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 the beginning of the meeting which will, among other things, identify the interest of the participant (i.e. mtb'er, hikers, etc.).
- The "Chat" box will be open during the meeting so there will undoubtedly be lots of pro and con discussion there which will become part of the public record and be utilized by the EBRPD in their post-meeting analysis.
Many hikers are supportive of the addition of a bike-only trail as a way to take pressure off shared trails in Wildcat/Tilden, and simply because they think it's great that so many young people are enjoying the park on bikes. If you’ve got friends who are hikers and fall into this camp encourage them to come as well.
As mountain bikers many of us are frustrated by years of inaction on the part of EBRPD in terms of building new single-track trails or opening access to existing single-track. It is tempting to vent that anger at these public meetings but this probably does more harm then good by cementing the image many already have of mtb’ers as rowdy and rude! To counter this frustration, I find it helpful to remember that EBRPD is trying to balance many different users and environmental constraints and while this balancing has been less than equitable to mtb’ers in the past, there is a new group of upper EBRPD managers that are trying hard to improve the situation for us. They need our support.