A Report on the State Parks Meeting, 3-2, on Trails at Malibu Creek State Park
The folks from California State Parks held a public evening meeting on March 2, to present the process of how they are deciding whether or not to open all the trails up in Malibu Creek State Park for multi-use, which basically means adding mountain biking to 2 additional trails. (Please see previous post: http://www.conejopost.com/archives/5708).
Equestrian, Ruth Gerson attended the meeting, and I want to thank her for reporting to the Conejo Post, on how the meeting went.
Ruth Gerson on the meeting:
” There was a diverse crowd with about an even division among the bikers, hikers and equestrians with approximately 30 of each group. It was easy to gauge what kind of trail user some of the people were, and it was hard to gauge others. I believe that most people expected to speak about their preference regarding the change of use for the trails. However, State Parks merely explained what the process is for change of use. Following the State Parks presentation, the people mingled to ask questions and discuss some issues with the staff that was positioned around the room. Since no one could speak to the trail use, they were given a paper to write their comments; and those were collected. A sign in sheet was provided, and that will give State Parks a data base for informing people of the next meeting. Unfortunately, quite a few people had to stand outside in the rain as the room was very crowded; and after a short while many of that crowd left.”
Ruth Gerson’s views:
“I am an equestrian, and I ride the Lookout & Yearling Trails at least twice a week. I often see hikers, runners and bird watchers out there. I believe that State Parks should keep Lookout & Yearling Trails bike free so that hikers and horseback riders and other trail users can enjoy these trails safely with a high quality experience. The line of sight is very short all along Lookout Trail, and even hikers & equestrians come upon others suddenly around a bend. Because horses have a reaction time about 5 times faster than humans, they are able to stop quickly even from a trot. Horses have pretty good hearing and can usually hear other horses and people chatting on the trails. They cannnot hear the silent bikes. Most mountain bikers travel way too fast - they are silent – they cannot stop quickly when nearing other trail users - and they often skid when trying to slow which causes dirt to be sprayed and further scares horses. Some bikers are out there for the challenge of speeding along the trails and don’t care about anyone else. Others are very respectful of other trail users. Although bikers always say they want to “share” trails, that concept defaults to “dominate / own” the trails and displaces other users who value their safety.
State Park Trails are to enjoy, and they should provide a safe and high quality experience for hikers and equestrians. It should not be a trail of avoidance, fear, intimidation, near-misses, injuries, and other unpleasant experiences.”
Post by Ruth Gerson
Tags: Lookout Trail·Malibu Creek State Park·Ronald Reagan Ranch·Yearling Trail