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MFin' Princess
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Everyone lucky enough to live the Front Range cherishes their access to Open Space parks, and supports JCOS responsibilities to ensure that visitors’ experiences to their parks are both harmonious and safe. However, recent Ranger Yielding Sting Operations (conducted through its Directed Education and Enforcement Program, “DEEP”) are not an effective or fair way to achieve either goal. The DEEP program was discussed at length in this thread, as well as at the September 19 Public Forum with JCOS. As described in both, the problems with the Ranger Yield stings are significant:
  • The sting operations employ tactics where Rangers intentionally stand on (or off) the edge of very wide sections of double-track, create extremely generous passing lanes and physically invite others to pass, intentionally ignore oncoming traffic and reasonable efforts to communicate, and ultimately punish bikers through law for safely and normally passing pedestrians on multi-use trails. In the end, these sting operations cite and harass reasonable and prudent riders acting in safe and practical manners; and do not target mountain bikers who act irresponsibly, putting others’ safety at risk.
  • Current policy language bizarrely state that mountain bikers must yield right-of-way without regard to either trail width or condition, yet both factors are inarguably essential to determining both when and how passage is safe.
  • The policies this program are based upon are not only poorly written and crafted, but rely upon a foundation that micromanages and targets the actions of one user group, when three must cooperate inside JCOS parks. This makes mountain bikers not simply responsible for riding safely and courteously – but also responsible for the negligence and discourteousness of all other user groups, and utimately the automatic offender in any yielding conflict in which they are present! Therefore, the enforcement of these policies, in these ways, through current language, puts mountain bike access rights in JCOS parks continually at risk; actually decreases park safety, and indeed increases conflicts for all.
For these reasons, so many of us who received Failure to Yield tickets in sting operations this summer, (like me and four others cited in a single sting incident at Lair o’ the Bear park in an operation that was employed on July 16), welcomed our days in court. And as a mountain biker who was absolutely innocent of the charges unjustly made against me, I am very happy and relieved to report to you that after several hours in trial, the Jefferson County Court has patiently and completely heard one of our cases, found the first Defendant NOT GUILTY, and as of this morning, has DISMISSED THE CHARGES against the remaining four Defendants.

It is indeed a good day for mountain bikers across the Front Range.

This did not happen easily. As safe and civically responsible people we’ve been pretty successful at keeping ourselves out of the court room (until recently)! We knew very little about the legal process, and were hardly ready to navigate the mountain of procedure even an innocent person must successfully climb to ultimately prevail in court. But given the serious problems with the DEEP program, the threats it poses to our mountain bike community, as well as the concerning circumstances that existed in our case, we strongly believed that it was important enough to see through.

Which we did. And I’m very proud to say, with vigorous and absolutely truthful testimony.

Having completed this process are now in a position to share our learning experiences and resources with others in similar situations, who too believe their Failure to Yield ticket was unwarranted or unjust. We can describe the process, clarify the players, give solid and practical advice, show you the nuts and bolts of our case, and provide you with a kind of legal roadmap that should make the process much easier for future cases to be heard. And heard they must be. Just send me a private message and we can work out the details.

It should now be clear to everyone that our goal in these efforts was not to win in court, dodge paying a slew of $50 tickets, or waste the Court’s precious time. Our goal was, as it remains, to improve JCOS policy.

Instead of sting operations that micromanage and unfairly target the behaviors of just one user group when all visitors must act responsibily to create safe and harmonious park environments, we hope to see our Open Space department adopt clear and sensible policy, that promotes respect of all user groups equally, that truly embraces the spirit of multi-use – the spirit in which JCOS parks were founded – and the foundation upon which these parks must continue to thrive!

A starting point for that long overdue discussion is shown below.

I hope that all Front Range mountain bikers will join us in this endeavor by:
  • Joining local and national mountain bike advocacy groups, and being an active participant in their organizations,
  • Attending OSAC meetings personally as often as you can, and being a vigorous and present voice for our mountain bike community,
  • Writing and voicing your concerns, trail experiences, and suggestions directly to JCOS, and its managing committee OSAC, and not sitting back while our community’s representation is siphoned and diluted through ineffective and compromising channels of bureaucracy and red tape,
  • Fighting all unjust “DEEP” Failure to Yield Right of Way citations that you or other bikers receive, to ensure that misguided and poor policy is scrutinized, clearly understood by all responsible and managing parties, and ultimately improved for the betterment of Open Space as a whole,
  • And, by being an ambassador for the mountain bike community – riding safely, responsibly, and courteously – every time you enjoy your JCOS multi-use trails, and encouraging fellow riders to do the same.
Please join us at a post-trial celebration we have planned this Friday, December 12 at 6pm at Wrigley’s Sports Bar located near Apex at 18200 W. Colfax, Golden 80401. All mountain bikers and friends of multi-use are more than welcomed to attend. Hope to see you there!

~TVC
 

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Now with 20% more fat!!
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Thank you, TVC! I know I'm not alone in my appreciation for your hard work! I'll do my best to attend Friday's celebration (unless I'm involved in one of those awesome night rides). Congrats!
 

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TVC15 said:
I am very happy and relieved to report to you that after several hours in trial, the Jefferson County Court has patiently and completely heard one of our cases, found the first Defendant NOT GUILTY, and as of this morning, has DISMISSED THE CHARGES against the remaining four Defendants.
Congratulations to the first Defendant who obviously put together a very good legal case. Who was it?

Also, don't be surprised if this sets up a little retaliation. I'd expect to see a LOT more signage and probably more watching by the authorities.
 

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Moosehead
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1,908 Posts
Congrats & Well Done

TVC15 said:
I hope that all Front Range mountain bikers will join us in this endeavor by:
  • Joining local and national mountain bike advocacy groups, and being an active participant in their organizations,
  • Attending OSAC meetings personally as often as you can, and being a vigorous and present voice for our mountain bike community,
  • Writing and voicing your concerns, trail experiences, and suggestions directly to JCOS and OSAC, and not sitting back while our community’s representation is siphoned and diluted through ineffective and compromising channels of bureaucracy and red tape;
  • Fighting all unjust “DEEP” Failure to Yield Right of Way citations that you or other bikers receive, to ensure that misguided and poor policy is scrutinized, clearly understood by all responsible and managing parties, and ultimately improved for the betterment of Open Space as a whole,
  • And, by being an ambassador for the mountain bike community – riding safely, responsibly, and courteously – every time you enjoy your JCOS multi-use trails, and encouraging fellow riders to do the same.
~TVC
and moreso, well said, particularly given the obstacles you had to deal with. lesson to us all. thanks tvc.
 

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Bad Andy
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877 Posts
retsin2000 said:
Congrats! I was hoping that was what all the happy emoticons in the other thread were celebrating.
Ditto.
Good job TVC15, and all others involved in this, and thank you.
Only problem is, shouldn't the celebration be at Buffalo Creek on Friday at 6pm instead of Wrigley's?! Since BC's where the official unofficial F'N T.I.T.S. ride will be (hopefully)!! If we end up riding Green Mtn - we'll attend Wrigley's for a short celebration 1st - right PBR?
 

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MFin' Princess
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
andychrysler said:
Ditto.Since BC's where the official unofficial F'N T.I.T.S. ride will be (hopefully)!! If we end up riding Green Mtn - we'll attend Wrigley's for a short celebration 1st - right PBR?
Oh crap, I'm sorry! I didn't check the calendar around these parts, and scheduled this based solely on the Defendants' availability, all of whom put it enormous amounts of time and energy to the process, and whose families very patiently put up with their dedication to it.

I imagine we could start a little earlier, and won't be wrapping up too early at Wrigley's, so we may be there for quite a spell. And they make one helluva Chicago Dog in case folks are hungry ... :D
 

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Bad Andy
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877 Posts
TVC15 said:
scheduled this based solely on the Defendants' availability, all of whom put it enormous amounts of time and energy to the process, and whose families very patiently put up with their dedication to it.
Rightly so - I'm just kiddin' ya.
Have fun, and like I said, we'll prolly start at Wrigley's if we end up riding Green Mtn on Fri.
If not, have fun!
And again, thanks to you and all the others.
 

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Pivot Rider
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1,088 Posts
I also add my CONGRATS

and well done! Thank you for seeing this thru and hopefully we can all (mtbrs and JCOS)work on a climate of cooperation -- not retaliation. One in which ALL trail users are given the same and equal useage guidelines! :thumbsup:
 

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MFin' Princess
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
russman said:
Here's how the cross examination of the ranger went exactly...
Ha! :D Hey -- that even kinda looks like "Rider 1"! Rider 1 did nothing short of a STELLAR job. I think a litigator was born in this process.

Oh man oh man, I only wish I was on the stand when this little exchanged happened ...

Rider 1 to the DA: "I object!"
Judge to Rider 1: "On what grounds?"
Rider 1 to Judge: "What's the point?!!"
 

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Congrats! You all did well...very well.

I'm sure the little Ranger is fit to be tied and in a state of real depression. Someone hold up a glass for that poor lil chap!
 

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athalliah said:
Well done, thanks to those involved. JCOS clearly ticketed the right people.
indeed.

:)
 
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