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Ride On!
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Copy Of Email Sent & Recipient List

Here is a copy of the email I sent, please plagiarize it (I did)

More Info:

Send To:
[email protected],[email protected],
[email protected],[email protected]

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed amended draft Department of Parks and Recreation Regulations announced on February 17, 2014.

As a mountain biker, hiker, and regular fee-paying user of the state parks and longtime financial supporter of the CSPF, I am dismayed to read the proposed new Section 4360. The proposed amended regulation would suddenly declare all trails closed to bicycles and other non-pedestrian uses, except only those trails that have been specifically designated by the DPR for bicycle or other use. My wife, two kids (daughter age 12 and son age 16, who rides on his high school cross-country mountain bike team) and I regularly ride our mountain bikes in state parks and treasure finding wonderful new trails to ride, especially in some of the less-travelled parks. We usually see no one but other mountain bikers, sometimes hikers, and on occasion an equestrian or two. Our years of experience on the trails shows that shared use works extremely well almost everywhere (the relatively rare exceptions being in those few inner-near-urban areas where one group somehow has a sense of superiority or entitlement that their rights to use the trails should trump everyone else's rights). Shared use should be the rule, not the exception.

That bikes would be, by default, prohibited everywhere unless the DPR goes through a process to specifically allow them via a designation process is exactly the opposite of the correct approach. The DPR should strive to allow everyone - especially the growing user base of mountain bikers - to be welcome in our parks. The guiding principle of trail access should beinclusive, not exclusive. We shouldn't be prohibited unless allowed; we should be allowed unless the DPR determines there is a good reason why we should be prohibited!

Currently, Section 4360 is an uncontroversial provision authorizing the prohibition of bikes and other "operator or gravity propelled devices" by order of the DPR. That should remain the default principle - trails may be closed to various uses where the DPR determines appropriate. Under the proposed new rule, however, given the reality of limited resources, it will be far too easy for nothing to happen with respect to trail designation, and that will mean restricting access to the second-largest user group for no good reason, unfairly depriving mountain bikers of trail access. As a matter of policy, it makes no sense for the DPR to create additional "designation" work for itself in this manner unless the true goal is to relegate us mountain bikers to a second-class status, a group to be kept out of everywhere unless the DPR goes through additional steps to invite us in. I can't imagine that is what DPR wants, yet that is what the proposed Section 4360 will promote if adopted.

I would think that the DPR would want to be doing everything it can to increase recreational usage, especially for such a healthy activity as mountain biking. Do we really want to tell our kids that mountain bikers are not welcome in the parks absent a bureaucratic process, and that they should go back and play video games and have some more soda and chips while waiting to see if their local trails will ever be designated for bike access? Please don't alienate our kids!

For these reasons, I respectfully urge the DPR to leave Section 4360 as is and decline to make the proposed change. Thank you for considering my comment.

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