Most readers favor shared use of nature trails

first_img– JIM LEGGE Rancho Palos Verdes A few hikers and a few mountain bikers are a problem. The many other hundreds of hikers and mountain bikers are happy to share the trails and don’t forget the horse people also sharing. There seems to be an issue with a few power-hungry people (who believe) the trails are theirs. Remember, the land is for everybody, not just a few people. Does anybody realize that people need to get out and ride or walk every day for the health of themselves and society as a whole? Without naming certain names, a few have created a lot of stress to ban mountain biking. These few should go visit the rest of the planet and see how lucky they are to live where they have open land and to share it with (others) who know they are lucky to have the open land and enjoy it. – MITCH BERGER Torrance Yes, mountain bikes should be allowed on the trails. Mountain bikes do no more harm to trails than hiking, and less than horses. (There are many studies to support this.) Damage to trails, whether it be from mountain bikes, hiking boots or horse hooves, can be mitigated and repaired. Banning mountain biking from the trails is prejudicial and has shown to exacerbate conflict. And it wouldn’t do much to mitigate damage to the environment. As a member of Conejo Open Space Trails Advisory Committee (in Thousand Oaks) I know that mountain biking can absolutely coexist with other trail users because there is open dialogue, inclusion and cooperation, not an atmosphere of exclusion, bans and conflict. – MARK LANGTON Newbury Park I think it should be strictly foot traffic. It’s just too much otherwise, and the environment would be so much better. – CAROL BARKER Hawthorne Science and ecological studies have shown that, with very few exceptions, well-designed public trails support mountain biking without any abnormal or unusual wear. As a mountain biker for years, and an early member and longtime coordinator for the volunteer trail maintenance program of a nonprofit group, I believe those of us from all user groups who have at heart the love, respect and quest to go out and enjoy our natural surroundings should work together to keep the outdoors open to us. We might even be helping invite the next generation out to take part in what we’ve found. – RICH PINDER Van Nuys Mountain bikes do little harm to the trails, much less than a horse, and about as much as a hiker. The weight of the rider and bike is spread over two wheels with a wide contact area to the trail, which results in a low impact to it. Regular trail use by mountain bikers helps keep existing trails accessible to hikers. – GREGORIO DE HARO Torrance Not only I am a mountain biker, but (I am) also backpacker, hiker and Sierra Club member. I have been mountain biking in Palos Verdes for 15 years. During that time I have never had any conflict with hikers or equestrians and have found pleasant hellos to be the norm. The current concern in the area is a number of unofficial trails that have been made and the corresponding erosion caused by this. Unfortunately, as in any group, there is a small number of individuals who, usually through lack of knowledge or etiquette, give a group a bad name. A mountain bike, when ridden under control, causes no more damage than a footprint, and significantly less than a horse. The main cause of erosion in our trails is water runoff. The mountain bike community has already volunteered significant hours to assist with trail maintenance and has rerouted trails in the preserve to minimize erosion. Once the trails have been officially designated and posted, we can patrol the area and continue to educate users. Banning bicycles from this area would be akin to banning hikers on all trails because a small handful of them shortcut on switchbacks. By and large, all user groups have successfully shared this area for a long time and should be able to continue to do so. We need to all work together and not have access denied to anyone because of a small handful of kids on bikes (not mountain bikers) or a small group of angry hikers. – STEVE KERR San Pedro The National Park Service’s own reporting shows that damage from mountain bikes is negligible (if riders stay on the prescribed trails) and that in some cases horses can be far more damaging. Any erosion caused in the Portuguese Bend area by mountain bikers is done by a small minority of bikers, and the mountain bike community has begun to actively “police” these riders from continuing the type of riding that would damage these trails. – ANDY TANKERSLEY San Pedro I firmly believe that mountain bikers should be allowed on the nature trails on the Peninsula, and in particular on the trails in the Portuguese Bend area below Del Cerro Park. These trails have been shared by hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers for more than 20 years now. Up until now, this land has been a big “vacant lot” with basically no rules. Once the Public Use Master Plan (PUMP) Committee (in Rancho Palos Verdes) decides which of the existing trails should remain open, I believe that it will be in the best interest of everybody that all of these trails be designated “multi-use.” Just in the last year, this same process has been implemented in the Forestall Preserve with most of the trails being designated multi-use, and there has been no evident harm to the environment from mountain bikes. Mountain bikers will respect posted signs and will stay on designated trails if they are allowed on most of the trails, just like what has happened in the Forestall Preserve. – BOB ENDICOTT San Pedro Having a diverse trail user community is healthy and reflects the people and their recreational preferences in the surrounding neighborhoods. Bicycles have been using the trails on the Palos Verdes Peninsula for more than 20 years. Mountain bicyclists from the surrounding communities have provided many hours of volunteer trail maintenance and shown their value as caring and involved constituents. Excluding bicycles would only create a huge challenge for the agency that is tasked with managing the local trails and parklands, taking away from their ability to maintain trails and keep them safe and beautiful for all users, while alienating a longtime user group. – PETER HEUMANN Calabasas Mountain bikes should be allowed on all trails in Palos Verdes. They inflict less trail damage than equestrian trail users. Mountain bikers in the area ride respectfully. Please share the trails. – CHAD FLYNN Hermosa Beach I have been an avid hiker for years. I have never had a problem with mountain bikers at Del Cerro. The ones I have met have been very polite. I know that some can cause trouble but in that regard, I have scolded other hikers for intentionally littering and have seen hikers going off trail. It’s like driving in L.A. – most people are good but sometimes someone is an idiot! I believe that multi-use trails can work. They should not be closed to anyone unless it rains. Then horses and bikers should stay off. – LIZ KURTZ Los Angeles Mountain bikers should be allowed to share the land with hikers and equestrians. And no, bikes do not do “too much harm to the environment.” I have been a hiker and mountain biker in that area for more than 10 years, and the most damage I’ve seen was due to water and horses being ridden on trails right after rain. Downhill sections of trail would have deep imprints from the horses shoes, due to the softened dirt. – LARRY LINDSAY Torrance We are all stakeholders. This land now belongs to the community, so everyone should be allowed to share these trails. The bike community has been working to make sure everyone knows the rules. There is no evidence that bikes impact trails any differently than other users if they stay on designated trails. Cyclists have done more trail work than any other group. We deserve respect. I’ve volunteered to repair trails throughout the Southern California. We deserve to ride them. I’ve been riding these trails for more than five years now. Walking your bike in hazardous sections is a common practice we use. Cyclists can control their bikes even on the steepest trail. I’ve never had a bad encounter with hikers or horses. – VICTOR CASAS Glendora Using a dirt trail leaves marks no matter what the mode of transportation. If the trails are dry, neither bikes, pedestrians or horses cause any actual damage. But when it rains, we should all stay away for one or two days until the trails dry out. Regardless of who uses them, trails need periodic maintenance, and bicyclists are usually the group most willing to spend a Saturday morning working on the trails. When I volunteer at organized trail work days in PV, we bicyclists outnumber everyone else. – DAVID THOM Torrance The controversy implied by the question stems from activities while the land was private property and without any form of management. A city-ordered study of all uses in the Forrestal Nature Preserve strongly suggests that the implementation of management will provide the controls necessary to accommodate bike use. The Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy study concluded that bikes had no more impact on habitat than other users and added that no user complaints were reported. As a member of the Forrestal Nature Preserve Advisory Board, I concur with the conclusions. Focusing on unmanaged activity neglects all of the proven mitigation methods that are available. I am also a member of the Rancho Palos Verdes Public Use Master Plan Committee that is nearing completion of an updated management plan. I am hopeful that a year of good management will allay concerns about bikes and other uses. – TROY BRASWELL Rancho Palos Verdes By prohibiting bikes from using the Peninsula trails, the city will cause more damage to the environment than good. Mountain bikers will be forced to drive to other trails, leading to more local air pollution and traffic congestion. Many mountain bikers, who also ride road bikes, would be forced to ride on the streets more often, in turn slowing down traffic and potentially leading to increased traffic accidents. In this era of global warming, bicycling should be encouraged in our community, not discouraged by special-interest groups that have misperceptions, axes to grind and/or special agendas in regard to a great sport. – AL MARTINEZ Rancho Palos Verdes The trails should be shared by all parties. The hikers should have the right of way but not exclusive use. The equestrians have always been somewhat limited, and I agree that not all trails should be open to horses. As for the environmental impact, a horse in not indigenous to North America and has a much, much higher unit loading on its hooves than that of a mountain bike tire. The unavoidable manure from a horse spreads nonindigenous plants. These plants have a negative impact on the area by choking out the native plants. These are evident on trails not used by mountain bikers. Is this really an environmental issue, or is it an elitist, exclusive land grab? – JOHN HALL Rancho Palos Verdes160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Although I am a biker (road type), I do not believe that hiking/horse trails should be shared with mountain bikers, and the environment is not the reason. Mountain bikers are all about speed on the downhill, and hikers and walkers are obviously on a different pace. Mixing them is a recipe for injuries. – BOB YOUNG Harbor City Obviously you’ve never been on a horse path before or never had a horse spooked by somebody jumping on a bicycle in front of you. It’s crazy to mix bicycles and horse riding. Horses do spook. Good way to break your neck. No bikes. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champ– RANDY SCHOONOVER Torrance I live in Upper Portuguese Bend and my wife and I have been biking, hiking and riding horses on the trails in that area for years. Compared to other places we have experience with, the folks we meet are very pleasant and generally demonstrate a real concern for the environment. This is evidenced by the lack of trash and litter on the trails. Because we use the trails for hiking, biking and riding, we are not biased toward any one group. It is our opinion that you can cause damage in any format. You cannot solve the problems with regulation. We need to communicate our concern, educate the users (all disciplines) and post rules of good conduct. last_img read more