EBRPD announces major steps forward

In October, EBRPD completed contracting with a private consultant to develop a preliminary design of the flow trail.  Work should be completed early in 2024.   In another major step forward, the  EBRPD Board of Directors in December followed the recommendation of staff and approved $300 k to fund the CEQA for the Wildcat Flow Trail.  This is the next step in the normal progression of any significant project and represents a major commitment by EBRPD.  Part of the CEQA process consists of public hearings.  The first such meeting will focus on gathering public input on the preliminary design resulting from the study mentioned in the first paragraph.   In short, we are making slow but steady progress!

Good news on multiple fronts

 WFT is making major strides forward.  EBRPD has initiated a study to develop a preliminary design for the flow trail which should be completed in time for the 2nd public meeting to discuss the WFT which will happen in the early fall.   In other positive news, the EBRPD Board held an annual workshop on July 21 in which each Board member listed their top priorities for the EBRPD to pursue in the coming year.  Both Colin Coffey and Elizabeth Echols voiced strong support to continue the WFT studies.  Coffey even went so far as to state that he would like to see  5 more MTB-focused trails added to the parks in the next 5 years.  
EBRPD has posted the results of the first public meeting here .  The results include the video of the entire 1.5 hr meeting, a copy of the EBRPD presentation, and results of the user survey conducted during the meeting.  Most of the estimated 285 folks who attended the meeting were MTBers although the exact number is unknown because about 30% did not participate in the survey.  Of those who responded the more interesting results are (rounded to the nearest 10%): 70% use the park to exercise. 80% enter the park via bicycle. 90% support the Park District’s efforts to explore single-use trails (less than 2% did not). 80% had no concern about the Wildcat flow trail.  Of those who had concerns, 10% were about the environmental impact and 7% about increased user conflicts.    During the meeting about 25 participants voiced comments about the flow trail, almost all in support. EBRPD did have to cut-off the comments because of time constraints but there is still time to give comments  here .  
EBRPD held their first public meeting on Tuesday April 25 to outline the project concept, summarize progress to date, identify the next steps, and allow the public to voice their thoughts about the project. About 250 logged into the meeting though the actual number of individuals was considerably more because a single login often included multiple people.  The MTB community turned out in huge numbers.. Two EBRPD Board Members also attended.  EBRPD recorded the meeting and took a survey that collected basic information which will be published shortly on their web site here .  Most of the public comments were very supportive and highlighted by an articulate and compelling array of teenage riders from the local NICA-NorCal teams.   Another highlight was the civil response offered by MTBers in the chat room.  Our tribe took the high ground - well done! Norm LaForce, the head of the Sierra Club East Bay Lands committee voiced opposition along with a few others.  LaForce has also submitted o
Please attend the first EBRPD  virtual public meeting to discuss the Wildcat Flow trail on 25 April at 7:00 PM.  Here is the  link .   The primary purpose of this first meeting is to:  1) brief the public on the broad outlines of the flow trail and 2) identify major concerns of the user community so that EBRPD can look at ways to mitigate those in their preliminary design of the flow trail which is scheduled for release late this summer.  They are not really looking for major expressions of support at this meeting.  That said several EBRPD Board members (including Elizabeth Echols) will be attending so having lots mtb'ers in attendance will make a powerful statement to them, to the EBRPD staff, and  to opponents.  EBRPD doesn’t want to consume a lot of meeting time with repeated verbal expressions of general support or concerns.       However, there will be several other means to make meaningful comment and impact: The meeting organizers are going to be running a brief survey at
EBRPD is moving the project forward to the next stage!!   The Park District is now poised to commence public engagement and further analyze the Wildcat Flow Trail under CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) .   EBRPD will host a virtual meeting on the project at 7:00 PM on 25 April to provide basic information about the project and to collect stakeholder input.  If you sign and enter your email on our petition of support found here we'll send you the virtual link as soon as EBRPD posts it.  Otherwise you can periodically check the EBRPD  project web site here  for meeting details which should be provided soon.   Please plan to attend the meeting to learn more about the project and provide input!!
EBRPD is moving the project forward to the next stage!!     The district has completed a stewardship study for the proposed trail and has established a Wildcat Flow Trail Project website:     The Park District is now poised to commence public engagement and further analyze this project under CEQA.   The public engagement process will begin soon.    We’ll update you when the park district releases details of plans to inform the public about the project and gather input.