Bikes in the West TSA
The 25-year West TSA Bike Ban is Coming to a Close
The mountain bike community is on the road to beating the ban!
Most of you know what is going down in the West TSA (if not, check out our links and history sections). This is the access battle of a generation. According to Open Space Board of Trustees outgoing chair Bill Briggs, "It's about more than bikes." The Boulder Mountainbike Alliance couldn't agree more.
BMA remains optimistic that mountain bikers can gain reasonable and responsible access to some trails in the West TSA, but city council needs to hear from you now to dispel the myth that we are a bunch of adrenaline-fueled, speed junkies with no concern for our families, our environment, and our community.
Call To Action!
What can you do?
Do you want to be heard?
You've got options!
Thanks again for your support, at the March 15th City Council meeting and everything in the previous months. This has been some 4 years of effort on the part of folks at BMA, and it all comes down to your involvement. If you show up and write letters, we can win! If you want to get more involved, send us an email. We can use all the help we can get!
... groovy buttons with a fast action you can take right now
... what this action accomplishes
This is a new petition (different from what came before). A quick and easy way to support bike access, it only takes a minute.
What's the gist of this one? "It's high time to bring mountain bikers into the fold. Please accept us as citizens, as neighbors, and as the current and future open space stewards that we are."
Sending email via the above button sends your message directly to all 9 members of City Council! Tell city council that you support bike access on Anemone Hill and on a N/S connector trail. Tell them who you are, what you do for a living, why you love Boulder. Talk about your kids, talk about your desire to ride on trail without the use of a car, tell them why mountain biking is important to you. If you own a business, tell them how many people you employ, how much you contribute in sales taxes. Make your message personal, heartfelt, and above all - KEEP IT POSITIVE!!!
BMA gets a copy of your email, so that we know how many mountain bikers are contacting Council and we can get your back!
Jonesing for more ways to help? We got 'em!
Call City Council
If you know any council members personally, give them a call !! Just like in business, the personal touch is important.
Write a letter to the Editor
If your letter to council is 300 words or under, consider sending it to the Daily Camera as a letter to the editor. You must include your address and phone number to get a letter published. We all know that all interesting Boulder battles are fought in the opinion pages, so jump into the fray and let your thoughts be known!
Show up for one last meeting
Show up Tuesday, 3/15, at 6pm at Boulder High School to tell city council why bike access is important to you. Things will go more smoothly for you this time, BMA promises. We've worked out a deal to have a staging ground at Rueben's Burger Bistro so there will be a fine Belgian beer waiting for you while you wait for your turn to speak. Also, we're trying to set up a photo booth and video booth for drop-in service - bring your kids, your spouse, your roommate, and tell your story, even if you can't stay all night! And remember to wear your bike helmet!
Be a ring leader
Ask 10 of your friends/colleagues to take just one of the above actions for this cause. Your call or conversation will mean more than just forwarding our newsletter. Reach out to your people 2-3 times between now and March 15th and we will win this thing. And email us if you are willing to act as a ring leader to your own crew.
Help the Advocacy Team
We need your help, plain and simple. Tasks small and large need to occur to get everyone ready for the big council input session on March 15th. Email us and we'll let you know how you can help.
The mountain bike community has been though a lot to reach this day. The debate about mountain bikes in the West TSA (formerly known as the Mountain Parks system) has it's roots going back to 1983. We did some research to find new coverage of bikes getting banned back in the '80s.
Click here to visit the Daily Camera Bike Ban Archive
This current process started about 3 years ago when the West Trail Study Area came onto the public radar. The purpose of the West Trail Study Area and the public process surrounding it was to help the Open Space and Mountain Parks develop a plan for the City of Boulder's western open space. The West TSA plan, when approved by City Council, will become the guide for use and management of these lands for the next TEN YEARS! Thus it's a crucial time to get mountain bikes and mountain bikers more fully integrated into Boulder's open space and trail systems.
The West TSA involves a lot more than mountain bikes, but the mountain bike issue has been a contentious up-and-down rollercoaster since the beginning. Basically, the last few months have gone like this:
- The Community Collaborative Group (CCG) was torn on the issue, so they punted to staff.
- The City's open space staff gave mountain bike access a big fat no.
- The Open Space Board of Trustees directed staff to come up with mountain bike options, then voted to support some of those options
- Now the final decision is left to City Council
Here's a selection of articles writen for, by, or about BMA and mountain bike access.
- OSBT recommendations on bikes in the West TSA - a vote-by-vote breakdown of what the Open Space Board of Trustees recommends for mountain bike access
- Open Space Board approves some mountain biking west of Boulder - Daily Camera story following the February 23rd meeting
- Why bicycles belong in the West TSA - a short piece with four affirmations (like Stewart Smalley, but without the mirror and "gosh darn it, people like me")
- Refutation of arguments against bicycling in the West TSA -- a longer document presenting most of our opponents' arguments and our refutations
- Bicycling Myth Versus Reality -- two-pager refuting myths about bicycling in the West TSA.
- Trails Are Tools - illustration by professional trail designer/builder Scott Gordon, showing how trail design can minimize user conflict (PDF; 252kb)
- Perception and reality of conflict -- A document from the New Zealand Department of Conservation about the perceptions of user conflict related to bikes on multi-use trails.
- Comparing hiking, mountain biking and horse riding impacts on vegetation and soils in Australia and the United States of America -- another scholarly article looking at relative impacts of biking and other recreational activities.
Call to Action by the BMA President
A lot has changed in the last few weeks, but this speech still applies! This speech was delivered at the 2011 Boulder Mountainbike Alliance Banquet, held February 4th at the St Julien Hotel. If you have problems viewing the video below, you can watch the video on Vimeo.