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Feb 18

Calero Trails Master Plan New Revisions, Bad News for Mt Cyclists

The Southern most trail in Calero Reservoir County Park between McKean and Rancho Canada has been changed to exclude bicyclist in the latest preferred plan . This change is setting up the same type of problem that currently exists at Rancho where bicyclist are forced to an out and back option rather than a (preferred) loop option .

The new plan basically is designed to give the horse community an exclusive area of the park so that they can have their private use area. None of the current Parks and Rec Commissioners are cyclists and are either horse owners or have sympathy to the few horse persons that ride within Calero. The argument that the planner and consultant are using is that the horse people have been driven out of Almaden Quick Silver by cyclist and have taken refuge at Calero for peace of mind. Giving the horse persons the exclusive use of the southern trail and heart of Calero is their solution.

Here is the presentation, where “peace of mind” is now the fuzzy logic used to exclude MB riders.

The 1st link shows the original proposal for Calero that was presented in November , 2011, where cyclists have loop options within the park.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr34GN9PhEQ&context=C332f312ADOEgsToPDskKyNqHTvkGqHIFOJqLyjthD

Here is the current modified proposal(March-2012) below, with no loop options for pedalers. Unless cyclists speak up+/or show up at the upcoming Parks n Rec meeting to oppose this extremely restrictive trails access modification, we will be saddled w out+back riding options within Calero Res Cty Park:

http://www.parkhere.org/portal/site/parks/parksarticle?path=%252Fv7%252FParks%2520and%2520Recreation%252C%2520Department%2520of%2520%2528DEP%2529&contentId=b2fe29913180f210VgnVCM10000048dc4a92____

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yIJmbPfhBU&feature=related

Looks like the plans will be going to the Parks & Rec Commission in March and April then to the Board.

Mt Bike riders are encouraged to attend the upcoming meeting, or, write a short note to Ryan Elish stating that loop options within Calero Res. Co Park are preferred by mb riders.

Wednesday, March 7th is the next SCCo Parks and Rec commission mtng, 6:30 pm.

County Government Center –

Isaac Newton Senter Auditorium

70 West Hedding Street

San Jose, California 95110.

To submit a reply or provide comments on this project, please contact:

Elish.Ryan@prk.sccgov.org

www.parkhere.org

Here are a few letter sent in from ROMP members to SCCo Parks staff

:

Elish.Ryan@prk.sccgov.org

My note to Ryan:

Hi Ryan,

Loop trails are what Mt Bike riders prefer, your reducing the trails riding opportunities to an out and back scenario does a huge disservice to Mt Bike riders.

The equestrian+hiker community can have their own private area, as shown in the initial preferred alternative showcased in November.

Removal of proposed bicycle use from the Figueroa Trail and the Canada del Oro Trail is totally unacceptable. With those 2 trails gone, the only way to make a loop trip is to ride the paved McKean and Casa Loma Roads., both unsafe alternatives for mt bike riders.

Please return to the original plan, where mt bike riders are allowed a loop option when cycling within Calero Reservoir Co Park.

Hi, Ryan,

Thanks for sending the March 2012 Calero County Park master trail use plan update.

Having gone to one of the public presentations last year, I realize it’s a thankless task to try to allocate trails among user groups. It must be tiring for staff. I regret adding to the contention, but I think the proposed no-bicycles change from the prior plan is ill-advised.

Here’s why:

1. Cyclists prefer to have a lot of trail mileage to make for an enjoyable park experience. Equestrians and hikers tend to go two or three miles at the most, whereas many mountain bikers consider a 15-mile ride rather short. The proposed change takes away the only meaningful loop option at Calero that was offered in the prior plan. The truncated and flat loop around the lake will be boring and will be over with so quickly that few cyclists will be interested, except for beginners.

2. I could see trying to reallocate exclusionary no-bicycles mileage to give more of it to the equestrians (a tiny band whose numbers continue to dwindle because the pastime is so expensive that few can afford it) if the change would benefit them. But as I look at the proposed change, the equestrians gain hardly anything.

The equestrians may be divided into two groups. The first, consisting of ill-trained horses that are afraid of bicycles (along with snakes, dogs, runners, bright colors, noises, exuberant children, kites, etc.) and their nervous owners, will still have to go on bicycle-accessible trails to do the larger loop. Making the Figueroa and Ca´┐Żada del Oro trails off-limits to bikes doesn’t aid the timid, because those trails will be only extensions to nowhere as far they’re concerned´┐Żout and back routes they’re not likely to use.

The second group, equestrians who have trained their horses properly and who aren’t afraid themselves (the type of equestrian found all over the western United States), will get a benefit of slightly more exclusive trail mileage, but since they’ve acted properly to train themselves and their horses, it’s not much of a benefit.

So the proposed revised plan takes away from cyclists in a way that confers almost zero additional benefit on nervous equestrians. I think it’s a net loss.

3. At least one histrionic equestrian got in my face at the public hearing I attended. She went on and on about how this is the only remaining “safe” (bicycle-free) park in the Santa Clara County Parks system and they want to keep it for the handful of equestrians who remain.

Apparently this message has registered with the planning staff. I would note, however, that Ed Levin County Park is virtually a private preserve for equestrians. It is bristling with no-bicycle signs and adjoins various stables. It would seem that one taxpayer-funded private preserve for nervous equestrians ought to suffice. Please bear in mind that equestrians who have properly trained their horses can ride anywhere, and do.

4. I suppose it’s tempting to regard cyclists and equestrians as feuding user groups who operate on an equal equitable footing, for better or worse. A recent letter in The New York Times, however, captures the difference between the two groups:

“While both sides of this debate have a moral foundation upon which to stand, only one side tries to insist that the other live according to its morals.”

That’s the equestrians’ side, of course. Again, not all of them; only those who won’t train their horses properly.

Of course, and to be fair, beginning equestrians and untrained horses need a place to practice with minimal distraction. The trail mileage in the November 2011 plan, however, contains ample mileage for training and acclimatization purposes.

Thanks,