Action Alert! Public Meeting on Trail Access in City Parks!

What: Downhill-only mountain bike trail in Pogonip proposed by City of Santa Cruz
How you can help: Attend Public Meeting
When: Monday, May 1st at 4pm
Where:  City Council Chambers, 809 Center St #10, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Can’t make it? Write a letter! Details below…

The City of Santa Cruz heard the mountain bike community speak out in favor of increased mountain bike access at the City Council meeting in February. That was step one for getting new trails built at Pogonip and Delaveaga. Step two is coming up on May 1st when the Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Commission will be holding a meeting specifically on the issue of mountain biking in the proposes master plan. We need your support to insure that mountain bikers needs are adopted in the plan!

The City of Santa Cruz is currently undergoing a master planning effort for its parks. Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz has been working closely with City Parks and Recreation Staff on the plan. The proposed plan includes a progressive, directional, downhill, bike specific trail in Pogonip, the concept is to build a technical and rocky trail, geared to intermediate and advanced riders. The plan also provides for new multi-use trails in Pogonip, Harvey West, and Delaveaga parks to provide better connectivity to residential areas and trail network. Check out the Parks and Recreation Committee website for more information.

These proposed trails represent an unprecedented increase in legal mountain bike trail access, creating new riding opportunities accessible from town. The Parks and Recreation Department has recognized the need for legitimate trail access for mountain bikers. NOW it is up to us to show that we support these new trail ideas by letting the Parks and Recreation Commission and the Santa Cruz City Council know that this is what the mountain bike community wants.

Attend Parks and Rec Commission Meeting!

Attend the joint Parks and Recreation Commission – City Council meeting on May 1st at 4pm. The meeting will be held at City Council Chambers, 809 Center St #10, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. This is the next step in the process to getting new trails built, it’s crucial that mountain bikers make a good showing at this meeting. Please attend to show your support. There will be opportunities for public comment. Expect that there will be people at this meeting casting a negative light on mountain bikers. It’s in our best interest to portray ourselves in a favorable light and keep the discussion positive. The meeting may last several hours with many other topics being covered but please tough it out! If you wish to speak (please do!) consider highlighting the following points:

  • Importance of mountain biking to you
  • The importance of Mountain Biking to local economy
  • Tourism
  • Bike Industry
  • Need for legal places to ride
  • Mountain biker’s great record with responsible stewardship
  • Emma McCrary Trail (which has over 80,000 trips a year)
  • Flow Trail
  • Trail Maintenance
  • Pump Tracks
  • Positive recreation opportunities for our residents, especially youth
  • Connectivity that proposed trails will provide
  • Reduced user conflict from separating users and spreading out traffic

Write a letter to the the Parks and Rec Commission (tjones@cityofsantacruz.com) voicing why you think the City should build more multi-use and bike specific trails. A personal message goes a long way, but if you don’t have the time please send this pre-written message.

Dear commissioners,

I am writing in support of the proposed additions of new trails to city parks and open spaces as outlined in the Parks and Recreation 2030 Master Plan staff report. Santa Cruz County currently has less than 40 miles of trails open to cyclists, while there are over 200 miles of trails open to pedestrians. The lack of legal mountain bike access is not fitting with Santa Cruz’s status as a world renowned destination for mountain bikers and as a hub for the cycling industry. Mountain biking is an integral part of the culture of Santa Cruz as evidenced by the ever growing number of local riders, increase in mountain bike tourism and the extensive stewardship efforts undertaken by the mountain biking community.

Please approve the proposed increased trail access for cyclists in City Parks and Open Spaces including:

  • A progressive, directional, downhill, bike-specific trail in Pogonip
  • New multi-use trails in Pogonip, Harvey West, and Delaveaga parks to provide better connectivity to residential areas and trail network 

These improvements will increase the quality of life in our community by providing additional venues for positive outdoor recreation in our public spaces.

Thank you for your consideration. 

Respectfully,

[Your name here] [City of residence]

Thanks for your support!

Action Alert: Public Meetings and Survey Santa Cruz County Parks Strategic Plan

Who: Santa Cruz County Parks Department
What: Strategic Planning Process
Where: Multiple Public Meetings across county and online survey
When: April 26th – May 11th (more info below)
Why: To get community guidance on parks operations – this could lead to more mountain bike trails, pumptracks, and dirt jumps
How: Take the survey! Attend a meeting!

The County Parks Department is creating its first Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan will be developed with input from the community and is an opportunity to create a collaborative vision for the future of County parks, programs, and facilities. This is an opportunity for mountain bikers to advocate for an increase in access and new facilities.

MBOSC is advocating for:

  • Increased connectivity between Santa Cruz County trails
    • Creation of a county wide trail plan
    • Acquisition of easements or new properties to create key trail connections
  • Creation of mountain bike specific trail opportunities
  • A bike park to replace the Post Office Jumps and Aptos Pumptrack which would provide for the needs of all skill levels of riders from tots to elite pros.
  • Funding for bike facilities construction and maintenance
  • Activation of the Miller Property in the San Lorenzo Valley for mountain bike use
    • Mountain bike specific trails
  • Activation of the Bert Scott Property with a bike park

Please take a few moments to take the online survey. Try to make one of the meetings if you can. Consider highlighting the above points in the survey and at the meetings.

Upcoming Public Meetings

The Parks Department will be holding a series of meetings throughout the county, and we need to hear from you and your neighbors!  Your input is essential as we identify how we can improve County parks, programs and facilities. What do YOU want to see in YOUR County Parks? Please join us as we look to the future of our County! Childcare and Spanish translation services will be available.

Public Meeting Dates & Times

Please click here to RSVP for a meeting.  You may also sign up to receive Strategic Plan updates by clicking HERE.

San Lorenzo Valley – Wednesday, April 26, 6:30-8:30 PM
Highlands County Park, 8500 Highway 9, Ben Lomond (map)
Watsonville – Thursday, April 27, 6:30-8:30 PM
Civic Center Community Room, 275 Main St (upstairs) (map)
North Coast – Tuesday, May 2, 6:30-8:30 PM
Pacific Elementary School, 50 Ocean St, Davenport (map)
Aptos – Saturday, May 6, 10:00 AM-12:00 PM
Aptos Village County Park, 100 Aptos Creek Rd., Aptos (map)
Live Oak – Thursday, May 11, 6:30-8:30 PM
Community Room at Simpkins Family Swim Center
979 17th Ave, Santa Cruz (map)