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  1. #1
    BTCEB/IMBA member
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    March 1 EBRPD board meeting to consider bike access

    A forward from BTC listserv:

    Six years of BTCEB efforts to get the East Bay Regional Park District to open some narrow trails to cyclists have finally brought us to an important juncture: The singletrack-trail opening process begun as the Matrix in 1998 and redubbed the Checklist in 2002 is expected, at the March 1 East Bay Regional Park District board meeting, to lead to the opening of narrow trails at Del Valle and Lake Chabot regional parks to cyclists.

    March 1 is a Tuesday, and the board meeting is at 2:00 p.m., hardly a time that encourages public participation. Still, some members of the BTCEB board expect to be there to try to resolve one lingering controversy. The EBRPD operations committee, a subset of the district board, voted to recommend opening the trails except for one of five segments at Del Valle Regional Park. The committee was made nervous by a few citizensí contention that a section of the segment was too steep. EBRPD staff disagreed that there was any danger that warranted excluding the segment, and BTCEB feels that way as well.

    Unfortunately, this is the first segment of the Del Valle trail route, and itís also the most accessible for mountain bikers who are learning the sport. BTCEB will try to persuade the board to open all segments of the Del Valle trails. And thatís where we need your help.

    If at all possible, BTCEB urges you to attend the board meeting. The location is district headquarters, 2950 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland. If you canít do that, please write your director urging that he or she follow the recommendation of the EBRPD staff and vote to open all of the 2004 Checklist trails. You can find your directorís name and e-mail address here:

    http://www.ebparks.org/district/board.htm

    If you decide to send postal mail, your board memberís address is P.O. Box 5381, Oakland 94605-0381. If writing by postal mail, please send your letter tomorrow!

    Itís vitally important that you show your interest in these trails. Why? The Checklist process is our best current option for gradually opening a number of EBRPD singletracks to us. For 2005, BTCEB has proposed opening trails in Sibley, Huckleberry, Garin, Las Trampas, and Morgan Territory regional parks. There will be opposition to all of them. And if we canít get the 2004 trails opened, the quest for more access is going to be even more difficult in 2005 and future years than it already promises to be. So even if you never visit Del Valle or Lake Chabot, or are not interested in riding the trails under consideration, we need your help to set a positive precedent. We donít want to wait another six years for the next EBRPD board hearing on singletrack access for mountain bikers. If you canít attend the board meeting, please write your director right away, as the boardís vote will take place on March 1, just six days from now. Thanks!

    Ted Stroll
    BTCEB Outreach Coordinator

  2. #2
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    Predrafted letters?

    Do you have predrafted letters available?

  3. #3
    OOOOOOOh Gee Are Eee
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    Predrafted Letters

    Quote Originally Posted by biggz
    Do you have predrafted letters available?
    Predrafted letters aren't a great form of advocacy, they all get lumped into a big group and ignored. Your best bet is to sit down and write a simple letter in your own words. It doesn't even have to be very long, one or two paragraphs is probably enough. Talk about how mountain biking helps the local economy and the health benefits of cycling. Mention how you are currently forced to go out of area to ride. Talk about how happy you are that they are opening the trails up to cyclists. Most of all be polite, spell check your letter and thank them for taking the time to read your letter.

  4. #4
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    letter

    I agree with Orgre, predrafted letters don't help much. At the same time not everyone has time to pound out a letter (especially if you're a lousy writer like myself) and something is better than nothing. Visit http://www.btceb.org/aaebrpd.htm for background info on this proposal. Then just a quick and sweet letter.

    I am writing in support of the proposed opening of Brandon Trail at Lake Chabot Regional Park and Heron Bay/Swallow Bay Trail in Lake Del Valle Regional Park. This project will provide for environmentally sound trails for cyclists and provide for a more enjoyable user experience.

    I want to state my 100 percent, enthusiastic endorsement of the proposal, as currently submitted by BTCEB. Well-designed, narrow, multi-use trails that provide both environmental enhancement and safe, usable, access for all users is a positive step in the right direction for all who love the parks.

    I hope you will not allow the negative vocalizations of the very small minority of users who oppose this plan to dissuade you from any aspect of this plan, as proposed. They do not represent the majority opinion of most equestrian, hiking, and cycling groups, which support the mission of EBPRD.

    I am very excited to see EBRPD move forward on these trails. Not only would it offer new opportunities for cyclists but by providing multi use trails EBRPD will gain wider support and bring cyclists together with other park users to work for positive environmental and recreational goals.

  5. #5
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    To one, a few, or all?

    Should I send a letter a specific member, all of them, or a select few?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by oparks
    A forward from BTC listserv:

    Six years of BTCEB efforts to get the East Bay Regional Park District to open some narrow trails to cyclists have finally brought us to an important juncture: The singletrack-trail opening process begun as the Matrix in 1998 and redubbed the Checklist in 2002 is expected, at the March 1 East Bay Regional Park District board meeting, to lead to the opening of narrow trails at Del Valle and Lake Chabot regional parks to cyclists.

    March 1 is a Tuesday, and the board meeting is at 2:00 p.m., hardly a time that encourages public participation. Still, some members of the BTCEB board expect to be there to try to resolve one lingering controversy. The EBRPD operations committee, a subset of the district board, voted to recommend opening the trails except for one of five segments at Del Valle Regional Park. The committee was made nervous by a few citizens? contention that a section of the segment was too steep. EBRPD staff disagreed that there was any danger that warranted excluding the segment, and BTCEB feels that way as well.

    Unfortunately, this is the first segment of the Del Valle trail route, and it?s also the most accessible for mountain bikers who are learning the sport. BTCEB will try to persuade the board to open all segments of the Del Valle trails. And that?s where we need your help.

    If at all possible, BTCEB urges you to attend the board meeting. The location is district headquarters, 2950 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland. If you can?t do that, please write your director urging that he or she follow the recommendation of the EBRPD staff and vote to open all of the 2004 Checklist trails. You can find your director?s name and e-mail address here:

    http://www.ebparks.org/district/board.htm

    If you decide to send postal mail, your board member?s address is P.O. Box 5381, Oakland 94605-0381. If writing by postal mail, please send your letter tomorrow!

    It?s vitally important that you show your interest in these trails. Why? The Checklist process is our best current option for gradually opening a number of EBRPD singletracks to us. For 2005, BTCEB has proposed opening trails in Sibley, Huckleberry, Garin, Las Trampas, and Morgan Territory regional parks. There will be opposition to all of them. And if we can?t get the 2004 trails opened, the quest for more access is going to be even more difficult in 2005 and future years than it already promises to be. So even if you never visit Del Valle or Lake Chabot, or are not interested in riding the trails under consideration, we need your help to set a positive precedent. We don?t want to wait another six years for the next EBRPD board hearing on singletrack access for mountain bikers. If you can?t attend the board meeting, please write your director right away, as the board?s vote will take place on March 1, just six days from now. Thanks!

    Ted Stroll
    BTCEB Outreach Coordinator
    Bump - Only 2 days away now. Please make an effort to attend. These trails may not relate to your regular riding, but they will help set a president. We need to attend and speak. Or, since it's too late to mail letters, continue to write letters and hand deliver them tomorrow or Tuesday during your lunch break if you live or work in Oakland.

    I am going to try to be there.

    Dan
    There are no stupid questions but there are A LOT of inquisitive idiots.


    Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay

  7. #7
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    This is tomorrow, don't forget!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan'ger
    Bump - Only 2 days away now. Please make an effort to attend. These trails may not relate to your regular riding, but they will help set a president. We need to attend and speak. Or, since it's too late to mail letters, continue to write letters and hand deliver them tomorrow or Tuesday during your lunch break if you live or work in Oakland.

    I am going to try to be there.

    Dan
    Bump -
    There are no stupid questions but there are A LOT of inquisitive idiots.


    Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay

  8. #8
    Paper or plastic?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan'ger
    Bump -
    Dan, I can't make it, but I made my voice heard with my board member. Let us know how it goes.

    Dan, why don't you run for a board seat at the next election? You got our vote already.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by biggz
    Should I send a letter a specific member, all of them, or a select few?
    For future reference, it seemed that the letters that the heads of various action groups sent the letters to each of the board members individually.
    There are no stupid questions but there are A LOT of inquisitive idiots.


    Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay

  10. #10
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    Victory!!!

    Excerpted from various emails:
    In a stunning turn-around vote, the EBRPD Board voted to overturn the recommendation of their own Operations Committee and open the entirety of the Del Valle Trails and the Brandon Trail to mountain bikes.

    The seven-year effort by BTCEB including the efforts of four BTCEB President's, countless volunteers, and EBRPD Staff prevailed and won the day. Congratulations to Ted Stroll, Michael Kelley, new mountain bike volunteer Dan Levy, and others from REI who spoke at today's meeting. Special thanks to Bob Ward who spearheaded the Del Valle effort and guided it through EBATC, and many other processes.

    By a vote of 5 - 2, the two dissenters being Sutter and Siden, we were granted access to Brandon and ALL of the Del Valle trail, including the section of Swallow Bay that was in question.
    ...and...
    Ayn Weiskamp was a major ally within the board and I believe swayed a couple of critical votes our way during the meeting. Even Sutter expressed a somewhat conciliatory tone when he addressed the room and stated that the district had done cyclists wrong by allowing the Matrix/Checklist to stall. Hopefully folks, this is the beginning of a thaw in our relations with the district. This was a long, long time coming and will be just a first step.

    Lots of work to do going forward, trail work days and I'd propose that we hold one of our picnics at Dell Valle this year so we can ride the fruits of our labor. I have already offered our volunteer services to John Escobar and Ayn Weiskamp for the trails they have opened. More later of efforts we need to make going forward.

    Right now, we need to offer a huge thanks to Eric Muhler for his work on the initiation of the checklist process, and his willingness to jump back into the midst of BTCEB to lend a sorely needed hand.

    Give a big cheer to Michael Kelley as well. Michael helped initiate this latest checklist effort with Steve Fiala over a year ago. He has been a tireless advocate and worked all his connections right up until the start of the meeting, sending faxes, and calling board members, and speaking at the meeting. I can assure you that without Michael, this never would have happened.

    A thank you to Bob Ward, who has tirelssly worked to secure access to the Del Valle trail. In his absence he sent several of his REI friends to the meeting to speak.

    Thank you to all the advocates who appeared before the board and pleaded our case today, Dan Levy presented an especially eloquent letter...
    There are no stupid questions but there are A LOT of inquisitive idiots.


    Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay

  11. #11
    Ride what you want!!
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    Good job Dan. Del Valle is realativly close to me 40 minutes or so. When is the first ride?

    george
    Trogs: Too Tough for Carbon Fiber

  12. #12
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    Awesome. No more crossing the road to go down to the Golf course!!!

    Does it mean that the next trails won't take as long?
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  13. #13
    gimme friction
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    Good job! Cheers to those responsible, we ALL owe you

    As another semi-apathetic mountain biker who is too busy with life to do much more than give a bit of $ to BTCEB each year, thanks for fighting the good fight and putting in the effort so that we all have more places to ride.

    The Bay Area mounain biking community, as well as the population as a whole, needs to be aware of these progressive municipal decisions and the huge efforts behind them. As anybody with any history here knows, we've been fighting many years of trail discrimination, here in the cradle of mountain biking, and this seems to be finally turning around some. It's about time.

  14. #14
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    Good job!

    Dan thats great news! I wasn't able to make it to last nights meeting, but I'm hoping to make it to the trail maintenance for Crockett Hills.

    Dave

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorg
    Awesome. No more crossing the road to go down to the Golf course!!!

    Does it mean that the next trails won't take as long?
    That's what we're hoping. There are alot of constituant groups that are also vieing for the attention of the EBRPD board in relation to many issues, but it seems that now that we have a working protocol it shouldn't take as long next time. It will go especially quickly if there are no incidents on those trails in the meanwhile. I hope that even if the general MTBR population does not belong to BTCEB and has no interest in getting involved, they will at least be respectful to other users on those trails and throughout the EBRPD parks.
    There are no stupid questions but there are A LOT of inquisitive idiots.


    Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibisGuy
    Dan thats great news! I wasn't able to make it to last nights meeting, but I'm hoping to make it to the trail maintenance for Crockett Hills.

    Dave
    You need to RSVP to work on this project:

    Crockett Hills Volunteer Opportunity

    Join the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council and East Bay Regional Park District to prepare for the new parkland opening at Crockett Hills Regional Park.
    Volunteers will assist in removing barbed-wire fencing to improve public access and park viewsheds.
    Date: Sunday March 13, 2005
    Time: 8:30 a.m to about 12:30 p.m.
    Location: Crockett Hills Future Regional Park Please call recorded line to rsvp or if you have questions: (510) 544-2631

    Directions: From Hwy 80, take Cummings Skyway east and continue one mile past the intersection with Crockett Blvd. The entrance is at fire road gate #798-15, located on the right hand side of the road. From Hwy 4, take Cummings Skyway west and go about one and a half miles. The entrance at fire road gate #78-15, is located on the left hand side of the road.

    No experience required and tools will be provided. Age limit is ten years old and over. Participants should wear sturdy shoes, long pants, dress in layers according to the weather and bring gloves, water, sunscreen, hat and bag lunch. Space is limited for this volunteer project.
    There are no stupid questions but there are A LOT of inquisitive idiots.


    Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay

  17. #17
    Paper or plastic?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan'ger
    That's what we're hoping. There are alot of constituant groups that are also vieing for the attention of the EBRPD board in relation to many issues, but it seems that now that we have a working protocol it shouldn't take as long next time. It will go especially quickly if there are no incidents on those trails in the meanwhile. I hope that even if the general MTBR population does not belong to BTCEB and has no interest in getting involved, they will at least be respectful to other users on those trails and throughout the EBRPD parks.
    Sounds great. FWIW, I sent a thank you note to the EBPRD board. Figured that can't hurt.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan'ger
    You need to RSVP to work on this project
    Yeah I need to call and get myselfed RVSP'd. I just need to make sure nothing is going on that weekend at work before I do that.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan'ger
    That's what we're hoping. There are alot of constituant groups that are also vieing for the attention of the EBRPD board in relation to many issues, but it seems that now that we have a working protocol it shouldn't take as long next time. It will go especially quickly if there are no incidents on those trails in the meanwhile. I hope that even if the general MTBR population does not belong to BTCEB and has no interest in getting involved, they will at least be respectful to other users on those trails and throughout the EBRPD parks.
    Forgot to ask. When is it effective?
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorg
    Forgot to ask. When is it effective?
    I'm not entirely sure. I'll check into it.
    There are no stupid questions but there are A LOT of inquisitive idiots.


    Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay

  21. #21
    Ride what you want!!
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    Do you have a map of the area we're talking about. I've been to Del Valle for hikes and some boating but I'm not entirely clear on what we're talking about. I don't know where Crocket Hills are, are they part of Del Valle or some other near by area?

    No nintendo.

    george
    Trogs: Too Tough for Carbon Fiber

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by george_da_trog
    Do you have a map of the area we're talking about. I've been to Del Valle for hikes and some boating but I'm not entirely clear on what we're talking about. I don't know where Crocket Hills are, are they part of Del Valle or some other near by area?

    No nintendo.

    george
    Crockett Hills is south of Crockett in north-west Contra Costa County along Cummings Skyway between SR-4 and I-80. It is for most a negligable piece of property, but for me, it is in route to a loop from my house, through Martinez and up into Crockett and back along the Martinez Waterfront.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan'ger
    Crockett Hills is south of Crockett in north-west Contra Costa County along Cummings Skyway between SR-4 and I-80. It is for most a negligable piece of property, but for me, it is in route to a loop from my house, through Martinez and up into Crockett and back along the Martinez Waterfront.
    The trails that were opened to bicycles in Del Valle are the trails on the North-East side of Swallow Bay and Heron Bay between the Venados group camp and restricted area shown as Hiker and Equestrian use only on this map:
    There are no stupid questions but there are A LOT of inquisitive idiots.


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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorg
    Sounds great. FWIW, I sent a thank you note to the EBPRD board. Figured that can't hurt.
    I will also be writing letters to all of the board members in thanks when I have time over the weekend.
    There are no stupid questions but there are A LOT of inquisitive idiots.


    Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan'ger
    I'm not entirely sure. I'll check into it.
    The final answer is that the trails will officially be open for use as soon as the park district has made and posted new signs. This may take a while. I would recommend checking the EBRPD webiste occasionally. If I see something definitive first, I'll post it here.

    Dan
    There are no stupid questions but there are A LOT of inquisitive idiots.


    Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay

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