2005_10_01_Station_0041

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Alert for parents of adolescent male BMX bicycle riders in Niles (9 replies)
 
 If you have a son who is between around 10 and 14 years old and who is
fond of riding their BMX bicycle "off road," keep an eye out on where
they are going and what they're doing once they get there.

There is a vacant lot immediately north of Dave's Foreign Car Service
at Mission Boulevard & Nursery Avenue. While there painting over
graffiti, I discovered that a local group of boys in that age range
has created a BMX obstacle course on that lot. They literally were
using shovels and a wheelbarrow while creating it, presumably shovels
and a wheelbarrow "borrowed" from Mom and Dad's garage.

But trespassing and altering private property isn't the problem, the
problem is what they've created on the property. They have created a
pair of jumping ramps on opposite sides of the gravel roadbed of the
U.P. Railroad track. It appears that they have been riding down a path
they created in the vacant lot and then jumping their BMX bikes over
the railroad tracks.

I've already reported this to the Fremont P.D. and they're deciding
what city department has jurisdiction in such a situation. I don't
know who the property owner for that parcel is, but I'd recommend they
get someone out there quickly with a caterpillar tractor to level it
all out, before some kid sets killed on the railroad tracks, or gets
badly injured while trying to impress his adolescent buddies with how
many boulders or splintered 2x4's he can jump over.

And if your kid is one of those who created or uses this "obstacle
course," it's a sure recipe for disaster. I suspect the kids that are
involved are from that adjoining townhome complex or from the other
side of Mission Boulevard, as they surely didn't bring that heavy
full-sized wheelbarrow from more than a few blocks away.

Del on Niles Boulevard
Posted – 07/28/07 9:50am by Lynn Slater, updated or replied 07/28/07 9:53am
 
 

While I completely agree that creating a ramp near the railroad tracks is a dangerous activity, I mourn the loss of free play that children once had. Kids these days are restricted from building a tree house (see Park restrictions), running in fields (stay on trails), playing creekside (access is strictly prohibited) , etc... Too bad the police have been called when instead the parents could have been contacted and perhaps something else could have been worked out. I guess they will just have to go play their video games inside...

The tomboy who made her own BMX style course in an empty field when she was a kid...
Kely
2nd Street
Posted – 07/28/07 9:50am by Lynn Slater
 

Well said, Kely.

vickie on 2nd
Posted – 07/28/07 9:51am by Lynn Slater
 

Here here!
 
These are good kids having fun!
Posted – 07/28/07 9:51am by Lynn Slater
 

You could look at it this way..............that empty lot isn't going to be an eye sore as long as the kids continue to take their "borrowed shovels and wheelbarrows" and try to make something of it!
 
Doreen
Posted – 07/28/07 9:51am by Lynn Slater
 

I agree.  I used to be a youth who rode my bike across the rail road tracks.  We used to sneek into the
quarrys and jump off the cliffs.  We used to ride our bikes up niles canyon to go trout fishing.  We would
wade in alameda creek to fish.  Today that is not even allowed!  We used to
get kicked out of the quarrys every day by the same guard.  He would kind of laugh at us,
knowing we were having harmless fun!  If anyone was going to get hurt, it would be us, but we understood
no one was going to bail us out!  We would ride across the railroad bridges to get from one side of the
creek to the other.
 
I think the kids who created the BMX course should be valued for their hard work and effort!  Though
they maybe shouldn't have put the jumping ramp across the train tracks, I think their resourcefulness is
great in this day and age! 
 
John.  (A new resident to Niles, moving back to Fremont)
Posted – 07/28/07 9:51am by Lynn Slater
 

Good for them.  We used to do the same sort of thing growing up in Fremont, but then there were a lot more fields to do it at.  These days there are virtually no more fields in Fremont, it makes it a little more difficult for the kids to get out and do something constructive.
Posted – 07/28/07 9:52am by Lynn Slater
 

My only concern would be if one of the kids gets injured or worse.  In our litigious society, I can just see the parents looking for someone else to blame.  Liability is a huge problem and if it was my property, while I wouldn't mind the kids having fun, I would be very concerned about my liability.  I'm also surprised any parent would be in favor of this when the ramp goes over the railroad tracks.  This is incredibly dangerous.  We don't always hear the train whistles and the train ALWAYS wins.  While kids doing something constructive is good, they don't always make the best decisions, and putting a ramp across the railroad tracks is a bad decision.  We're always encouraged to call the police when we think there is danger, so the person who did this was surely acting out of concern to the kids.
 
Joan
D Street
Posted – 07/28/07 9:52am by Lynn Slater
 

To this quixotic conversation, might I add some more somber remembrances: The teenager killed at the Niles Quarry in the 1960's when he dived off of an abandoned dredge and hit his head on submerged metal debris.  This death did result in the City of Fremont enforcing the signed cleanup agreement with the politically well connected prior Quarry Operator.
 
And far more recently, a young teen who was killed on the tracks in Union City near Decoto Road when the remarkably quiet Amtrak Train, running in reverse (Engine at the back), surprised him.
 
John
Niles Boulevard
Posted – 07/28/07 9:52am by Lynn Slater
 

it is the reail line...
The issue in the original e-mail was not the BMX track, even on "borrowed" land.  Rather a jump across a very active rail line, and to my imagination, the potential for a great thrill of playing chicken with the trains.
 
John
Niles Boulevard
Posted – 07/28/07 9:53am by Lynn Slater
 

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