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  1. #1
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    2018 user permits for Philly trails

    I just got an FOW email stating that they are now doing the permits. In the past it was phila.gov. Now, city residents are required to pay $20 for the permit. Before it was optional.

    https://www.fow.org/visit-the-park/r...-trail-permit/

    Anyone know if enforcement will be more strict this year? I always get the bracelets, but have not always donated in the past. $20 is not a big deal. To me, it's more about the principal. I am a city resident who pays city tax. Why should I have to pay additionally to use the trails?

  2. #2
    2 wheel drifter
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    In 15 years I've been asked once, and it was at table set up at a trail junction with a couple of folks trying to get users to register. Last few years I only hit the trails at night and never see anyone, but I get the permit anyway. Looking on the park website, the rules appear the same as always, with no fee for residents:

    https://beta.phila.gov/services/perm...-trail-permit/

    But the payment link is for last year and expired. Did the email you received include a link?

  3. #3
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    Right, the links at phila.gov are not valid for 2018. The FOW link I received and posted above is the only one I can find for 2018 permits. It was working when I first posted, but now the page is not loading completely to show the application form on the bottom half of the page. Maybe it's crashed from everyone buying their permits!

    In 20+ years I have been asked only once. Actually, my friend and I got busted. It was like 1997. We came riding down one of the hills to FD where 2 rangers on bikes were posted up just waiting for people to ride down so they could ask them to see their permit. I did not have one because I did not know about the requirement at that time.

  4. #4
    2 wheel drifter
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    Yep, the payment section is loading now. Well that's annoying. I hope more money doesn't mean smoother trails.

  5. #5
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    Yeah right! I notice a new rule written that says bikers need to stay off muddy trails. That one should apply to equestrians too. Also, I really wish they'd make a rule against letting your horse shit all over the trail without clearing it!

  6. #6
    West Chester, PA
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    I've never been asked about a permit in over 20 years. I'll start paying for them as soon as I see someone handing out tickets for un-leashed dogs.

  7. #7
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    Which will right about when they start handing out tickets for us riding over 7 MPH.

    I don't mind buying a permit for the trails if I am reasonably certain that the cash will be going towards maintaining the trails that I use. Now that FOW is administering this, I have a higher level of confidence that this is the case.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ash216 View Post
    Which will right about when they start handing out tickets for us riding over 7 MPH.
    In which case they should ticket runners also. I pay enough to this city, no bracelet for me.
    Bike fleet: Scalpel/Habit SE/Synapse Hi Mod/SWorks Tarmac/TJ CX/Trek Speed Concept 9 series/Ridley Noah

  9. #9
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    Sure why not. My point is that we mountain bikers probably break as many "rules" as any other trail user group so we should think about how much enforcement we want of whatever "rules" there are.

    And yea I might feel the same way if I paid city wage tax, which I do not. I do feel an obligation to contribute to the upkeep of the trails that I use so frequently. Just speaking for myself of course though.

  10. #10
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    best thing you can do for the the philly mtb scene is:

    1. Be respectful of the park and others

    2. Donate your time and money to FOW and the Belmont Plateau Trails Alliance

    https://www.fow.org/
    https://www.facebook.com/belmontplateautrails/

  11. #11
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    Unfortunately the permit this year is a card that came with a huge arm-band, instead of the simple little bracelet that I could just strap around my bike.

    I don't really mind paying the fee if it is going towards maintenance and improvements, but I'm annoyed that they decided to make it harder to deal with.

  12. #12
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    I'm just upset that they are not offering the free guest passes. I see rangers in the lot by Valley Green a lot in the summer on weekends - I imagine they are checking for permits but never stopped and asked them. I always got the bracelet and donated the $20 or $25 so I font mind the cost.

  13. #13
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    I was kind of annoyed by the arm strap card too, but then I just strapped it around my hydration pack... no big deal. I would not want to wear it on my arm, but it is easily visible on my pack. Not that I think anyone will ever check, just like they have never checked in the past.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ash216 View Post
    I was kind of annoyed by the arm strap card too, but then I just strapped it around my hydration pack... no big deal. I would not want to wear it on my arm, but it is easily visible on my pack. Not that I think anyone will ever check, just like they have never checked in the past.
    I did the same with mine the other day. It fits nicely into the helmet strap holders on my pack. I agree, a little obnoxious to wear on your arm. They are more official now too, with your name and ID #.

  15. #15
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    <opinion> don't ever let a lack of a pass stop you from riding philly trails or inviting friends from out of town to come ride. THEY ARE PUBLIC CITY PARKS. </opinion>

    if you do happen upon a ranger just be polite and you will get a warning at most. do they really expect everyone who rides hear a few times a year to get a pass? crazy!

    it's a great way for the city to make tens of dollars while probably discouraging thousands in outside business when people don't come to philly because they heard you need a pass to ride the trials...

    i love this city and the trails we have but this pass thing and the recent expansion of the night parks curfew to all winter are two things i get really upset by. they seem to discourage recreation in our awesome park system????

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    <opinion> don't ever let a lack of a pass stop you from riding philly trails or inviting friends from out of town to come ride. THEY ARE PUBLIC CITY PARKS. </opinion>
    ...and don't let SEPTA push you around either IT'S PUBLIC TRANSIT

  17. #17
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    f-septa, ride your bike!!!!

  18. #18
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    As a resident I already pay the city wage tax, property tax, sales tax and the damn beverage tax. I refuse to pay another fee to use a park system I already support. I don't mind being asked to make a donation but being forced to is a smack in the face. After 15+ years no more trail permits for me....

  19. #19
    2 wheel drifter
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    2018 user permits for Philly trails-fow.jpg

    Just got this email, thought I'd share it as an FYI.

  20. #20
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    "I feel this may not have been obvious..." ????

    There was no "register here" link for paper registration or any statements about the donation being optional when I was first notified by the FOW email a couple weeks ago.

  21. #21
    2 wheel drifter
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    Agreed, it was in no way obvious when I registered.

  22. #22
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    Ive been in Philly the last few weeks for work and this is the first I've heard or seen this. We have been riding at Wissahickon and Belmont, there no signage saying you need a permit or anything to that nature.

    I imagine this has to be pretty hard to enforce with the volume of people and many parking entrances throughout the trail systems.

  23. #23
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    it is both impossible to enforce and totally unenforced. HAVE FUN!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by smv356 View Post
    As a resident I already pay the city wage tax, property tax, sales tax and the damn beverage tax. I refuse to pay another fee to use a park system I already support. I don't mind being asked to make a donation but being forced to is a smack in the face. After 15+ years no more trail permits for me....
    I feel your pain but everyone pays these types of taxes (except the beverage tax) if you live in PA. I live in Montgomery County and I pay a "wage tax" of 1%. We just call it a local tax. I think that even goes up to 2% depending on which township you live in. I pay a lot for property taxes and we have the PA sales tax too. I understand Philly adds another 2% these days but whatever. Granted Philly might charge a bit more for their versions but it's not like PA is a tax free haven. Montgomery County even charges an extra $5 for vehicle registration!
    Bikes, lots'o bikes

  25. #25
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    The FOW has updated their website and the option for a fee-free permit is now obvious. I have requested my new permit and also made a donation. I just really hated being forced into paying...

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