... so i got a call back from dave allder at parks & rec. we talked about "the problem," noting specifically the incident this past week between big dave and cornbread, as well as my past experiences running head-on into other cyclists in the park (which has claimed two helmets to-date). we agreed that there is an issue there that needs to be addressed.
i also told dave about a couple of different potential solutions we've discussed.
first, he was not initially too into the concept of building another trail at wilderness (even if we completely handled trail design and construction), citing wildlife encroachment and lack of budget immediately. over the course of our conversation, his tone changed somewhat.
he said that "the problem is that bikers are speed racing through the park." i agreed, but told him that, even if we limited the speed in the park to 10mph (and had the funds to police it), cyclists would still have no more than a split second to react to an oncoming cyclist in more than two dozen corners on the current trail. he said that, while he considers excessive speed as the issue, he has no plan to institute a speed limit, as he lacks funds to enforce it (thank God!).
he is absolutely against bicycles sharing the hiking trail as a solution. i told him that was a solution that we hadn't seriously considered either (even though it's been mentioned more than a few times).
relatedly, he asked me to pass along the word that the fitness loop (northern-most part of wilderness) is off-limits to bikes. he said there have been several hikers who have called into his office after a close call with a cyclist on the fitness loop.
many of you that ride with me often know i've been trying to stay off the fitness loop, but i think dave's plea confirms that we need to be responsible/respectful of the intended use of each trail, and not ride on non-bicycle designated trails.
in the end, dave said that what we need to do is to pull together a cover letter and proposal for potential solutions for he and terry ginrich to review. at that point, we would begin to officially address the problem of cyclists running head-on to eachother in the park.
i'm going to post this on my blog as a headline so that i can get some feedback as to how we go about this the right way... i feel like we're just getting started in a project that we're going to need to band together and fight for if we ever hope to see it come to reality.
your thoughts and suggestions would be much appreciated.