Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Marin hikers, equestrians dismayed over bike access on Alto Bowl trail - Full Article

By Adrian Rodriguez, Marin Independent Journal
POSTED: 12/05/16

A plan to allow mountain bikers access to a short trail through the Alto Bowl Open Space Preserve in Mill Valley is causing consternation among hikers and equestrians who fear it will become a destination for cyclists and unsafe for other users.

The Marin County Open Space District announced last week it was moving forward with a proposal by the Marin County Bicycle Coalition to open up the less than half-mile Bob Middagh Trail to cyclists. The approximately $25,000 project is part of the road and trails management plan that the parks district adopted in 2014.

Hikers and equestrians who oppose the project say mountain biking is “an intense use” that is not a good fit for the neighborhood trail, which has historically been a calm, peaceful link to Mount Tamalpais and preserves west of Horse Hill.

“We don’t want to have to be on high alert all the time,” said Amory Willis, president of the Alto Bowl Horseowners Association, who said hikers, bikers and horseback riders have happily coexisted on fire roads and other paths. “It’s great, but not here...”

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