Monday, August 2, 2010

Mountain bikers expected to advocate before council committee

The debate over whether mountain bike trails should be built in Cincinnati's parks will continue at a meeting of City Council's Livable Communities Committee, to be held tomorrow at 2 p.m. in Room 205 of the --> --> -->Duke Energy Convention Center --> --> -->.

At least two council members, including Roxanne Qualls and Chris Bortz, have requested more information about research presented in a June report by Cincinnati Parks Director Willie Carden Jr., who recommended that the park system forego the creation of trails due to environmental damage, high maintenance costs, and illegal activity.

The report caught the eye of Mount Washington resident Wes Munzel, a recreational mountain biker who checked Carden's sources and found them to be less conclusive. He believes that Cincinnati Parks' policy is an issue of misplaced priorities, and that the construction of mountain bike trails would be progressive, healthy, and a good return on the City's investment.

"I'm thrilled that city council decided to explore this issue further and seek public opinion for such an important issue," Munzel says. "It shows that council has vision, listens and has common sense to find out the objective answers to this policy issue."

In 1997, the Cincinnati Off Road Alliance (CORA) built a pilot trail project at Miles Edwards Park. Carden cited the project as a failure and said it was one of the past experiences that helped lead to his recommendations.

"CORA didn't maintain or police them, and eventually agreed to shut the experiment down due to high levels of damage and illegal use," he said in his report.

Munzel has been in contact with CORA, and several of its members plan to speak before the committee.

"It's exciting to think about the end result, which may be the creation of a mountain biking trail in our city, which can benefit current and future residents," Munzel says.

Other mountain bike enthusiasts also are expected to advocate for a pro-trail policy.

Mountain bike trails are either open or in development at Devou Park in Covington, Mitchell Memorial Forest in Miami Township, and Tower Park in Fort Thomas.

Previous reading on BC:
Mount Washington resident questions mountain biking research (7/7/10)
Mountain biking not coming to Cincinnati parks (6/15/10)
New parking facilities required to provide bicycle parking (5/24/10)
Metro, TANK to offer free rides on Bike to Work Day (5/11/10)
Bike Month begins, hopes to change local bicycle culture (5/3/10)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Go, Wes.

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