The draft Los Angeles City Bike Plan was recently released and mountain bicyclists should be concerned with the direction it has taken. We need comments not only from L.A.-based riders, but from anyone who has positive stories about relationships with equestrians and other trail users on California trails.
Public comments can be submitted online or via postal mail, and are due before Jan. 8, 2010.
Here are some suggested talking points:
- Somewhere in L.A. City Parks there should be opportunities for mountain bicyclistsâ€”it’s bad public policy that all dirt roads and trails are closed to bikes.
- Bicycling is a positive, safe, health-promoting activity for people of all ages and should be encouraged with both natural-surface and paved riding opportunities.
- The 2009 plan should incorporate the 1996 bicycle plan language that called for pilot projects and a gradual increase in mountain bike opportunities in the parks.
- Bicyclists safely share trails with other trail users, including equestrians, all around the globe.
- Mountain biking is a sustainable, manageable and appropriate activity for L.A. parksâ€”it works in dozens of other cities so why not ours?
For several years, anti-bike groups have mobilized to perpetuate the bicycle ban in LA City Parks. An older 1996 bike plan proposed a gradual increase in mountain bike opportunities, but they were never enacted. The new plan abandons those proposals and focuses instead on studies and research.
An analysis of the plan (PDF) published by the Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association (CORBA), is available online.
At public meetings related to the plan, anti-bike equestrians have testified that bikes and horses simply don’t mix and that even separate trails for bikes and horses won’t work because bicyclists won’t follow rules. Most of the opposition has been from equestrians who ride in Griffith Park, many from the nearby cities of Glendale and Burbank. Griffith would be a great place to bike, especially for locals, but bicycle advocates have not asked for Griffith specifically. We’ve asked for some trails somewhere, but the anti-bike groups’ response has essentially been, “No, nowhere, never.”
You can submit comments online via the link at the top of this page, or by mail on or before Jan. 8, 2010.
City of Los Angeles, Department of City Planning
200 N. Spring Street, Room 721
Los Angeles CA 90012
For further information, contact Jim Hasenauer at [email protected]