Saturday, February 4, 2017

California: Marin bicycle activists demand better trail access, threaten disruptions - Full Article

A new mountain bike activist group is advocating for expanded access to Marin trails.

By Richard Halstead, Marin Independent Journal
POSTED: 02/02/17

A new mountain bike activist group advocating for expanded access is sounding off about the pace in which new trails are opening under the county’s roads and trails management plan.

The group, called New Paradigm Trail Group, flexed its muscle at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, as more than a dozen cyclists used open time to express themselves on the topic not on the supervisors’ agenda.

“We represent 40 percent to 45 percent of the users out there, but we’re relegated to less than 10 percent of the trails,” said David Carbonell, co-founder of New Paradigm Trail Group. “I don’t want to be 65 years old before I see my vision for trail access sharing in Marin County implemented.”

Adopted in 2014, the roads and trails management plan calls for authorizing the use of some currently unsanctioned trails and roads and the decommissioning of other trails. As the plan is implemented, trails once open only to hikers and horseback riders are being opened to bicycles.

Cyclists also voiced their opposition to the open space district’s decision to enforce a 15 mph speed limit using light detection and ranging devices, known as LIDAR, and to use surveillance cameras to ensure people aren’t using decommissioned trails.

In a statement of intent posted on its Facebook page, the New Paradigm Trail Group stated, “The RTMP is a failure, and its implementation must be modified or destroyed. We stand alongside Marin County Bicycle Coalition and Access4Bikes in demanding more trail access, but do not think the current tactics have gotten us the access that we need. We will be as disruptive as possible, acting within the guidelines of the law...”

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