Unfortunately, the entire process is genuinely threatened by a small minority of mountain bike-obsessed individuals who don't like being told "no". By hiding their objective in the process, this fringe element is hoping to slip in permanent mountain bike trail access in Griffith Park, Elysian Park, Serrania Park, O’Melveny Park, Santa Ynez Canyon and Lime Kiln Canyon Park, among others. City ordinance currently prohibits mountain bikes off-trail in all Los Angeles City parks. If the current City Ordinance is overturned, all parks will be opened to mountain bikers.
What's at stake is only the ability of all people to get out of their cars and ride bicycles safety from place to place in Los Angeles.
The Bicycle Master Plan is part of the City's Transportation Plan and is supposed to be about making streets safe for alternative modes of transportation, like bicycles. The plan is supposed to be about making LA green, making transportation safe for those who do not or cannot use autos or buses.
Unfortunately, a group of spoiled mainly well-off males who constitute a minority faction within the bicycling community have been trying to manipulate this process from the git go. They have been relatively successful by slipping in their fringe agenda into a very important transportation document.
(To read this section, got to http://www.labikeplan.org/bikeway_maps see chapter 3 and appendix H)
The document doesn't lie: This minority -- the mountain bike lobby -- is making a push for City Park trails by overturning the current City Ordinance forbidding bikes on trails.
In Los Angeles city parks, it is illegal to ride any wheeled or motorized vehicle off-road. The reasons are firmly rooted in safety. Unless specifically designed to be otherwise, City parks are family parks. The Department of Recreation and Parks and parks users should always proceed in parks expecting to find small children, large families, groups of kids, hikers, trail runners, dog walkers, and equestrians around every single corner in a City park. Even wilderness parks like Griffith Park, Verdugo Mountains Park, Hansen Dam, Sepulveda Basin, and O' Melveny parks are city parks. Although they may not be around every corner in these large regional parks, anyone using the park must proceed as if they expect to find families and family activities on the trails.
CORBA and IMBA are at the heart of this attempted coup, and they've proven themselves to be shameless liars who are willing to risk the millions who come to City parks to enjoy them.
Mountain biking as it exists separate from general biking is effectively an extreme sport. Although the vast majority of mountain bikers do ride the trails respectfully, there is a faction who think that every ride is their private E-ticket and behave accordingly no matter where they are riding.
Just imagine children, a family, hikers, dog walkers, or equestrians around the corner on this particular nearby trail...
...and these guys aren't really going that fast. The guys who think of themselves as hardcore go much faster.
Although those who ride at seriously excessive speed are a minority of mountain bikers, between the speed and the flagrant disregard for common sense rules of the road, these folks are outright dangerous in City parks. How dangerous? Due to having no credible, reliable, consistent way to report incidents or conflicts, any number you may read or hear must be immediately suspect.
Regardless, the preponderance of anecdotal evidence is strongly against the numbers you hear the slick, well-funded lobbyists from CORBA (Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Assn) and, IMBA quoting to the public and to our elected officials. CORBA and IMBA are at the heart of this attempted coup, and they've proven themselves to be shameless liars who are willing to risk the millions who come to City parks to enjoy them, risk completely derailing the process to allow citizens to bike across Los Angeles safely, and to spend taxpayer money to do it.
This minority -- the mountain bike lobby -- is making a push for City Park trails by overturning the current City Ordinance forbidding bikes on trails.
There are thousands of miles of mountain biking trails within ten minutes of any City park you can name. There is no proven need for additional mountain biking in any City park. If a need is ever shown in a reliable, certifiable manner, then the purchase and development of new facilities within the City parks system may become appropriate. However, for safety reasons, City parks should never throw away their main stakeholder group simply to satisfy the whim of a bunch of weekend warriors.
It is urgent that families, hikers, trail runners, dog walkers, and equestrians attend one of the following meetings to make your voices heard. The bike lobbyist will be bringing as many bikers as possible to these meetings. It is critical to be present at these meetings.
The future use of the parks is your responsibility. The outcome is in your hands.
Date: Thursday, October 22, 2009
Location: Peck Park
Address: 560 North Western Avenue, San Pedro, CA 90732
Central/South Los Angeles
Date: Saturday, October 24, 2009
Location: Exposition Park - Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Regional Library
Address: 3900 S. Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90062
San Fernando Valley
Date: Monday, October 26, 2009
Location: Marvin Braude-San Fernando Valley Constituent Services Center,
Conference Room 1B
Address: 6262 Van Nuys Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91401
West Los Angeles
Date: Wednesday October 28, 2009
Location: Felicia Mahood Multi Purpose Center
Address: 11338 Santa Monica Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90037