Posts Tagged ‘public hearings’

LA Planning Commission Approves Bike Plan

Friday, December 17th, 2010

The City of Los Angeles Planning Commission passed the proposed bike plan yesterday December 15, 2010.  It now goes to the Mayor for 30 days, then to the Transportation Committee of City Council, then to the full Council.  Mark Langton and Steve Messer of CORBA, and Jim Hasenauer of IMBA attended.  Langton and Hasenauer spoke before the Commission.

Of particular interest to mountain bikers is section 3.3 of the plan which focuses on ongoing studies of off-pavement cycling in City parks. Langton and Hasenauer spoke in favor of the section and urged the Commission to keep it intact. Several people affiliated with equestrian or hiking groups spoke in opposition of section 3.3 of the plan. They cited similar, if not the same arguments as in the past—that it is a transportation not a recreation plan; bikes are a threat to public safety; bikes travel too fast; there are many injuries; bikes have adverse environmental impacts; allowing bikes will lead to motorized vehicles on the trails; etc.

Hasenauer commented that the plan didn’t go far enough and that planning staff should have treated mountain bike advocates with the same engagement they gave road advocates.  He asked to also restore the pilot program language of the 1996 plan.  Langton said that the recreation vs. transportation dualism is a false dichotomy and talked about The Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency’s (COSCA) 20-plus years of shared use success. Several members of the LACBC also took time to argue in favor of section 3.3 (click here to see their report).

After the public hearing, staff responded that the plan does not advocate for opening trails to bikes: It advocates for study, inventory, an identification of standards so that a decision about off-pavement cycling in parks would be comprehensive and well-informed; that studies around the country indicate that some trails are feasible for bikes; and that illegal riding was a function of not having any legal places to ride.  Staff concluded that ultimately 3.3 is a “step in the right direction.”

Barbara Romero and Diego Cardoso of the Planning Commission supported keeping section 3.3 in the plan.  Romero asked why the pilot programs were removed and was told “at the request of City Parks.”  Cardoso said the city has a diverse population, including families who ride bikes.  He said that not everyone can afford horses, and for many people “a bicycle is an affordable horse.”

Michael Woo of Planning Commission said he was initially worried about section 3.3, but after hearing staff’s recommendations is now more comfortable with it.

The Plan including section 3.3 passed unanimously.

The Mayor’s office will now have 30 days to review the plan before it is passed to the transportation committee, and ultimately the full City Council.

Off-pavement advocates’ next steps are to ensure that section 3.3 stays in the plan. When the plan is passed, it will be imperative that the Department of Recreation and Parks includes the study process in their work plan.

State Parks Programatic EIR Public Hearing

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

This Saturday, November 13, California State Parks will be hosting the final public hearing on their Draft Programatic EIR.

Bicycle access to trails in the Santa Monica Mountains and many other areas will be directly affected by the final version of this document, so it is important to ensure that mountain bikers are fully engaged in this process. CORBA and IMBA representatives will be attending, and we urge everyone who would like to see more trails opened for bicycles in State Parks to attend and make comments.

What is a Programatic EIR?  This is an effort to streamline the process of converting trails from one designation, such as hiker-only, to another designation, such as multi-use. This is good for mountain biking.  According to IMBA:

California State Park’s Director Ruth Coleman has embraced a statewide Programatic Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) that will improve the process to convert trails to shared-use status. “This will lay the groundwork for the efficient conversion of trails that IMBA California and clubs have been requesting for some time,” says IMBA California’s Tom Ward. This bodes well for efforts to open Bill’s Trail in Marin, as well as numerous trails in Santa Cruz and Humboldt counties, Mt Diablo State Park, Folsom State Recreation Area, Donor Lake State Park, various Sonoma County parks and miles of trails in the Los Angeles basin. According to Ward, park managers have often shown support for improved mountain bike access — but each time they attempt implementation they are threatened with lawsuits from opposing forces. “The intent of PEIR is to curtail the legal challenges to each trail conversion project,” says Ward. He adds, “This is a major milestone for IMBA’s efforts to increase mountain bike access in state parks.”

The meeting will take place from:

1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Saturday, November 13
Lake Activities Building,Lake Perris State Recreation Area,
17801 Lake Perris Drive,
Perris, CA 92571 [map].

The Notice of Preparation for the draft PEIR can be found at Public comments are being accepted through November 30. Comments on the PEIR may be submitted in person at the workshops, or by either mail to:

Environmental Coordinator – Trails PEIR
1 Capitol Mall, Suite 410
Sacramento, CA  95814

Or by email to:
(Note:  In the Subject Line, write:  ‘Trails PEIR’)

Comments can also be submitted by Fax to: (916) 445-8883;  Please address faxes to: Environmental Coordinator – Trails PEIR

We’ll have more details and a more thorough report after Saturday’s presentation and hearing.

Rim of the Valley Corridor Public Meetings – Mountain Bikers Needed!

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Rim of the Valley Study Area

Rim of the Valley Study Area

The National Park Service is in the initial stages of conducting a “special resource study” of the area known as the “Rim of the Valley Corridor.” This is the area that generally includes the mountains encircling the San Fernando, La Crescenta, Santa Clarita, Simi and Conejo Valleys of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties in southern California.

On May 7 2008, P.L. 110-229, the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008 received final approval. Within that legislation the Secretary of the Interior is authorized to complete a special resource study of the Rim of the Valley Corridor. Specifically, this is a study to determine how to manage this special resource for environmental and recreational purposes.

It is vitally important that mountain bikers are represented at these public hearings to ensure that we are included in the planning process. There are some individuals and groups who would rather see mountain bikers banned from trails in the study areas. We want to ensure multi-use designations throughout the trail systems. The study corridor covers numerous land managers’ and agencies’ jurisdictions, complicating the process. We want to ensure access and trail connectivity for mountain bikers throughout the corridor.

Visit to learn more.

Meetings are scheduled:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010, 7-9 p.m.

Mason Recreation Center

10500 Mason Ave.

Chatsworth, CA 91311

Wednesday, September 15, 2010***

2-4 p.m. and 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Los Angeles River Center and Gardens

570 W. Avenue 26

Los Angeles, CA 90065

Tuesday, September 21, 2010, 7-9 p.m.

George A. Caravalho Santa Clarita Sports Complex-Activities Center Building

20880 Centre Pointe Parkway

Santa Clarita, CA 91350

Wednesday, September 22, 2010, 7-9 p.m.

Conejo Recreation and Parks District

Community Room

403 W. Hillcrest Dr.

Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

Monday, October 4, 2010, 7-9 p.m.

King Gillette Ranch

26800 West Mulholland Highway

Calabasas, CA 91302

Tuesday, October 5, 2010, 7-9 p.m.***

Northeast Valley City Hall

7747 Foothill Blvd.

Tujunga, CA 91042

Wednesday, October 6, 2010, 7-9 p.m.

Charles S. Farnsworth Park

Davies Building

568 East Mount Curve Ave.

Altadena, CA 91001