Tuesday Coffee Talk - Has Boulder Open Space gone too far?

Today Open Space officials announced they are going to crack down on illegal parking at trail heads and will be confiscating mountain bikes when riders are caught riding on trails not allowed for cyclists.

Full article at the Daily Camera

"The open space board has talked in the past about fines in general, and one of the issues that got us considering it was the overflow of parking along Eldorado Springs Drive at Doudy Draw and South Mesa trailheads," said Allyn Feinberg, an open space trustee.

Feinberg said the popular trailheads are often overflowing with vehicles on the weekends, with cars illegally parked along the road.

"I think the parking issues along Doudy Draw are going to be something we need to deal with and talk to the county about," Feinberg said.

Paul Seward lives in the 4100 block of Eldorado Springs Drive, just north of the Doudy Draw trailhead. He said it's not uncommon for up to 60 cars to line the road by his home on any given weekend.

Is this the straw that breaks the camels back? Open Space officials have been making it difficult to provide trails and riding access from Boulder itself so for some the only realistic way to get to these trails is by car and now they say they have a parking problem! Personally for me it is the straw, I publicly supported 1B awhile back but now unless openspace does not change I revoke my support from any more open space tax requests in the future.

What about you, am I missing a bigger picture or something?

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11 Comments

Open Space Tag System?

I personally like this part of the article. A tag system for mountain bikers????

Councilwoman Lisa Morzel has proposed the possibility of a wider tag system, potentially for bikes or even hikers.

"For me, it's how do we get people so they're more aware of other users?" Morzel said. "The way it's worked in the green tags for the dogs is that user group has become much more educated. So I would like to see something like that work to improve people's behavior on trails."

She said an enhanced tag program or an aggressive outreach campaign would help address the "confusion" that people have on trails, such as with the unwritten rule that people who are going uphill have the right of way.

The problem is not parking.

The problem is not parking. The problem is that city open space has decided to severely limit mountain bike riding to only Marshall Mesa and Doudy Draw, ban mountain bikes on all trails except this (quite limited) system, and then BCPOS and city council made the decision recently not to allow even one connector trail. So there's not even an obviously easy bike access route; you have to know to ride through Marshall, then cut across 2 busy intersections and ride uphill on a high speed busy road to get to the trailhead, to allow people to safely and easily access these trails from town. So, then they complain when bikers looking for a good family trail drive to the only reasonable nearby system and clutter up the parking lots there, which is... I dunno, silly? This whole thing is probably about that rich guy with that huge house on Eldo having to build a berm (oh boo hoo) so he doesn't see cars parked on the PUBLIC right-of-way in front of his place.

I live in South Boulder and my husband and I have driven to the trails exactly once in four years despite riding it fairly frequently (eh, it's close), but we are young athletic bike racers. It's still a frustrating 30 minute not-fun pavement crawl to get to the first piece of legal dirt. And the argument that "we have trails everywhere" is just not true. Yes, there's Heil/Hall / PR and Betasso but they are HARD to ride to. Most families and recreational riders are going to be forced by time and fitness limitations to drive there, which kinda defeats the purpose in my opinion. There is noplace safe, easy or fun in this town to take your kids or your non-serious biker girlfriend to ride bikes on trails except Doudy/Marshall, except that it's so overcrowded. Oh wait now they're also saying that we're whiners because OH LOOK now there's Valmont too, but that's not even a good comparison. It's small and super busy with tiny kids all over the place, and while it's fun enough if you're able to ride it when the grommit crew is in bed or whatever, it's more like going to a skatepark; i.e. better if you want to practice some tricks or dismounts on the 'cross bike, but not very scenic or really even that singletracky at all, plus parking is pretty limited there too.

is parking the problem

Does that not just show a legitimate need for more mountain bike trails in the Boulder area to lessen the congestion on the only few areas we have. Oh and I firmly believe they can be hiker friendly as well, not here to discriminate any one group.

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