MELVILLE - The town of Huntington has shut down an illegal BMX park in Melville that supporters say draws in professionals from around the world.
Jim Martinez, of the Progressive Riders Organization, says the group helped build the Boondocks Trails BMX Park inside the town’s Pine Ridge Nature Preserve. The BMX park’s supporters admit it was built without permission, but they say destroying it now would be a major disappointment.
“This is a world-class set of trails,” says Martinez. “We literally have professionals come from around the world to come and visit here.”
Martinez says hundreds of riders use the track each weekend and help maintain the facility with their own money. The town says the park is against town code, however, and that it presents a huge liability if someone gets hurt. Once the town learned generators were being brought in and that a barbecue pit was built, concerns grew that an accidental fire could threaten nearby buildings. The town then ordered the track closed and torn down.
“It’s not legal. These people came on this property, they encroached on town land that's dedicated for a park preserve,” says town spokesman AJ Carter. “If they don't take it down themselves, the town will take it down and restore it to its natural state as best we can.”
The town does not have a timeline for the demolition of the park yet. Meanwhile, the BMX riders are trying to negotiate with the town.