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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
EBRPD has invited the mountain biking community to discuss issues of mutual interest on the evening of July 29th from 7 to 9 PM at the Trudeau Center in Oakland. As you may have heard, the EBRPD Board of Directors is considering placing a new bond measure on the ballot in 2008 that would extend Measure AA by providing new funding for Regional Park land acquisition, new park and trail development, habitat restoration and rehabilitation of aging park facilities. BTCEB has been a strong supporter of increased land acquisition and preservation over our 20+ year history. However, the Districts refusal to engage in a meaningful discussion with cyclists has become untenable when the needs of cyclists continue to go unmet, or worse, are completely ignored.



Unfortunately during the last 20 years, there has not been any significant enhancement in EBRPD for off-road cyclists. Most cyclists want the same experience as other park users, a connection with nature, an escape from the urban environment, fun, exercise, and a sense of belonging.

Like most trail users cyclists prefer narrow trails. Whether one is hiking, running or riding a bike, users want to experience a close connection to nature, to be immersed in the natural world on narrow intimate trails. The experience just isn't the same on a wide fire road. While roads usually push straight through or over the hills, singletrack trails tend to wind around obstacles and blend into the surrounding environment. Many singletrack enthusiasts also seek a high degree of challenge that can not be found on ranch roads. Intermediate and advanced riders need more length and difficult trails to keep them interested. New types of riding such as free riding, downhilling and mountain unicyclists need different types of accommodation in the way trails and obstacles are built.

Please join us July 29th to share your input with District staff on how the Mt. biking experience can be enhanced throughout the EBRPD.
 

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I'm hopeful

Great job to everyone who complained loudly to EBPD about measure AA! Now lets help complete all the hard work and show up to this meeting. You can count me in at this one, thanks for the update Danger.
 

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Feeling a little taller
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
cohenfive said:
if i'm in town i'd like to go to that one, anyone want to commute from lafayette?
I plan on going from PH. If there are enough interested carpoolees from the area, I can throw in the 3rd row seat. Otherwise, I'd be glad to pay someone else for gas to save a few bucks over driving my gas-hog solo.
 

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Would it be helpful to have an on-line pettition that can be signed by registered voters to show the volume of people (mtn bikers) that will deliver a "NO" vote unless we have a guarantee to more open trails by a reasonable date?
 

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Are we there yet?
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Passenger13 said:
Would it be helpful to have an on-line pettition that can be signed by registered voters to show the volume of people (mtn bikers) that will deliver a "NO" vote unless we have a guarantee to more open trails by a reasonable date?
Are you a member of BTCEB? A survery was sent to our members getting their thoughts on Measure AA. This information will be compiled and submitted to EBRPD. I'm not sure our volunteer has the bandwidth to open it up to all mtbr folks so it might be worth it to pay $25 to join BTCEB and voice your opinion. www.btceb.org

As for me, I'm still on the fence but it'll take nothing short of a miracle from EBRPD to get a yes vote out of me. They are nervous about cyclists having the power to vote down their measure and they should be. For years now they have bowed down to political pressure from other users groups and placed cyclists at the bottom of the priority list. They have examples of properly designed trail networks that can limit user conflict yet they maintain a closed mind to any of these approaches. Riding in the penninsula parks offers a better park experience for cyclists. Ideally we'd keep our tax dollars local but it doesn't appear they realize just how much the cycling community contributes to the surrounding businesses. Not sure about other riders but my group usually hits a local restaurant after a ride. I'm sure some local East Bay businesses might appreciate the business however we leave the East Bay and ride in parks that have a more suitable trail network. The Districts decisions are affecting more than just the parks. It's affecting the cities and local business income as cyclists take their money outside the area to ride in parks that meet our needs.

As an avid outdoor enthusiast I appreciate open space and do my best to protect & preserve it. Open space in the Bay Area is a top priority of mine but I'm not convinced the EBRPD is the best agency to acquire and maintain it. They operate like a poorly managed corporation that needs an overhaul. Now is the time to enact change. Can the cycling community organize enough to prove our political power and can the EBRPD consider a different approach to park management? This might be our only chance for a long, long time to get what we've been fighting all these years for!
 

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I really want to go to this, but unfortunately I have depos and a mediation in Sacramento on that Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
 

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Paper or plastic?
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Pardon my cynicism, but I'd be highly surprised if anything meaningful comes out of this. My gut feel is that the district wants to do as little as possible to placate MTBers and get their votes while not upsetting their econazis friends from the Sierra Club. So, it'll probably sound like: "oh yes, we're doing things for the bikers like opening the Panorama trail in Mission Peak (big whooptido). And things will get better in the future. Just trust us. We're your friends."

My personal opinion, when it comes to politicians in general and the EBRPD in particular, is that promises are worthless and that actual actions are the only things that matter. So, unless the district actually does something meaningful between now and November, I won't support their measure.
 

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It's about showing up.
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I think that Zorg's comment warrants a correction

I believe, rather, that whooptie-do is the proper spelling;)

And I will be at that meeting. I've been thinking lately: what has making nice with horse-people and hikers gotten us, by the way.
 

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zorg said:
actual actions are the only things that matter. So, unless the district actually does something meaningful between now and November, I won't support their measure.
Speaking of action. The meeting should conclude with specific action items to be included in the language on the actual Measure AA bond presented to the voters. Action items like, remove all no biking signs on sign posts, or, convert . . .(specific trails) to multi use, Improve site lines on . . . (specific trail) for multi use, etc... You get my point. The language in the bond measure has to spell out for the voters exactly what the money is to be spent on. So now is the time to deal. Go with a list and demand that they are included in the language of the bond measure.

If the board is up for that then I think we can get some where.:thumbsup:
 

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Measure AA all but a done deal

The East Bay Regional Park District sent an e-mail to its parks and trails volunteers yesterday all but confirming that Measure AA will be on the November ballot. The EBRPD board vote on placing it on the ballot will be July 15, but it sounds like it's just a formality.

To see how clueless EBRPD remains even at what it regards as a critical time, see this thread: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=429540. The agency's public-relations clumsiness is almost painful to behold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
In the time since I originally posted this message, EBRPD has also cut off mountain bikes to completing the popular East Ridge/West Ridge loop during a fire fuel load mitigation effort. The work is being done on the East Ridge "trail" and while other user groups can bypass the segment of closed trails, mountain bikes are simply just not allowed.

Please take this survey to help us better represent your voice: http://app.icontact.com/icp/sub/survey/start?sid=1225&cid=212590.

We need to have a collective bargaining voice when it comes to what we want to see come from the money we as taxpayers will have to pay if the Measure AA Extension passes. Now is the time to tell the District what services we as mountain bikers want in our parks.

If you are not able to attend the meeting but have a request, please send any requests either directly to your Ward Directors or post them here.

 

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Bumping this thread because this meeting is important.

The fundamental issue here is obvious: The EBRPD assumes hikers and horses are legitimate park users, and that any impact they have, no matter how substantial, is acceptable. Any restriction on hikers and horses is viewed as a special case.

In contrast, the EBRPD assumes that people on bicycles are not legitimate park users, that any impact they have (even though it's less than horses and roughly equal to hikers) is unacceptable, and that allowing cyclists to use any part of their own parks is a special privilege requiring a vote of the governing board.

This is what must change. As zorg and others have said, words are meaningless here. The only acceptable outcome is equal access to EBRPD land for people on bicycles. Otherwise we will not only vote against this bond measure, but actively campaign against it.

As Berkeley Mike has said, making nice has got us nothing...they won't believe that cyclists have political power comparable to the traditional environmental movement until it is demonstrated to them. That means we have to go to meetings, write letters, spread the word about www.bettereastbayparks.org, and (most importantly) VOTE.

Passenger13: Based on my experience in politics, online petitions mean exactly squat. Even print petitions are mostly ignored, as are pre-printed postcards. Email counts a little, but not much.

Actual printed and mailed letters makes a difference, and showing up at meetings is the #1 most important thing you can do. You are taken seriously in proportion to the amount of effort you have made.
 

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El Caballo said:
Actual printed and mailed letters makes a difference, and showing up at meetings is the #1 most important thing you can do. You are taken seriously in proportion to the amount of effort you have made.
All of El Caballo's post is important, but I'm highlighting the above because it is very important. For those of us who do a huge amount of communication in cyberspace, it seems unfair, but the hand written or hardcopy original letter rules in terms of getting the attention of elected officials. These things are taken way more seriously, precisely because they take effort and most folks don't make that effort.

So how do you get written letters besides your own? Here's one way. Show up at a club meeting or trailhead with some paper, pens, and addresses. I was on a white water rafting trip one time when the guides told us about a threat to access, then over lunch produced the paper and pens. Bingo - 6 letters, ready to mail went in the guide's dry bag.
 

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Feeling a little taller
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just a quick reminder that this will be THIS Tuesday evening.

If you ride a bike on dirt trails in your local parks, this meeting
affects you. If you only attend 1 meeting this year, this would be the
critical one to attend.

East Bay Regional Parks wants your feedback as an off-road cyclist in
the East Bay. Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay and the
International Mountain Bicycling Association urge you to get involved
and join us at this critical meeting.

Thank you
 

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Have you considered proposing that there be term limits on the board members. Over time, that would allow board members who have personal experience with bikes to be elected. The existing members have tenures of - 30yr, 14yr, 10yr, 16yr, 14yr, 12yr, 2yr. Their pictures would seem to put most of them at ages that would not be particularly involved with mtn bikes. Turnover in the management of an organization like this has to be a good idea in order to bring in new ideas. Have them include term limits in a future Measure AA to get more support.
 
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