Monday, April 21, 2008

EBRPD Hall of Shame, Part 2

(Fremont meeting this Thursday, Oakley this Saturday! Click here for times and places.)

The EBRPD insists that people on bicycles must be banned from public lands because they cause "serious damage to the natural resources, including erosion and loss of plant life."

This is false. As multiple controlled studies done by everyone from the USFS, to USC, to the University of Guelph, to our very own City of Oakland have shown, and as any experienced trail designer and maintainer can tell you, a person on a bicycle has similar impact to a person on foot, less impact than a horse, and many times less impact than any of the ranger or ranch trucks that always seem to be driving around in our parks -- not to mention the cattle and sheep that trample them daily. Any person who claims they are qualified to run a parks district should know this and be familiar with these studies, yet the EBRPD's Board of Directors continues to claim the opposite.

Here's a sadly typical photograph from Mission Peak. This is "trail maintenance" in the EBRPD's world. (Click pictures to see the damage at full-size.)

Here's a typical piece of EBRPD-maintained "trail", also in Mission Peak: a wide, loose, machine-churned mess.

For contrast, here's a bicycle-legal trail that the EBRPD does not control. Doesn't this look more fun to hike on, too?

All this would be merely comical if the EBRPD's segregationist policies didn't have the force of law. The EBRPD destroys trails in our public parkland with impunity, while they fine people over $300 for quietly riding a bicycle on that same trail.

(And sometimes they blame the destruction on bicycles! See Part 1 of the Hall of Shame.)

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