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Almost Human
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our local Parks Dept. has decided to go through a master planning process on some land that was leased, but they have now purchased. Manitou Section 16.

Initially I was impartial to the new reroutes. But the more I look at them the more concerned I am. I've noted the issues I have with the and would really appreciate any inputs you guys might see that I didn't catch. FWIW I'm a soil scientist by degree and also a former parks/trail/open space planner. Please be as technical as you wish.

http://www.springsgov.com/units/parksrec/RRC_WEB map10.07.11.pdf

http://www.redrockcanyonopenspace.org/Topo_High_Res.pdf

http://www.redrockcanyonopenspace.org/Topo_Quick.pdf

My Google Earth 3D mashup.
Turn everything on except the reroutes to get an idea of the new trail system.

Thanks in advance for any reply's.

Oh yeah!
To give you an idea of what they have already done and what some of the trails look like please refer to the photos in this post.
http://forums.mtbr.com/colorado-front-range/section-16-trail-luv-716251.html
 

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Unpredictable
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Never been there but there seem to to be too many trails for that area, even allowing for the topography. Have people been building new bits over time to improve the(ir) experience? Looks like a lot of the original trails are old-fashioned and straight-line. Seems the re-routes remove some. The topo makes the re-routes look attractive, maybe scenic and the layout looks sustainable. Soil and local features should be suited to the local trail plan, but it looks good to me.

The chance to be able to ride through sensitive areas, is a true privilege. So long as the trails meet that rarefied standard, the place is going to go off. People will want to go there and to me that means people will take their own advocacy role and provide input with regard to sustainability rather than do harm.

IMO if you cannot build a good trail in the place then you should not try. Almost any soil can handle walkers and bikes if made well and these will have to be really good with housing all around. If you don't have good trail then not only will trail erosion and local damage be an issue, but all the local kids are going to keep building.

Make it well and they will come. Make it no better and they will dig.
 

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Why specifically are you concerned about the re-routes? They generally seem to improve sustainability (upon a quick glance) due to avoiding fall-line style trail construction. Switchbacks, when built properly, should lower erosion, no?
 

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Delirious Tuck
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2,471 Posts
Agree with Rip, it really looks like they're taking more of the contour, grade reversal, sustainable approach to things.

Are you concerned they'll dumb down or inherently change the nature of the Trail system? If they have good sight lines planned as part of the reroutes, then I say,"if its too easy, you're going too slow."

That said if they're removing technical sections or really F-ing up established loops, I'd suggest you approach them to let them know that they're removing one of the attractive features of the park. But I'd be be armed with how I might integrate those loops/similar challenges back into the reroutes they have planned and work proactively to try accomplish your goals while supporting theirs...
 

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Almost Human
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm concerned because they are adding almost 30 switchbacks. I didn't catch it the first time I saw them either. But then I sat down and started counting. They're just replacing one unsustainable trail with another unsustainable trail.

I'm thinking that they should abandon the entire trail and start from scratch if sustainability is the goal.

Also, after construction of the stairs, @1/4 mile of continual stairs leading into the park, I have to wonder if the switchbacks are not there to discourage mountain biking, or just designed by an amateur trailbuilder who is only looking at one user groups needs.
 

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Delirious Tuck
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Gotcha... judging from the Sec. 16 thread (I read it), you need to really figure out how to eliminate (what I suspect are not really well thought out for all user group) switchbacks, maybe suggest wider arc-ing climbing turns with a wider radius to eliminate several switch backs, add more trail, and keep grades sustainable if you can find the space/places for it.

Switchbacks are a PITA to properly build and if not done properly aren't worth crap for sustainability and scare newer equestrian and mtb users because of the potential to fall "off the edge".
 

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There appear to be a lot of short, choppy switchbacks. It is better if there are longer legs between switchback turns because it eliminates many unnecessary turns and makes it more likely the remaining switchback turns will be built correctly. Lots of switchback turns usually means low quality turn construction.

Some of the choppy switchback sections seem to occur due to constrictions on trail corridor along the old fall line trail alignment. Such constrictions are sometimes necessary due to things like private land but this seems to be more due to habitat concerns. Sometimes a better laid out trail will have reduced habitat impacts due to better sustainablity. If you can get the trail out of the old trail alignment you can then rehab the old alignment for an increase in habitat.
 

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Unpredictable
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I am going to have to look again in more detail later, but if those switchbacks are actually berms and if the result is that riders use certain trails to go down and others to ride up, it may all be fun. I don't like climbing tight swithches either, but on a map an 8m radius berm and a switchback may look the same until built.
 

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Almost Human
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Some of the choppy switchback sections seem to occur due to constrictions on trail corridor along the old fall line trail alignment. Such constrictions are sometimes necessary due to things like private land but this seems to be more due to habitat concerns. Sometimes a better laid out trail will have reduced habitat impacts due to better sustainablity. If you can get the trail out of the old trail alignment you can then rehab the old alignment for an increase in habitat.
That's good bull! :thumbsup:

Sometimes unsustainable is necessary to accomplish other goals like habitat protection.
 
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