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regarding the tunnels and san diego trail access in general

1907 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Impy
A list of city representatives:
(please see the link below for each representatives staff)

District 1
Councilmember Sherri Lightner
E-mail: [email protected]

District 2
Councilmember Kevin Faulconer
E-mail: [email protected]

District 3
Councilmember Todd Gloria
E-mail: [email protected]

District 4
Councilmember Tony Young
E-mail: [email protected]

District 5
Councilmember Carl DeMaio
E-mail: [email protected]

District 6
Councilmember Donna Frye
E-mail: [email protected]

District 7
Councilmember Marti Emerald
E-mail: [email protected]

District 8
Council President Ben Hueso
E-mail: [email protected]

A map of the districts, it would be appropriate to send a letter to the representative of your area:

A template that you are free to reword or simply put your name, your address and your contact information on. I threw this together quickly and speaking from my point of view.

Dear Council(man/woman) name,

My name is (name) and I live in the neighborhood of (neighborhood).
I am contacting you today to ask that you please consider supporting and helping to further improve shared use trails in the San Diego area. In a time where the city, county and state finances are in what could be considered a mess, I am asking for your support of one of the states finest resources; the great outdoors.

As an avid mountain bikers, my friends and I do not depend on personnel, electricity or any of the other resources that seem to be such a controversial aspect of the budget. For recreation and exercise, we depend on trails. The problem is that despite the numerous canyons and open space in the county and city that already contain multi-use trails, these trails are often off limits to bicycles or there is talk to close these trails to bicyclists.

Currently the most controversial area for multi user trails seems to be "the tunnels" area outside of Los Penasquitos Preserve. Officially the area is in and around Deer and McGonigle Canyon, however it has adopted the name of "the tunnels" due to the unique trails that often allow a rider to ride under cover of trees. This area has been under heavy scrutiny by the city, the department of fish and game and private land owners. Currently there are trails in place that originated from the presence of migrant camps. Those camps have gone and over time, hikers, mountain bikers, runners and other recreational users have adopted these trails as our own (to include cleaning large amounts of trash that was left behind by the migrant camps.) Currently it seems as if there is a scramble to determine what agencies are responsible for these trails, who is allowed on these trails, who is "in charge" of these trails and what the future holds for them. In September there were meetings at Los Penasquitos that included a complete mapping of the trails (by mountain bikers) as well as suggested multi-use trail maps that were asked to be considered for the future so that all users could continue to enjoy this resource. A common understanding is that in January there will be a meeting or meetings to further determine the future of these trails.

As of today, December 12th, this trail system seems to become temporarily (and hopefully not permanently) posted as off limits. I am asking you as a key influential member of San Diego politics, to support the trail users by doing whatever can be done to allow access to these trails once again.

It is a known fact throughout the city and county that mountain bikers and mountain bike advocacy groups are willing to and do lend a hand through volunteer labor to maintain, improve and build new trails. We (collectively) feel that this is important, especially during a time of budget cuts and staff reductions. As a group we rarely seek "exclusive" bike only trails, just as most of us were taught as children, we have no problems sharing multi-use trails and helping to maintain and improve these trails.

Please consider this request to support those of us who are pleading for more multi-use trails in the city, in the county and in the state. We are only asking to be allowed to ride bicycles, something that most everyone has enjoyed at some point of their lives and to ride them in the beautiful spaces in San Diego.


I encourage the residents of nearby cities to contact their elected officials as well.

Whether you ride the tunnels or not, this is about multi use trail access and it is each of our responsibilities to be heard.
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Well done, I made it my own and sent it to my councilmen, then CCed it to the rest.
EBasil said:
The tunnels are NOT "McGonigle Canyon". They are in Deer Canyon.
edited to include deer and mcgonigle canyon, I can remove it completely but the grid coordinates line up.

P.S. A better response might be:(im just suggesting it)
Thanks for trying to get the word out there. It is actually Deer Canyon, I suggest you change it.
Don't be so sensitive. A better first draft would have gotten it right (I'm just saying, in that it's been published and posted and reiterated one or twenty times ;) ) Either way, keep up the good work!

EBasil said:
Don't be so sensitive. A better first draft would have gotten it right (I'm just saying, in that it's been published and posted and reiterated one or twenty times ;) ) Either way, keep up the good work!
I could get lost in a round room, no doubt about that.

I'm just trying to get some people familiar with the political side of things and get some ears to open. I know on other projects, we've managed to catch the attention of at least one city council member and that was a task within itself.

As I said, I threw it together quickly, it is free to be edited. I rather expected more negative comments but hey, you get the negative nancy award for the night.

I know who you are, I know what you do and I am sure you could probably give me the grid of where deer, mcgonigle and any other canyon in the area meet. Props for that, I can respect what you are doing and have done. But its not beneficial to vibe out those who are trying to help (help the whole situation, not just the tunnels issue)
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My letter to City Councilman DeMaio

Dear Councilman DeMaio,

I reside in Carmel Mountain Ranch.

I ride a bike for communting to and from work and for pleasure through Los Penasquitos Preserve and the area known as Deer Canyon which a surprisingly beautiful system of canyons south of SR 56. The trails have been in existance for a decade or more, and were part of a well established system of hidden routes used by large migrant camps serving the agricultural areas in Carmel Valley and Del Mar. Until this year, the agencies responsible for the area were totally unaware or had no reason to acknowledge that these trails existed! It was not until this summer that City staff and volunteers started GPS mapping these trails, and with the aid of the multi-trail use advocates and mountain bike community members, a responsible multi-use trail and sustainable trail system was proposed.

Unfortunately, today the City Rangers CLOSED all the trails in Deer Canyon due to a senseless act of vandalism to the native habitat by an unknown group of trail abusers. This act of vandalism was on one section of trail, out of miles and miles of separate and distinct trails that are part of this area. It is UNFAIR and unjust that law abiding and taxpaying equestrians, bicyclists, and hikers be excluded from these trails at this time, and punishes only the good and responsible trail users. Nothing is being done to investigate, apprehend, or punish the vandals in any way to my knowledge. Instead, everyone is being punished.

We can all agree that the Rangers should take the necessary measures to protect the senstitvie habitat, but a massive trail closure to the whole area is not the answer, and may actually do more harm than good. The vigilance of the mountain bike community is what caused the repeated vandalism to come to the attention of the City Rangers. With the trails closed there will be no surveilance of the trails, and irresponsible trail abusers can go about their business unoticed. The City of San Diego has niether the time or the budget for City Rangers to start policing a huge parcel of land, with multiple canyons and trails of which most are hidden under canopy of native scrub oak.

There is absolutely no valid reason for the trails in Deer Canyon, which have existed for a decade or more to be closed now, or in the future. Doing so would be a shame. There are a lot of people that enjoy the outdoors, and they would appreciate the foresight of of leaders in the City Council, City open space division, Rangers, etc, to see Deer Canyon is a unique treasure. It can become an absolute jewel of a trail system which the City of San Diego can take pride, and would complement the far and few between sections of open space in the San Diego Region. Multi-use trail systems at Daley Ranch in Escondido, Elfin Forest Preserve in Olivenhain, Mission Trails, and Goodan Ranch are examples of how quality open space, habitat, and multi-trail use can coexist and become a source of community pride.
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Very Good Work

You guys are doing some good work with the pen. I hope everyone out there takes advantage of the foot work you have already done. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. We are in the right as noted by the obvious that had we not been the eyes and ears of the area the vandals could have ended up taking all the CANOPY down. The Rangers would've never known until it was too late.

No one is taking a back seat on this. SDMBA has called an emergency meeting, letters have been sent, riders are going out tomorrow am to observe the Tunnels access points and get the word out. For now we have to respect the "off limits" but we do need to use everything at our disposal to be heard.

Again good job with the pen. Now it is up to all that can get their hands on them and send them to their council people.
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Good letter Rathbone. I agree that with out riders there, more canopy is likey to be chopped.
Nice job with the information. Good luck down there in SD guys.
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