Tapia Spur Trail to Undergo Shared-Use Upgrades Starting in September

State Parks has announced that the multi-use Tapia Spur Trail in Malibu Creek State Park/Tapia Park will undergo several changes to address the trail’s ability to sustain shared use by hikers, equestrians, and mountain bikers. The work is tentatively set to begin in September of 2011.

According to State Parks’ Tapia Spur Trail project description (Tapia Spur Trail Muli-Use Work Project Report – PDF), dated April 12, 2011, Tapia Spur Trail lacks a variety of components necessary to adequately accommodate multi-use moving forward based on new multi-use guidelines, and therefore intends to implement several multi-use components that will bring the trail up to current multi-use guidelines. These components include brushing (which has already begun), improved drainage and increased tread width, speed control sections in areas lacking sight distance, and realignment of one stretch of trail  to increase sight distance and redirect the trail off the fall line.

Of particular interest to CORBA are the components of “sinuosity” (the trail weaving in and out of the topography to create a curvy alignment) and “pinch points” (placement of items such as rocks or logs that create a perceived narrow point in the trail corridor). Both of these components have been used in other areas with good results; that of slowing the mountain biker while maintaining an enjoyable experience for the cyclist, hiker, and equestrian. As I have previously stated, slowing down around other trail users can virtually eliminate the complaints by those who say that mountain bikes are dangerous because they go too fast. While most cyclists are in control of their bikes when passing other trail users, the perception of speed–even a few miles per hour–can reduce or even spoil another user’s trail experience, including other mountain bikers. We’re all out there for the same reason, to enjoy nature. Treating others with respect is part of that enjoyment.

CORBA is encouraged by this upgrade project as it will allow State Parks to work more closely with the trail user community in implementing shared use concepts and guidelines. Tapia Spur Trail can become a showcase of proper multi-use practices, and with the assistance and cooperation of the mountain bike community, we can potentially have a comprehensive example of multi-use guideline implementation. CORBA has been assured that mountain bikers will be considered in every step of component implementation on this important trail link from Malibu Creek State Park to Tapia Park.

I’d like to take this opportunity to remind the mountain bike community that CORBA’s funding and volunteer needs are ongoing. Trail work volunteers are still needed, as well as funding for CORBA Trail Crew tools and other supplies. Just recently State Parks released a comprehensive trail crew leader training schedule, and in addition to trail workers, we also need those interested in becoming trained and certified as trail crew leaders. Training starts July 7 so we need volunteers immediately. To contact CORBA, email advocacy@corbamtb.com, and go to our Join/Donate page to to help support CORBA’s efforts.

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