Call to Action: Active vs. Passive use in TOPS parks redefined (again)
The below proposal could affect future MTB events at Cheyenne Mtn State Park and any other TOPS funded property.
Colorado Springs TOPS Minutes 5/4/11
Discussion on Defining Passive Recreation Uses for TOPS Open Space Properties
Ian Kalmanowitz introduced the guidelines that he, Linda Hodges, and Jackie Hilaire met to create for the definition of Passive Recreation uses for TOPS open space properties. A matrix using yes or no answers to 5 questions was created to determine whether a proposed activity or use is passive or not. The use is not defined as passive versus active recreation but as passive versus organized, competitive or mechanized recreation. If the answer to all five questions is no then the activity is permitted. If the answer to one or more of the questions is yes then the activity is not permitted. These are guidelines for staff to use in determining whether a requested permit for an event should be issued. These guidelines should not serve to limit individual use of open spaces (but the door has been opened and TOPS can modify it, or interpret it, to do so at a later date). Jackie Hilaire added that the subcommittee used the extensive previous discussion from 2009 to create this matrix as a starting point or a pilot process which may need to be adjusted in the future. (see what i said above)
For those of you who don't know who Jackie Hilaire is, she is the person who led the effort to shoot down the Coral Bluffs Moto Park. She's on the TOSC board, Friends of Coral Bluffs Board/Founder and on various committees deciding who can use what open space and how. She's also a real estate agent, along with TOPS board Chair, Lee Milner. Both have records of opposing "active use" of open space. Whatever that is... as (re)defined by them to suit their objective (hiker only parks).
If this concerns you then I encourage you to contact these people:
Jim Yount - he's somewhere around here...(I'm not posting private emails on-line)
Kurt Schroeder - KSchroeder@springsgov.com
Sara Bryarly - firstname.lastname@example.org
Whoever your City Councilman is:
TOPS Board - cannot locate contact info.
There is no proof that MTB events negatively impact open space areas any more than current "passive" uses. It's purely subjective and open to bias.
MTBR's and MTB events make substantial contributions to the local travel & tourism economy, City Bike Tax, and TOPS revenue.
While various community boards and committees have, or will be consulted, no plans for public discussion, comment or survey(poll) appears to be planned.
Organized recreational events play a key role in community building and quality of life.
(optional) Your continued support of future TOPS tax extensions and the Great Parks Great Communities proposal hinges on inclusion of the MTB community in all aspects of open space use/planning/management.
Good luck with your effort UT. My opinion is that they definitely need to provide for public input - must be in some by-law somewhere requiring it.
"Don't take life so serious, son . . . it ain't no how permanent." - Porky Pine
3 Legged Big Top
Guess I got no voice since I dont pay into the TOPS fund.
New signs for the north and south ends of town.
Welcome to Colorado Springs the New Boulder
This will be interesting to watch as it progresses. UT you seem to be up on local Govt. procesess but I'd like to add that the TOPS Working Committe is only serves in a recommending function they do not have any power to make changes (I was once the Chair of this group many years ago) . They serve the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board who then take all decisions to City Council. That said once the P&R Advisory Board makes a decision Council often agrees so if this makes it out of the TOPs Committee it will take lobbying the P&R Adv Board to stop it.
Knowing the individuals you list who are spearheading this effort they likely will not give up easily. One positive is the large number of MTB riders in Colo Spgs and the cities flirtation with promoting it as a tourism draw over the past 15 years.
Thanks for sharing UT.
Correct me if I am wrong, but the notes from the meeting states that there are exceptions made for events that bring in revenue. I would assume this includes racing and what not. It's almost as though they are pissed that the revenue that is brought in is being partially taken by other local government entities and they're trying to leverage those entities/departments by creating this matrix.
It just doesn't seem as though they're attacking mt biking community.
I'm probably wrong though...
I would interpret this part as an attack on Mt biking as it would define biking as non passive.
Originally Posted by Short Bus
It might only affect organized events to begin with but a precedent is set that could affect future decisions.
The use is not defined as passive versus active recreation but as passive versus organized, competitive or mechanized recreation
Some points people might make if they choose to shoot off an e-mail or phone call:
-Using the word "mechanized" is an underhanded intellectually dishonest way to group bicycles in with motorized vehicles.
-There is no practical demonstrable reason to consider cycling any less "passive" than walking.
Normally I think UT is a bit overly alarmist, but he might be onto something here.
Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
Originally Posted by UncleTrail
You're trolling. Please don't derail my thread.
Originally Posted by KarateChicken
Think "dog park" in an "open space" park. Hundreds and hundreds of pounds of dog poop and every time it rains or snows where do you think all that poop goes?
Thanks. That is exactly the point I'm trying to get across.
Originally Posted by Moustache rider
The terms "passive" and "active" are being defined. It's very important.
If I'm not mistaken this is the exact reason why MTB specific trails, or a bike park, may never be built by JCOS.
pointing out hypocrisy by telling the truth of the matter = trolling?
Originally Posted by UncleTrail
your thread was derailed when you posted the holier than thou diatribe based on at least one myth
i don't understand a few things
how is making an observation of hypocrisy "hate"?
what does owner-abandoned dog void have to do with irresponsible people on mountain bikes, unless of course a person on a mountain bike was riding with their canine and it dropped some nuggets that they didn't pick up?
last but certainly not least, how does the "they are worse than us, so we should be allowed to be bad" argument somehow seem more than sophomoric in this particular case?
Because in my experience as a former land manager I've never had any negative experiences with bike race promoters not cleaning up after themselves as you are asserting. You're attempting to stereotype an entire group of people based on the in-action of a few.
Originally Posted by KarateChicken
Just last week I had a Parks employee come up to me and complement someone I know at PP Velo for the great job they did with the CX course last winter. So why on earth would I hold what happened in your backyard against every bike event promoter? when we have good things going on down here.
And while you may just see a turd on the trail.... as a degreed soil scientist I see a pollutant. It contaminates water, kills vegetation, and alters wildlife movement patterns. That doesn't even begin to address the issue of dogs being a primary vector of weed seed which requires either chemical or mechanical removal. IMHO hardly passive from a land stewardship POV, especially when compared to mountain biking.
Visit Cheyenne Mountain State Park and you'll see what I mean.
Last edited by UncleTrail; 07-01-2011 at 05:39 AM.
UT - Thanks for the heads-up.
We've discussed this (TOPS working on guidelines for active vs. passive use) some in TOSC Advocacy Committee meetings, but not these specific details. My recollection from our discussions were that the original intent of the mechanical part was meant to try and come up with a way to deal with mechanical aids and such, like electric bikes, carts, segways, etc. and how to deal with parks vs. open space, etc.
In fact, the JCOS point of view on this was specifically looked at since it appeared that you guys were dealing with the same types of concerns. You may have had a hand in whipping that one up. If I remember correctly (I don't have it in front of me), it dealt with motors, weight, etc. to restrict access.
This conversation started due to someone coming to meetings (I can't remember where specifically, maybe Parks Board) to tout the use of electric bikes on trails.
So, while it's hard to say from the minutes exactly what the intent was/is, I don't think the intent is to leave mtb's out in the cold. That doesn't mean that there might be some unintended consequences of some of these ideas though, so I'll check on what's going on and make sure bases are covered.
I think UT's concern is the term "mechanical", and how it could be interpreted. Our bikes are certainly mechanical, and with the general disdain the hiking community has for the biking community using "their" trails, I think that UT has a legitimate concern. I think its certainly something to watch out for and yes, let our reps know.
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