The summer months will now feature a bicycle playground instead of a synthetic ice surface at the Black Hills Energy Ice Rink at the 18th Street Downtown Plaza in Scottsbluff.
Supporters cut a ribbon Tuesday to officially open the playground, which is also known as a traffic garden or safety town. It’s a miniature street layout giving children a safe place to learn and practice bicycle skills and traffic safety rules that can also be used for active play.
KT Bradshaw with the Western Nebraska Bicycling Club tells KNEB News it’s a perfect location for what may be the first such playground in the state. “A lot of kids have done this sort of thing. You do this in the garage, but it’s chalk and it gets erased, and this is something permanent that the kids can come out and play on,” says Bradshaw. “It’s a safe place that’s out of the way of traffic, so kids can learn bike handling skills.”
The playground will be available between April and October, when the site is not in use for ice skating or a special event. The miniature signs that are part of the learning process can be checked out for use during events or classes by contacting the City of Scottsbluff.
The project is a collaboration between the bicycling club and city of Scottsbluff, with support from the Tri-City Active Living Advisory Committee, Diamond Vogel and Aulick Industries. No city funds were used for the playground.