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  1. #1
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    Help! Red Rock Canyon...

    Mountain Biker Voices Needed! Colorado Springs, CO

    Red Rock Canyon Site

    Hiker voices are working to LIMIT biking!

    Tomorrow evening (May 5th) is the last meeting of the planning phase for Red Rock Canyon. The "final draft" plan for the park will be revealed and public input will be solicited and considered for the final plan.

    This park has the potential to be an amazing place to bike - with fantastic terrain and views.

    There are some real concerns in regards to Mountain Biking in the park. Not enough trails are being left open to Mountain Biking, not enough are being planned as "technical singletrack". There are access issues and some potential user conflict issues with the way that trails have been laid out as well. I'm afraid that many of the trails will be wide open NEARLY paved roads...not too exciting on a Mountain Bike.

    Please attend - listen carefully and VOICE YOUR CONCERNS when given the opportunity!

    There were quite a few comments from people at the last meeting that there should be more hiking only trails. These comments, in the big picture over all of the meetings, do not accurately reflect the opinions of most of those that have participated (multiuse comments have outnumbered the restrict bikes/hiking only comments by a 5:1 margin. However, if we aren't there to remind them, we may see a lot more restrictions on biking. Your VOCAL presence at this next meeting is sorely needed! Every cyclist attending needs to stand up and comment that we need well-constructed MULTIUSE trails & that cyclists conceded one hiking-only trail in the split up groups (remember, the comments were 5:1 for all mulitiuse) since there seemed to be enough support for one.

    5:00pm Wednesday 5 March
    West Center for Intergenerational Learning
    (West Junior High School)
    25 North 20th Street
    Colorado Springs, CO 80904
    Last edited by bikeCOLORADO; 05-04-2004 at 01:08 PM.
    GoatRidesBikes.com
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    "I may be old and fat, but at least I'm slow." - Me

  2. #2

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    How did the meeting go??

  3. #3
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    Synopsis from Jim Y of Medicine Wheel

    The 5th meeting was last Wed (5/5/4) and the final Master Plan was unveiled.

    There were several changes from the draft plan (I've added some comments for
    clarification):

    - A new designated rock climbing area (per request at the draft plan
    meeting) was added on the East side of Red Rock Canyon to compliment the
    ones on the East.

    - The Northern-most portion of the contemplative trail (hiking only) was
    moved to the West of the fins (this was also a popular request at the draft
    plan meeting, but the public asked for the entire contemplative trail to be
    moved to the West, enabling the existing singletrack from Bevers to High Dr.
    to remain multiuse).

    - The hiking only portion of the singletrack from Bevers to High Dr. was
    extended further to the South (This went against all of the public comments
    at the draft plan meeting requesting that this trail remain multiuse).

    - Added a hiking only intermediate trail in Red Rock Canyon (the existing
    easy road will remain multiuse).

    - The E-W trail link across Snyder Quarry is now designated a "dismount
    zone" for bicyclists, differentiating it from the hiking only trails.
    (Meaning that you cannot portage or walk you bicycle on these hiker only
    trails. Something that came as quite a surprise to me at least, and I
    imagine many others. Not everyone on City staff agrees with this, but my
    understanding is that the thought behind this is that if someone walks their
    bike on one of these trails, hikers will see the tracks, assume someone was
    riding their bike, and start complaining.)

    - Some additional E-W links were added to boost the ability to link trails
    into loops.

    - The trailhead at Bevers Pl. was removed - the existing trail will still be
    accessible, but there will not be any signage on Bevers Pl.

    - The advanced N-S trail on the highest ridge (near the E edge of property)
    was extended to run the length of the ridge (enables an
    intermediate/advanced loop running the length of the property.).

    - Slight realignments of the geology (4.63mi) and history (3.72mi)
    interpretive trails.


    Other things to note (more liberally sprinkled with my thoughts!):

    - It was mentioned by Terry Putnam that the Hwy 24 frontage property
    (parcel E) may be developed to some extent, with the possibilities including
    a public swimming pool, a botanical garden, a visitor center, and/or
    relocation of the downtown US Forest Service bldg (they have expressed
    interest in relocation). (Considering the public's input through many of
    the meetings regarding the desire to minimize development of the property
    (38 comments from the first meeting alone), this information was quite
    surprising. The only thing that received positive comment at the final plan
    meeting was the relocation of the Forest Service, which many thought should
    be encouraged.)

    - The split between the easy/intermediate/advanced trails was more balanced
    in the final plan (4.65/9.42/3.07mi). (However, approximately half the
    intermediate and advanced trails are currently dirt roads. It was stated
    that the roads could be turned into technical singletrack and that the City
    would rather spend time moving boulders in, etc. to do that than spend
    time/money dealing with erosion problems if they stay roads. I hope that
    can be done effectively, but still lament the fact that these trails will
    still - at least for a long time - be missing immersion in the
    landscape/vegetation. Maybe that can be addressed as well.)

    - The hiking only designated portion of the Bevers-High Dr. singletrack was
    extended further South (almost to the bottom of the climb to Bevers Pl.).
    (This flew in the face of the majority public opinion expressed at the draft
    plan meeting that this existing singletrack remain multiuse. There was
    consensus on this point between those advocating a hiking only contemplative
    trail and other user groups. As you may recall, I thought that the public
    opinion was so strong on this point that the trail would definitely remain
    multiuse in the final plan. Nope. Explanations for why this didn't change
    weren't really offered. Another thing that will happen to this trail is
    that the hiking only portions of this trail are designated as
    easy/intermediate. This will most certainly mean, in the case of the easy
    portion, that the narrow singletrack will be widened to a minimum width of
    5' and all technical aspects will be removed - read graded, as these trails
    were described as being wheelchair accessible. In addition, intermediate
    trails were defined as typically having a minimum width of 3' with
    waterbar-type technical features, so there's a chance the singletrack could
    be widened on those sections as well. Also worthwhile to point out that the
    Northern section of the trail is dropped completely off the master plan map.
    I have a hard time imagining that it won't still be used as a social trail,
    but such use would be considered illegal since the trail is not on the
    master plan map.)

    - The contemplative trail (which utilizes a most of the hiking only section
    of the Bevers-High Dr singletrack) had a change of alignment on the N end,
    moving W to the other side of some fins (This was another common theme from
    almost everyone at the draft plan meeting, move the whole contemplative
    trail to the W side of the fins. It definitely is more remote feeling and
    has a more "immersed in nature" feel on that side. This is also the reason
    why everyone agreed that the singletrack could remain multiuse - it wouldn't
    be utilized by the contemplative trail anymore. Again, I'm not sure why the
    change was not made. It was mentioned that there was no way to position the
    trail on that side, but I know that isn't a problem for most if not all of
    the distance - there are already social trails in place between the fins and
    Sand Canyon to the W.)

    - The hiking only trail added to RRC upped the hiking only total mileage to
    1.26mi. This new trail is intermediate level and parallels the easy
    multiuse dirt road. (Don Ellis - Red Rock Canyon Committee - commented at
    the meeting that the uses should be reversed - the easy road should be hiker
    only and the intermediate trail should be multiuse. I would say that is a
    great idea, but I'm not sure if anything will change.)

    - There are still very few loops that can be made without significant mixing
    of different ability level trails. For example, trying to construct loops
    of primarily advanced level trails requires use of quite a lot of easy and
    intermediate trail. I'm not too worried about the intermediate/advanced
    mixing, but I hope user conflict issues don't arise from easy/intermediate &
    easy/advanced mixing.

    - The short singletrack that runs down from the Easternmost ridge to the
    cemetery/powerstation area was mentioned by several people as a good
    neighborhood access that should be left on the master plan map.

    I may be forgetting some things, but that's the gist of it. Overall a huge
    gain in the presence of a freeriding area and it was nice to see better
    balance of easy/intermediate/advanced trails. I'm disappointed that the
    public's input was not adopted on the Bevers-High Dr
    singletrack/contemplative trail and that half of the intermediate/advanced
    trails are starting from dirt roads. I'm also disappointed/shocked about
    the "no bikes at all" aspect of the hiking only trails and would like to see
    the RRC hiker only trail designated as using the easy road, not the
    intermediate trail. In most other areas, I think the plan is a pretty good
    compromise between all the views/opinions/desires.

    Although the master plan is considered final, they are reviewing comments on
    it and revising it again before it is presented to the Parks & Rec Adv.
    Board on June 17 (7:30am @ 1401 Recreation Way). So, you still have
    opportunities to make your opinion known. You can send email to Chris
    Lieber ([email protected]) now to give input prior to the revision and
    you can attend the June 17th meeting to express your opinion to the City and
    the Parks & Rec Board. However, the chances of changing things are growing
    slimmer. The final master plan map is not on the City's website yet, but it
    should be appearing shortly.

    Thanks for your efforts on the master plan process - Now, please keep it
    going by helping to build the trails! You will be able to sign up for
    volunteer efforts in RRC on the City's website. Medicine Wheel has
    committed to helping out/adopting the park, so let's support their effort
    with some of our own.
    GoatRidesBikes.com
    Goat Rides Bikes @ YouTube
    "I may be old and fat, but at least I'm slow." - Me

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