Lawsuit claims ‘pump track’ at local park is dangerous

The pump track at PHR Community Park.

An injury suffered last year at San Diego’s first “pump track,” an undulating exercise course for bicyclists and skateboarders, has prompted a lawsuit seeking to shut the track down unless city officials adopt strict regulations.

The suit claims city officials were negligent when they decided to allow cyclists and skaters to simultaneously use the track but then failed to provide supervision or warning signs about the dangers that type of conflict would create.

The suit was filed in January by Vladislav Kroutik, who claims he was injured on the track just a few days after it opened last April in Pacific Highlands Ranch Park.

Kroutik’s suit says he was “brutally attacked by a skateboarder while biking on the pump track.” But he blames the city, not the skateboarder.

The suit says city officials failed to provide supervision at the track, failed to post warning signs, failed to tell users how to reduce injury risks and failed to establish clear standards and protocol for the track.

While the park was under construction, Kroutik complained about noise from the concrete pump track he attributed to skaters breaking in during evening and night hours. In his suit, he says the track should be rebuilt with dirt to reduce noise.

The suit says noise levels in the park exceed city standards established in the San Diego Municipal Code. It is open from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily.

Kroutik lives in the Airoso development, which is directly adjacent to the new park.

The park, which opened April 10, 2019, also includes a five-acre turf field, a 17,000-square-foot recreation center, two dog parks, a children’s playground and other amenities. It’s located at 5977 Village Center Loop.

The suit doesn’t specify what injuries Kroutik suffered but it seeks reimbursement for medical expenses. He suffered “irreversible physical harm, mental anguish and continuous fear for his life” while using the park on April 22, the suit says.

A pump track is called that because users are encouraged by the rolling hills and banked turns to pump — make up and down movements — instead of normal pedaling.

The case has been assigned to Superior Court Judge John Meyer, who has scheduled a May 15 hearing.

A spokeswoman for City Attorney Mara Elliott said Elliott’s staff will review the complaint with city officials.

— David Garrick is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune