Friday, December 18, 2015

‘Foot people’ (including equestrians) upset after bikers get more valley trail access - Full Article

By Beau Evans

Mountain bikers and self-described “foot people” have clashed in recent months over how much access bikers should have to trails on Marin County’s Open Space Preserves.

The most recent dispute followed a county workshop in Lagunitas in October, where open space staff solicited input on how to designate usage of around 50 miles of trail on seven preserves in the San Geronimo Valley. Maps released last month show that bicyclists will be able to use nearly six miles of new trails.

But members of a group of hikers and equestrians who call themselves the FootPeople have criticized the county for catering too much to mountain bikers, whose numbers and support have grown steadily since the 1980s. The FootPeople claim the bikers have urged the district to legalize and make available more trails to bikers at the expense of hikers, equestrians and the valley’s wildlife.

In a report issued last month, the FootPeople called on the Open Space District to reform the public-review process as it implements the Road and Trail Management Plan, a plan that determines which county trails should be kept for recreational access, which should be decommissioned and what activities—such as hiking, biking and horse riding—should be allowed on each trail...

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