Trail Use and Parking Fee Program Announced at China Camp
Got this email from MCBC today....
Trail Use and Parking Fee Program Announced to Support China Camp State Park
Trail use (foot, bike and equestrian) and parking fees for China Camp State Park have been announced by Friends of China Camp (FOCC). The non-profit, volunteer-run organization, which successfully raised more than $250,000 to prevent the park from being closed as California State Parks had proposed in early 2012, has been managing China Camp since July. The fees are part of an effort by FOCC to raise the funds necessary to meet annual management costs for the park of approximately $500,000.
Annual and day-use passes, good for a 12-month period from date of purchase, are available via website, and at four electronic pay stations being installed soon at the park. Fees are as follows:
$60 (Includes One Trail Use Pass)
$2 Per Person
$3 Per Person
MCBC supports FOCC’s fee program as an important source of funding to keep China Camp State Park and its popular trails, including some of the Bay Area's best legal singletrack, open. We recognize that maintaining the park is costly and encourage cyclists to purchase their trail-use passes, just as other park users are expected to.
:skep: Your thoughts???
sucks but kind of a necessary evil. I think its a good program, just hopefully they don't strictly enforce it for people who forget to bring money or whatever reason.
They do this at rockville park, and they will ask you for your pass, but they are not super aholes about it, and if the worst they usually will do is tell you to go pay for the pass. I don't see them pulling stings and ticketing people.
Happy to pay for an annual pass - totally reasonable. To pony up a reasonable fee shows you support the park and access to it. I'm always fine with paying daily use and entrance fees for county and state parks.
Rockville is not a State Park. China Camp is a State Park.
I'm not sure why these folks think they have any right to charge anything. I see that they have pressures and needs but I don't see a right. It is akin to putting a toll booth on a road and demanding fees.
That MCBC supports this means nothing in terms of a right.
Tamarancho asks for a fee but that is owned by the Boy Scouts.
These folks "own" nothing.
What am I missing here?
I have sent them an email to this effect and will report.
I don't mind paying a fee. Seeing folks unload $3k bikes from $40k cars and park on the road to avoid a $5 parking fee annoyed the heck out of me.
I definitely DO NOT like the different fees for runners and cyclists. Still, I'll pony up, as I always have.
They have been recognized by State Parks as the organization responsible for operating China Camp.
I'm not sure why these folks think they have any right to charge anything
Friends of China Camp: Our Mission
Many of us chose to park in the State lot at CC as a way to support the park. We never paid to use the trails. Whether one "minds" paying is not the question.
The site fgiraffe provides says nothing about a right to charge or collect fees for trail use.
I agree. Don't like this trend at all. I will not be buying a year pass and am unlikely to ride there if I must pay.
Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike
Private land with real singletrack: no problem paying.
Public land with semi-singletrack, fees imposed by some non-state organization I don't understand: I got a problem with that.
Given it is a state park, will the State Parks Pass that is good for all state parks qualify as already having paid?
I don't mind contributing and think its a good idea if the money goes towards the park. But I don't think it should be able to ticket users who don't have a pas. I think all parks should do this, as long as all you get is a slap on the hand for not having it. If you can at least collect on %60 of the users most of the time thats still much better than %0 like they are getting now. It should be a good faith kind of rule and not paying should be looked down upon, but I won't go there anymore if it means if I'm riding without a pass I'm going to get seriously harassed. I know that sounds a bit flakey, but thats just how I feel. I don't want to get stop and questioned about a pass at anytime while I'm riding. Whether I have one or not, that vibe does not belong on trails.
Assuming it's a Golden Poppy or Vehicle Day Use Annual Pass, looks like the answer is nope! You gotta pay to be on the trails.
Originally Posted by grumblingcrustacean
"The pass is not valid at units operated by local government, private agencies or concessionaires. It is not valid for per-person entry or tour fees, camping, boat use, oversize vehicle fees, extra vehicle fees or supplemental fees such as swimming pools and sanitation dump use." Pass Descriptions
Since they are charging a fee per person to use the trail, sounds like a "per-person entry fee." You paid. Now you gotta pay again.
Might not even cover the parking. "The pass is not valid at units operated by local government, private agencies or concessionaires." I'd make a fuss if I had one of those passes and they tried to make me pay for parking. When you paid for the pass, it let you park at China Camp. Now? They may change the deal.
Are you guys serious? Compared to so many other states, there is such a shortage of decent riding here in the greater Bay Area, but despite this fact, and the fact that mostly us spends many thousands of dollars of gear, you would protest a modest annual fee? Perhaps try not to see it as a parking or use fee, but as simple support of a valuable local resource.
I set aside mtb for years for another sport, and even founded almost ten years ago, and still manage one of the top US forums for the sport (bayareakiteboarding.com) and while it is still fun (kitesurfing), by and large the kitesurfing community can often be one of the most selfish and cheap sport communities. Many of them are longtime good friends, but trust me, by and large, they are unreliable, cheap, selfish and pretty much don't give much back at all and only want to get their windy session on the water. Beyond that, don't do much. Just sayin! Please, please tell me mtb hasn't gotten there!
It looks like a $60 annual pass covers both parking and day use for 1. I might be wrong on the details, but In any case, regardless of the entity, we don't own it or manage it. I do not believe there are many people here who simply cannot afford it, so why would you not pay?
I apologize for being outspoken, but this strikes a chord with me as I've spent almost a decade seeing financially stable and affluent people being incredibly cheap and selfish when it comes to any kind of support and participation in the well being of their own sport.
You folks may recall much of this was discussed in this China Camp thread a few months ago.
Mike you should try this "reading" thing I hear so much about:
The site fgiraffe provides says nothing about a right to charge or collect fees for trail use.
WILL FOCC HAVE SUFFICIENT FUNDS TO OPERATE CHINA CAMP?
Yes. By entering into an operating agreement with California State Parks (CSP), FOCC will be able to retain all revenues generated from park use for the operation of China Camp. FOCC will still need to raise significant funds annually to supplement revenues from the park. Support of park users and the community will be critical to its success.
I donated to keep the park open. If it had closed, there would be no enforcement and we could still have ridden the trails. Now it's open and despite donating I'll need to pay a fee. That's irony right there.
Yes. I am serious.
Originally Posted by Ollie_G
Like I said, I have no problem paying to use private land. I've had season Tamarancho passes for years. I do have a problem with fees for a public park.
If CA isn't going to have public parks - and I no longer consider China Camp a public park - it needs to completely get out of meddling with them and owning them. China Camp a private nature preserve with trails: fine, I'll pay a fee. China Camp a new housing development - at least my government would get some money out of the deal (which they'd then waste). But the current situation of pretending to have public parks but not really having them is a bunch of ********. It's also something I expect is here to stay.
I read that. That does not address the right to charge for trail use.
Originally Posted by fgiraffe
Interpreted in your fashion they could charge for any number of things (outhouse use, trash removal fee...), without justification, and have a right to the money. Thinking about it a bit, the contrivance of $2 for a walker and $3 for a biker resonates in that fashion.
The term "generated from park use" is very general. There is no precedent for charging such fees in the 22 years I have ridden in Chain Camp.
Do you see what mean?
Originally Posted by slide mon
Exactly how I feel, I donated as well because I support the park and wanted it to remain open and I would have no problem contributing to help fund the park. I simply don't think it is right to charge a day use/annual fee to access public trails regardless of your activity (biking/hiking/equestrian).
Well, being as they have no authority to ticket you for not paying (or no authority to collect on that ticket), then you may as well consider these fees as suggested donations.
To those of you that donated: You may as well consider yourselves angel investors. Thank you for getting the ball rolling. And no, you aren't getting that money back. Maybe they'll give you an annual pass? You should totally ask for that.
OK Mike, now I do. I apologize for the snark.
Do you see what mean?
But I take all those things you mention to fall under "operating the park". They have been chosen by the State to operate the park, and now they bear the responsibility to do what they think is in the best interests of keeping the park open.
FOCC is running China Camp. This is what they think is in the best interests of keeping China Camp open.
Well, the alternative is to close enough parks until the state can fund what it can afford. Is that any more "right"?
I simply don't think it is right to charge a day use/annual fee to access public trails
Instead of going that route, the path that was chosen was to let private non-profit organizations take over operations of some parks. And now that that is happening, we are seeing the results.
There is no magic source of money from the sky. The State of CA has a humongous money problem (for numerous and myriad reasons).
I'm willing to give this system a chance. Do I love it with the taxes I pay? NO.
Do I prefer it to having parks close? Maybe, let's see.
These groups are indeed the Wolf in Sheep's clothing. MCBC is certainly NOT here to help with dirt cycling at all. If it doesn't have a flag and a basket MCBC wants to kill it. Look rationally at the track record: Stafford lake bike park? DOA. Bills trail open to bikes? DOA. Now fees for China Camp from the very same group that has been trying for ages to close the social network on the San Rafael side, a network that has been volunteer built for DECADES. These groups to not support dirt riding they only want to use it as a pawn to sacrifice.
Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike
Instead of labeling fees as designated for trail use, just look at it as fees for parking.
"Annual Parking pass: $60.00
Each Annual Parking Pass also comes with a trail use pass valid for up to 4 people."
For those complaining about what right they have to charge or whether or not they "own" anything, it seems to me another poster was pretty fair in his assessment: "They have been recognized by State Parks as the organization responsible for operating China Camp." Which is a lot more than anyone here has been entrusted to do.
Let"s explore a brief list of local and state parks that charge fees, which are not just for parking but also labeled as "Day Use". This is an important distinction, because yes, those fees generally, if not always, include parking, they are also presented as "Day Use" fees which in this case, are no different than "Trail Use".
Lake Anza, Lake Temescal, Chabot, Crown Beach Alameda, and many more
Marin: Muir Woods, Stinson, etc.
It can be a big list if you want, but call it what you wan't, the reality is that pretty much all parks need funding. If you want to cheap out and not pay to support a local resource, go ride your $5k bike transported on your $30-40k car somewhere else, it's your right.
Not long ago, a rider from NC posted, asking for info on some local rides. He settled on Marin and later part of what he posted is as follows:
"The helpful guy at the bike shop told me that there are very few legal places to ride single track around here. Tamarancho was a great xc singletrack ride but I wish they had more terrain for us MTBers. I live in Asheville North Carolina and we have hundreds of miles of bike legal singletrack within 30 minutes of town. We have everything from fast and flowing to downright crazy. I am sorry that your MTB community is getting outgunned. We have such a strong presence back home and really reap the benefits."
So, relatively speaking, compared to other areas, we don't have much. $60/year for parking and trail use for up to four people seems pretty fair to me.
Let me be clear...
I did not say that supporting FOCC was a bad idea.
I did not say I would not pay.
Whether it is okay with "you" or a good idea, a small thing to ask, or supports badly needed riding areas is irrelevant.
How much your bike is worth is irrelevant.
I ask a simple question about the right to charge in a place that has never charged in my experience.
Skyline in Napa is State land managed by the City of Napa which charges $6 for parking. I don't know how that started or by what right they can do that. We always park and pay. Locals and frequenters enter from the College or other spots and do not pay.
It is in that vein that I ask this question. It is a fair question, which I have asked of FoCC.
I am curious now that FOCC has operational control over CC is there any opportunity for them to change/expand trail access? I'm sure there's some sort of agreement on what the can and can't do but does anyone know if there's any opportunity for FOCC to make their own decisions about trail access?
I would be so much more stoked on paying for trail access at CC if there were some opportunity to possibly develop or expand trail access on already existing trails there.
This is a whole other can of worms, but when I think about paying for trail access, I would really like to see the possibility for different trail user groups to have some involvement and input on how the trails are managed.
Anyone have more info on what latitude FOCC has in their new role??
I don't mind supporting, but...
The only ranger currently out there (who was brought over from MMWD), told me that they are bringing more rangers from other areas for enforcement.
I'm absolutely not interested in my money going towards anti bike enforcement and destruction of community built (and maintained) trails :madmax:
Annadel SP will now be operated by Sonoma County Regional Parks--a somewhat similar situation to CC. As far as I know, the the only difference is that we will eventually have to pay to park at the dirt lot at Cobblestone. And if you have a pass for the Regional Parks (Spring Lake, Doran Beach, etc.), it'll be good for Annadel too. Seems fine to me.
I haven't heard anything about trail use fees. That can be a slippery slope--especially charging different amounts depending on how you're using the trail. Certain users might be more inclined to think that since they paid more to ride the trail than someone who's walking the same trail, they should get right of way. Who knows? Maybe they'll sell a "right of way" pass, so you can mow people down :)