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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got an FOW email stating that they are now doing the permits. In the past it was phila.gov. Now, city residents are required to pay $20 for the permit. Before it was optional.

https://www.fow.org/visit-the-park/rules-hours-permits/city-of-philadelphia-natural-surface-trail-permit/

Anyone know if enforcement will be more strict this year? I always get the bracelets, but have not always donated in the past. $20 is not a big deal. To me, it's more about the principal. I am a city resident who pays city tax. Why should I have to pay additionally to use the trails?
 

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In 15 years I've been asked once, and it was at table set up at a trail junction with a couple of folks trying to get users to register. Last few years I only hit the trails at night and never see anyone, but I get the permit anyway. Looking on the park website, the rules appear the same as always, with no fee for residents:

https://beta.phila.gov/services/permits-violations-licenses/get-a-trail-permit/

But the payment link is for last year and expired. Did the email you received include a link?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Right, the links at phila.gov are not valid for 2018. The FOW link I received and posted above is the only one I can find for 2018 permits. It was working when I first posted, but now the page is not loading completely to show the application form on the bottom half of the page. Maybe it's crashed from everyone buying their permits!

In 20+ years I have been asked only once. Actually, my friend and I got busted. It was like 1997. We came riding down one of the hills to FD where 2 rangers on bikes were posted up just waiting for people to ride down so they could ask them to see their permit. I did not have one because I did not know about the requirement at that time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah right! I notice a new rule written that says bikers need to stay off muddy trails. That one should apply to equestrians too. Also, I really wish they'd make a rule against letting your horse **** all over the trail without clearing it!
 

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Which will right about when they start handing out tickets for us riding over 7 MPH.

I don't mind buying a permit for the trails if I am reasonably certain that the cash will be going towards maintaining the trails that I use. Now that FOW is administering this, I have a higher level of confidence that this is the case.
 

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Sure why not. My point is that we mountain bikers probably break as many "rules" as any other trail user group so we should think about how much enforcement we want of whatever "rules" there are.

And yea I might feel the same way if I paid city wage tax, which I do not. I do feel an obligation to contribute to the upkeep of the trails that I use so frequently. Just speaking for myself of course though.
 

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Unfortunately the permit this year is a card that came with a huge arm-band, instead of the simple little bracelet that I could just strap around my bike.

I don't really mind paying the fee if it is going towards maintenance and improvements, but I'm annoyed that they decided to make it harder to deal with.
 

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I'm just upset that they are not offering the free guest passes. I see rangers in the lot by Valley Green a lot in the summer on weekends - I imagine they are checking for permits but never stopped and asked them. I always got the bracelet and donated the $20 or $25 so I font mind the cost.
 

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I was kind of annoyed by the arm strap card too, but then I just strapped it around my hydration pack... no big deal. I would not want to wear it on my arm, but it is easily visible on my pack. Not that I think anyone will ever check, just like they have never checked in the past.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I was kind of annoyed by the arm strap card too, but then I just strapped it around my hydration pack... no big deal. I would not want to wear it on my arm, but it is easily visible on my pack. Not that I think anyone will ever check, just like they have never checked in the past.
I did the same with mine the other day. It fits nicely into the helmet strap holders on my pack. I agree, a little obnoxious to wear on your arm. They are more official now too, with your name and ID #.
 

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<opinion> don't ever let a lack of a pass stop you from riding philly trails or inviting friends from out of town to come ride. THEY ARE PUBLIC CITY PARKS. </opinion>

if you do happen upon a ranger just be polite and you will get a warning at most. do they really expect everyone who rides hear a few times a year to get a pass? crazy!

it's a great way for the city to make tens of dollars while probably discouraging thousands in outside business when people don't come to philly because they heard you need a pass to ride the trials...

i love this city and the trails we have but this pass thing and the recent expansion of the night parks curfew to all winter are two things i get really upset by. they seem to discourage recreation in our awesome park system????
 

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As a resident I already pay the city wage tax, property tax, sales tax and the damn beverage tax. I refuse to pay another fee to use a park system I already support. I don't mind being asked to make a donation but being forced to is a smack in the face. After 15+ years no more trail permits for me....
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
"I feel this may not have been obvious..." ????

There was no "register here" link for paper registration or any statements about the donation being optional when I was first notified by the FOW email a couple weeks ago.
 
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