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  1. #1
    Medicine Wheel Guy
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    Red Rocks, Section 16, White Acres Meeting this Wed, Oct 5 - CRITICAL you attend

    This Wednesday, October 5 at 6:30 PM the city parks department will be holding
    its second public master planning meeting for the Section 16 - White Acres - Red
    rocks opens spaces.

    THIS MEETING IS CRITICAL, as the PROPOSED TRAIL MAPS will be presented for
    public feedback. If you care at all about mountain biking in these areas, this
    is the meeting to attend.

    The meeting is held at the westside community center at 1628 West Bjou Street at
    6:30 PM on Wednesday, October 5.

    More information is available on the city's web site here:

    City of Colorado Springs - Public workshops for Red Rock Canyon, White Acres and Section 16 continue Oct. 5

    and here:

    City of Colorado Springs - Red Rock Canyon

    IF YOU CAN ONLY MAKE ONE MEETING, PLEASE MAKE IT THIS ONE.

    Thanks for your support.

  2. #2
    Almost Human
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    Do you know something we don't?

    If so, please share.

  3. #3
    Medicine Wheel Guy
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    Just that tonight is when the various alternatives are going to be presented, so this would be the crucial meeting to present any objections to the proposed plans, on the theory that it's easier to change plans at the early stages rather than after they have been set in concrete. Likewise, for the same reasons, there may (or may not) be some anti-cycling folks present in numbers, and they should be counterbalanced.

    Hope we see you there!

  4. #4
    Almost Human
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    Holy **** that's a lot of trails batman.

  5. #5
    SS Chimp
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    Answer the question Priscilla!!!!!!!
    all single...all the time

  6. #6
    Almost Human
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    What happened?

    They changed the agenda, and instead of looking at trails we looked at the overall Red Rocks Master Plan, various park activities and where they should take place. I wish we had all gotten together beforehand to discuss this because someone has a great idea for a short shuttle trail off 26th St and a nice downhill area for a bike park. I think it's a great idea and we should all look at it and propose it in our little mini-groups. I'll try to put something together on a Google map later tonight for everyone to see.

    For some reason they showed us a proposed trail map and the trails were shown in detail, not just a crayon line but an actual alignment. I don't even know where to begin with that. Very premature IMHO. Spaghetti explosion best describes it. Hikers were pissed. A little yelling occurred. I'll let the others chime in with their opinion of what they saw.

    Equestrian and bike users were the most polite in the room and the easiest to work with. They also had the best solutions to problems. It was obvious to me that either the stairs will go away or a new trail will be built for people who don't like walking up stairs. I left fairly comfortable with the progress.

  7. #7
    SS Chimp
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    I'll let the others chime in with their opinion of what they saw
    Couple of thing I noted:

    1. The bike contingent needs to spread out and make sure there is at least one pro-bike person at each table.

    2. The new trail alignments were not overly worrisome to me. The large scope and lack of funding will throttle any speedy progress. I am glad to see they are thinking of how to address poor alignments in place today. All the proposed re-alignments and trail closures seemed equatable and looked very close to a net-net.

    3. Folks need to understand that RRC and Sec16 will never be the same as it is today, yesterday, 1 year ago, 5 years ago and so on.
    all single...all the time

  8. #8
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    Yeah, that map was plenty busy. I'm glad they are trying to address sustainability of the trails - not sure what it will look like at the end of the public process, and it might have been premature to show it like that on a map, but at least it shows that the wheels are turning and that these types of options aren't off the table in terms of public suggestions.

    The next meeting is a new one scheduled for next week, October 13, to work on the trails. This will be the critical one - have to get the ideas out there at this meeting for them to be considered inthe final plan.

    Here's a couple of things I've been tossing around - I'd be interested in hearing what others are thining as well.

    1) I'd like to see a "flow" type of trail from the top of Section 16 down to the parking area off Hwy 24. Not a DH trail, but a fun trail that puts grins on faces and can be even be used to get newbies excited about riding. It would most likely have to be multi-use, but we may want to limit it to down for bikes (can use other trails to go up). not sure how practical this is, but I'd like to at least start a discussion.

    2) I think there's an opportunity to put in a small jump/skills park (kind of like a smaller Valmont Bike Park up in Boulder or a mini IMBA ride center) right near the Gold Camp/26th St intersection. Tract D on the map here (http://www.springsgov.com/units/park...s/redrtrct.pdf) wasn't purchased with TOPS funds, so it can get more development than TOPS-purchased land. In other words, you could build a bike park here. I't not big, but you could put the jump courses & pump tracks on this parcel (it slopes down fromt the intersection to the bottom of 26th street switchback) and still extend a xc loop or two into the TOPS purchased land since that use is supported there. You could put some parking in and have a trailhead (and connect to other trails in the open space). Might even be able to put a parking lot in on the triangle of land that shows up on the map (right by the Co Spr maintenance buildings & dome). Something to consider. you could also use Tract B (right by the fenced off Power Station - the white rectangle on the map) to build some really nice pump tracks if they won't fit on D (the land on B is flat and then it slopes up some on the western side). Could also put some parking in there to accomodate the usage and there are already a basic trail connection between the two tracts - with a little work, we can have a nice connection between them.

    3) I'd also like to see a high loop trail on Section 16, something connecting from the Palmer Loop to the end of Intemann Trail over by Crystal Park Road. I know that there are some habitat and slope concerns up there, but I think you might be able to skirt the problem areas and still build a nice contour-line trail.

    Those are my major ideas. I know there will be some that will say that there's no way to get this through or pay for it, but if you don't think big and try, you never get it. This is something that the bike community can drive as far as funding to pay for it - we wouldn't expect the City to foot all of the $ or effort, just let us work with them as a partner. So why not start a dialogue - especially since most of this is on non-TOPS land.

    What are you guys thinking about for ideas?

    One other thing to keep in mind is that some of the equestrians at the meeting were looking for a XC trail skills area and the plateau right at 31st Street, between the Hwy 24 and 31st Street parking seems to be an ideal place for that since it is close to where they could park trailers. I don't have a problem with that and some support for them from us is likley to turn into support from them for our ideas as well. Working with others is always much more effective than working against others!

  9. #9
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    ...and a fix for the stairs

    Oh yeah - I think it's already accepted by pretty much everyone involved, so I forgot to mention it, but we also need to get the new trail or reroute to avoid the new stairs that were just put in over in Section 16. They already were addressing it in the potential trail ideas map - we just need to remember to put that in our suggestions as well.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 32x18 View Post
    Answer the question Priscilla!!!!!!!
    The bear was in the gym this time.

  11. #11
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    With a few minor changes, I'm satisfied with the preposed re-routes. It's apparent that they attempted to eliminate duplicate trails while maintaining acces to current locations and connections. With regards to the blocked entrance into section 16 I can't comprehen how it is preferential to cut a new trail over removing the railroad ties to provide mountain bikers access? Admit the error, remove the ties, get moving.

  12. #12
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    I love the idea of a flow trail on upper Section 16. Bring it up next meeting.

    Who were the people who had a cow when Priscilla brought out the map with the reroutes on it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyoman View Post
    I can't comprehen how it is preferential to cut a new trail over removing the railroad ties to provide mountain bikers access? Admit the error, remove the ties, get moving.
    Because the current trail is too steep to be sustainable. The timbers were added to stop the erosion (not to stop bikers). At the time the Parks department had decided they didn't want to re-route that section so they opted to put in timbers for erosion control. Unfortunately, bikers weren't considered in the solution and that caused a lot of acrimony. Too bad since all that effort could have been put into a better long-term solution, but so it goes...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris9702l View Post
    Who were the people who had a cow when Priscilla brought out the map with the reroutes on it.
    They were Intemann Trail guys (I forget their names). They were offended that people were proposing reroutes on their trail without talking to them about it first.

  15. #15
    Almost Human
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    Quote Originally Posted by BonkedAgain View Post
    Because the current trail is too steep to be sustainable. The timbers were added to stop the erosion (not to stop bikers). At the time the Parks department had decided they didn't want to re-route that section so they opted to put in timbers for erosion control. Unfortunately, bikers weren't considered in the solution and that caused a lot of acrimony. Too bad since all that effort could have been put into a better long-term solution, but so it goes...
    I don't believe erosion was an issue Parks was looking at. There are far worse areas that need attention.

    IMHO, and from my previous experience working with volunteer groups, what probably happened is National Trails Day was coming up and they had a large group of volunteers (military) looking for a high profile project to work on. Someone suggested working on the Section 16 trail and the volunteers went up there without any supervision and/or whoever was supervising the crews took things into their own hands. The group got their picture on the front page of the Westsider and everyone went home happy. Almost everyone.

    This happens all the time with boy scouts and other groups looking for volunteer projects to do on their day off or as part of their work. Parks will accommodate them by "creating" projects. Building steps/stairs is an easy out and a common project we give to volunteers, compared to building new trail or some other project. Planting trees, building fences, stairs, weed removal are all common projects for inexperienced volunteers.

    I don't think Parks or the Park Board knew exactly what was going to happen when they agreed to the project. It's just the nature of trying to accommodate everyone all the time. You have to create projects for these volunteer groups. Even if they aren't called for. Sometimes it backfires.

  16. #16
    Almost Human
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    Google Earth Map of the Master Plan

    10.1 miles of trail closure total and
    7.2 miles of reroutes for a net loss of 2.9 miles total.


    Section 16 shows 5.2 miles of closure and
    4.5 miles of reroutes for a net loss of 0.7 miles in Section 16.

  17. #17
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    When is the next meeting? Can't remember if it is the 17th or 19th.

  18. #18
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    Google Earth Map of the Master Plan

    10.1 miles of trail closure total and
    7.2 miles of reroutes for a net loss of 2.9 miles total.


    Section 16 shows 5.2 miles of closure and
    4.5 miles of reroutes for a net loss of 0.7 miles in Section 16.
    I don't know how applicable to this area this is, but tossing out numbers this way can be misleading. I was on the citizens advisory committee for the Golden Horseshoe planning process a few years ago and if one looked only at net loss in trail miles they'd miss a great deal of the whole story.

    In the GH, many miles of trails were recommended for decommission but those trails were either dead end spurs, redundant routes that went to the same places - sometimes paralleling another route, user created trails that were unsustainable or that went through sensitive areas like wetlands (moto guys love their bogs it seems). The area also had a ridiculous density of inventoried routes, something like 11 linear miles per sq mile in an area where the forest plan prescription that covers a lot of the area allows something like a third of that.

    So we were tasked with whittling down the milage to a more manageable density, steering use away from the more sensitive areas and still providing good recreational opportunities for both motorized and non motorized users. In the end some people flipped out because the number of route miles before vs what was recommended made it look like the area was being shut down even though the route density was still above the forest plan guidelines. What you see though, when you actually look at what we recommended was a lot of re-routes of trails that didn't work and leaving some of the more sustainable user created routes. We also called for the creation of some new routes, not all of which where approved in the TMP, but many did make it though.

    Given that the area was a free for all before with a lot of irresponsible use, the FS and open space folks could have just said shut it down, but instead engaged the stake holders and went through a difficult process to come up with a plan that balances a lot of needs.

    As I said, I don't know the area this thread is about, much less it's history but I do know that there is always a much larger story than just a few talking points.

  19. #19
    Almost Human
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    I don't know how applicable to this area this is, but tossing out numbers this way can be misleading.
    Maybe you're reading into my post a little too much?
    I could care less about the net loss. They're just numbers, that's why I didn't comment on them.

    If you do want to know where I'm coming from though... I'm looking at it from a maintenance standpoint. The City has 1 maintenance guy per 100 miles of trail, maybe 2 now, You get the point. City Parks is broke. Does taking on 17.3 miles of trail work seem like a smart idea? I can't tell anyone what to think. But those numbers are worth knowing before I throw my support behind that much new work.

  20. #20
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    I don't think we need to get too uptight about all those lines on the map. Those are just proposals from the consultant and the only way even half that would really happen is for money to start falling from the sky. My guess is that map is their view of an ideal world and they want to hash that out in the upcoming meetings, that is, get people's input on what they like or don't like about the plan and adjust from there. I think everybody in the room was pretty amazed when they saw all the new trails proposed and more than a few said How is all that ever going to happen? Well, it isn't, so let's think about what should happen and voice our opinions.

  21. #21
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    Maybe you're reading into my post a little too much?
    I could care less about the net loss. They're just numbers, that's why I didn't comment on them.

    If you do want to know where I'm coming from though... I'm looking at it from a maintenance standpoint. The City has 1 maintenance guy per 100 miles of trail, maybe 2 now, You get the point. City Parks is broke. Does taking on 17.3 miles of trail work seem like a smart idea? I can't tell anyone what to think. But those numbers are worth knowing before I throw my support behind that much new work.
    I understand what you're saying and having a trail system that matches the agency's ability to take care of it is certainly important. To me though, you wrote the post in a way that made it easy for someone to just look at the raw numbers without any understanding of what and why.

    Even amongst informed people that can lead to misunderstanding. On the interwebz that can mobilize the torch and pitchfork crowd,

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BonkedAgain View Post
    I don't think we need to get too uptight about all those lines on the map.
    I'm not uptight about it but I wanted to be able to see what the trails would look like without the closures shown in 3D. So you can turn that layer off and get a really good idea of what the completed trail system would look like should they pursue this. Just thought I would share. I think some of the layouts are pretty good actually. 3D in GE makes it easy to visualize.

    Also, the Red Rocks East area is the area Jim is talking about for a pump track/bike park.

    I'm just trying to give everyone the opportunity to show up at a meeting prepared ahead of time and knowing what we're asking for instead of being in the passenger seat and just along for the ride. Since I am not a member of Med Wheel/TOSC I'm not sure if they are even discussing this amongst themselves or what they're thinking.

    Really have no bone to pick except a desire for a bypass around the new stairs. If we get anything else, like a "real" pump track, it's all groovy gravy.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    bypass around the new stairs. If we get anything else, like a "real" pump track, it's all groovy gravy.
    Have to agree about the stairs. The idea of a pump track and/or dirt jump park down next to the highway sounds like a great idea, too. Definitely should be on the list of possibililties.

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