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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Cyclist.

Seems the county wants to buy up a bunch of land for open space, and give hikers and equestians exclusive use. And use my tax dollars to do so.

From the article:

"A plan unveiled Tuesday by Marin County officials calls for a quarter-cent sales tax and the formation of new assessment districts to help raise more than $226 million for open space land acquisition and parks maintenance.
The plan, produced by the county's Parks and Open Space Department, envisions acquisition of 15,000 acres of open space containing 50 miles of new trails over the next 20 years. Half of the money raised by the sales tax would be spent on wildland fire prevention and farmland protection.

Parks and Open Space Director Sharon McNamee said county supervisors will review the results of a new poll before deciding next month whether to put a tax measure on the November ballot.

But even as county supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt the blueprint, concern emerged that implementation of the plan would result in the opening up of more single-track trails to bicyclists.

The plan originally called for opening five trails to bicyclists: One Oh One in the Rush Creek preserve; Maytag in the Blithedale Summit preserve; Split Rock in the Cascade Canyon preserve; and Mount Tam Cemetery and Fox Lane in the Terra Linda/Sleepy Hollow preserve.

Those proposals were deleted, however, after opposition emerged at a public workshop on June 3.

"It doesn't change a thing," said Delos Putz of San Geronimo, who attended Tuesday's meeting to complain that the plan fails to adequately protect hikers and horseback riders from bicyclists. Putz said removal of the trails from the plan doesn't mean they wouldn't be converted.
McNamee confirmed that the trails, along with many others, would be evaluated for shared use.

Putz said it is a misnomer to label narrow, single-track trails open to hikers, horseback riders and bicyclists as "shared."

"The safety issues are just overwhelming," Putz said. "What happens is, the more vulnerable users - hikers and horsemen - are essentially precluded from use of those trails."

Balance of article here: http://www.marinij.com/marinnews/ci_9616338

After reading feel free to post rational comments to the IJ website. Thanks.
 

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Paper or plastic?
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Time to use your voting power wisely. Start contacting the powers that be and indicate your intentions of voting against the sales tax increase unless things change for cyclists.
 

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We just have to find some money and get some people elected to these boards to get these guys out. I'm not for banning anyone, like horsey people. It should be open to all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
zorg said:
Time to use your voting power wisely. Start contacting the powers that be and indicate your intentions of voting against the sales tax increase unless things change for cyclists.
Ding ding, we have a winner.

I'll be writing to my Supes and Attending the meetings from now on. Think I have figured out how to get the meeting times and agendas beforehand.

Kevin G said:
Fcuk Marin; I will continue to poach. And ride legally in Sonoma.
That would be the easy way out, of course.
 

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Well, I live here, and I agree with Kevin G. Equestrians are by far the most damaging of the three groups. And I hear a lot about "safety issues" but I have yet to hear of an actual case in recent years where a mountain biker harmed another trail user.

EDIT: Just did a search over at Marin IJ, and guess what? Not one relevant result.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Nut! said:
Well, I live here, and I agree with Kevin G. Equestrians are by far the most damaging of the three groups. And I hear a lot about "safety issues" but I have yet to hear of an actual case in recent years where a mountain biker harmed another trail user.

EDIT: Just did a search over at Marin IJ, and guess what? Not one relevant result.
Yeah, would agree about horses, the damage horses do to trails (esp in winter) is just amazing. Open space built a new trail out at Rush Creek last fall and temporarily marked it closed to horses and bikes (as the trail was new). That didn't stop a group of horse riders from riding the wet trail and filling it full of post holes.

And I understand Kevin G.'s frustration and POV 100%.
 

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I read this article the other day and came to a realization. Achieving shared use single track in Marin is kind of like finding a cure for cancer. Sure, they will both happen...just not in my lifetime. So many people are against shared trail use and I don't think throwing a wad of money in support of bikers will change any of that. The funny thing is, I don't want shared trail use. I want bike only single track.

Case in point, I was coming down the (legal) single track from big rock ridge to Lucas Valley Road last weekend and I knew there would be a lot of people on the trail because it was nice out. While on the fire road at the top of the ridge I slowed to a stop 100 ft behind a family and gave a "hi, how are you doing?" from far away. They still seemed spooked when they first saw me as if I was going to try to slalom through them at mach 5. Coming down the single track I either whistle really loud or say "biker coming down" when approaching blind turns at 5 mph. Two guys hiking apparently didn't think anything of it and almost fell off the trail as I rounded the turn.

The point is that my downhill run was half as fun having to slow down all the time and I still scared people while trying my hardest not to. So forget shared trails, just give me one fun single track in marin that is for bikers only.
 

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The times they are a-changin'

First, you'll notice that two of the Marin County supervisors, including one who is a mountain biker, aren't buying the horsers' whingeing:

"Supervisors Steve Kinsey and Charles McGlashan also expressed strong support for the plan.

" 'I see a magnificent plan here,' Kinsey said.

"McGlashan said, 'I happen to be a user of a bicycle variety and I'm not happy being stuck on fire roads. I don't buy that argument. I don't buy the safety stuff. I think we can do it all.' "

Second, the Marin Independent-Journal's article (http://www.marinij.com/marinnews/ci_9616338) generated blog comments that show mountain bikers are no longer willing to be cowed and abide by the antis' luddite and reactionary agenda.

"Patty from Belmont" (we know who that is) wrote:

"People, look what happened in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.

"Several years ago, Santa Clara county was able to renew their 'Park Charter Fund' which sets aside a small percentage of the county budget for parks. Voters liked it. The parks in Santa Clara county are generally quite nice, and recent master plans produced for the parks have opened more trails to bikes. It's a well-run parks system that is inclusive. Something for everyone. People get along!

"But this year, in San Mateo County, the proponents of Measure O decided to go forward and try to get funding without first trying to get bicyclists access to the trails in San Mateo County Parks. They didn't think they needed us. But many of the local mountain bikers refused to assist with the 'Yes on Parks' effort, some even went on 'No on O' personal campaigns to tell their colleagues why they were voting no.

"Measure O failed. It turns out they needed more support. The tax in Marin will fail too, unless you get cyclists what they are asking for FIRST.

"We all share the same love of nature and protecting open space. The regulations against mountain biking are divisive and will ultimately bring down your attempts to gain financial support from the citizenry.

"Listen up Marin County: Open trails to bikes. Do it now. Get mountain bikers ON YOUR SIDE. Then when you ask for financial support, you'll find it. Times have changed. Sticking to out-dated land management policies is going to bite you in the wallet."

Well-stated, Patty! And the same goes for the East Bay Regional Park District. If it doesn't stop treating mountain bikers like third-class park visitors its Measure AA, scheduled for a November vote, is going to fail! See this site: http://www.bettereastbayparks.com/

And Steve from Hayward wrote this excellent piece of rhetoric, which should be nailed to the door of every parks agency office, horse barn, and stable door in Marin County:

"Mountain bikers are the second largest user group in California parks, second only to hikers. There are more mountain bikers than dog walkers, and over 30 times as many mountain bikers as equestrians.

"Seriously: you want to ban almost a third of the population from our parks, and then ask us for more money? Are you joking? (Roughly 30% of Californians ride MTBs.)

"Horses have a disproportionate environmental impact on our parks. Horses weigh over 1000 pounds, damage trails far more than a 30-pound bicycle or a hiker with a 40-pound overnight pack, leave pounds of smelly feces on the trails, demand that 'singletrack' trails be widened to six feet so they can pass each other, and demand that erosion-preventing rocks and natural terrain features be removed so they don't 'throw a shoe.'

"Then there are the giant, gas-guzzling trucks and trailers required to transport horses to the trailhead and back, and the huge, ugly parking lots required for horse trailers.

"Yet horses are allowed access to nearly all trails in Marin parks, while bicyclists are forbidden! This makes no sense, except from the point of view of pure selfishness: people with lots of money (horses are expensive) don't want to see the hoi polloi (bicycle owners) on what they wrongly consider 'their' parks.

"Parks are public land. That means the public should have access to public land. I don't care how much money you have, you can't afford to buy Mt. Tamalpais, and you don't have the right to ban others from it because you don't like the quiet, human-powered, sustainable, environmentally sound way in which others traverse the trails.

"In short: if Marin wishes to continue catering to a tiny minority of environmentally destructive equestrians at the expense of a 30 times greater population of bicyclists, they shouldn't expect the population to applaud and vote them more money."

Finally, there was this:

"I used to ride the few permitted Marin singletrack trails when I lived nearby. Now I live in San Jose. In the South Bay and Peninsula, unlike eccentric Marin, there's tons of multiuse singletrack and everyone gets along.

"The [Independent Journal's forum] moderator urges polite posts, but that doesn't foreclose being direct. The truth is that the antibike diehards quoted in the article are the ideological heirs to the paranoid tradition epitomized by the early political years of George Wallace.

"In 1963 Wallace proclaimed 'I say . . . segregation today . . . segregation tomorrow . . . segregation forever.' The tiny and ever-dwindling clutch of doddering reactionaries who are often given space to denounce mountain biking in the I-J's pages offer the same message.

"It is tempting to criticize the I-J for giving these few obsessive individuals a voice, but one must concede there's a certain newsworthiness in the very perversity of their atavistic, antimodern, blind, and selfish views. Given that people were morbidly fascinated by the mindsets of, e.g., Joseph McCarthy, Nicolae Ceausescu, and Idi Amin, I can see the attraction for reporters in quoting these individuals time and again.

"The insincerity of these troglodytes' protestations (the I-J uses the term 'concerns,' but that is too euphemistic a noun for years of strident and dogged complaints) is shown by their unwillingness to consider alternate-day separate uses, such as 'horse-rider Wednesdays,' in which they would be assured of legal exclusive access to the trails. If safety were their real concern, they would negotiate such a regimen. Because a puritanical hatred of the fun and joy of mountain biking is their true motivation, they oppose any access, using safety as a foil.

"Marin mountain bikers: do not be content with crumbs. Not only should those five trails be opened, but if you're going to pay a quarter-cent sales tax for open space on top of our already high taxes, demand comprehensive trail access reform."
 
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