I am opposed to the reclassification of the Brown’s Ravine Trail from non-bicycle to multi-use for the following reasons.
1. The management planners of public lands are decades behind urban planners in regards to safety management of user traffic. Higher speed causes higher numbers of injuries/death, so urban planners separate users based on their speed: sidewalks for pedestrians (3+ mph), bike lanes for bicycles (10+ MPD) and traffic lanes for motorized vehicles (25+ mph).
2. Public land managers have gone in the wrong direction with “multi-use” trails that allow high speed users on single track trails where there is no room to “share” the trail with separate lanes and room to pass safely. This concept was introduced at a time when “bicycle” rides were mom/dad with a child on Sunday afternoon. Biking is no longer the slow-paced family outing it once was – today it is a highly competitive sport. Riders are conditioning themselves for endurance and thrills at high speeds.
3. This proposed reclassification of the trail is an end run around the CEQA requirement for the environmental impact and public reviews of changes to trail classification. Promoting this administrative change to evade the public review process is a very sneaky tactic.
4. Bikes are especially dangerous on pedestrian trails for many reasons.
a. Public lands are riddled with single track trails…hardly more than a deer track…narrow and twisty with limited visibility and no room to pass.
b. Bikes are silent – you cannot hear them coming around blind turns.
c. Bikes are fast – they cannot stop in time to avoid collision around blind turns.
d. Bicyclists focus their eyes on the trail tread immediately ahead of their front tire – not on what’s further down the trail.
e. Bicyclists frequently wear ear pods and do no hear warnings from other users.
Conclusion: Fast bike racing activity is not a safe blend with foot traffic. The public needs safe trails to go hiking with children, grandchildren and great grandchildren….or just alone.
As a public servant, your office (Folsom Lake State Recreation Area) should be promoting separate trails for the various users based on activity speed, not forcing the unsafe sharing of trails. Your office should also be enforcing speed limits on the trails and violations for those who use the wrong type of trail for their chosen activity.
Shame on you for endangering the public by ignoring the dangers of speed in your management of public lands.
Lucy Badenhoop, North Highlands
You can see the complete Change In Use project here:
You can comment or object to this plan here:
CLICK HERE to see complete letter in Gold Country Media.