first time serving as prime on a project of this size with such a large Civil Engineering component. As such, the Walter P Moore team worked collaboratively to help guide them through the process, both during design and permitting. When switching from concrete to permeable paver parking lots, our team took the lead in contacting TrueGrid and coordinating with the owner's representatives to determine cost savings and design impact. With backgrounds in Civil Engineering, both of the owner's representatives were very active in the civil design process.
Stewardship [HIP] — The existing site is an undeveloped, heavily wooded green site. Though developing a park over the entire 19 acres, the client wished to maintain as much of the existing trees as possible. The grading and utility design was highly coordinated to ensure protection of the existing trees so as to protect the client’s vision of a park tucked away in the woods. Trees that could not be saved were recycled as wood chips for various walking trails throughout the site.
The North Houston Bike Park is helping revitalize the struggling Greenspoint neighborhood and transform the quality of Houston’s public spaces. In a city reputed as lacking in options for outdoor enthusiasts, this park will not only put Houston on the radar as a destination for extreme sports, but also help transform the quality of life for residents and the community.
The North Houston Bike Park opened in August of 2019.