Last Monday, 70 people attended the Marin County Bicycle Coalition's public forum introducing their new off-road program and MCBC collected input on priorities for a successful program. After a brief introduction by MCBC Executive Director Kim Baenisch covering their many on-road successes, Kim introduced the four “E’s” that will guide the new off-road program: Environment, Education, Enhancement and Enforcement.
After the introduction, a diverse audience of stakeholders broke-up into smaller groups and headed to one of four stations. Each group spent 15 minutes at each “E” station to suggest how best to address land stewardship, trail etiquette, compliance with rules and trail enhancement. Here are some of the things MCBC heard:
- Trail maintenance and quality design are key
- Focus on trail connections as a way to expand access between points
- Make better signage, from trail etiquette to interpretive signs
- Encourage self-policing to create good behavior through peer pressure
- Expand volunteer bike patrol
- Increased trail opportunities may increase compliance
- Hold traffic school for off-road citations to teach proper trail behavior
- There needs to be one place to learn all the trail etiquette rules for safe trail access
- Retail outlets for provision of education (handouts, rule books, workshops)
- Expand NorCal’s “Spirit of Howdy”
- Consistent signage, trail rules and trail maps throughout Marin’s many parks
- Desire for more bike rider and equestrian education
- Trail adoption program for bike shops and trail user groups
- Volunteering for trail work and patrols
- Build sustainable trails to protect and improve the environment
- Reporting illegal activities, including rouge trails and marijuana farms
- Pay to play concept for trail access
- Habitat protection and interpretive signage
MCBC thanks everyone who came out to participate – the input gathered at the forum will help guide the priorities of the new program to be inclusive and successful! MCBC reports it was a very constructive evening and they appreciate that participants adhered to the facilitator’s courtesy guidelines to allow the communication of everyone’s point of view.
If you missed the off-road forum and want to provide your input on any of the four E’s, visit www.marinbike.org/Campaigns/MTB/FeedbackForm.shtml.