Parks district to hold meeting tomorrow on Pleasanton Ridge

Public meeting will discuss current trail system, future plans

The East Bay Regional Parks District will hold a meeting tomorrow for anyone interested in learning about the current trail system at the Pleasanton Ridge and some new land that will be opening up shortly.

The public meeting is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Veterans Memorial Building, 301 Main St. Parks district spokeswoman Shelly Lewis said the meeting will include a presentation about the management and operation of the current trail system and preview an upcoming land use planning process. Lewis said it's an opportunity for those who frequent the ridge to learn more and also offer their thoughts.

The parks district opened 1,100 acres of open space and 5 miles of trails on the north end of the ridge in December. The ridge now has 30 miles of trails, including the additional land.

For information about the East Bay Parks District, visit click here

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Posted by GN
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 22, 2009 at 10:03 pm

I am assuming this will be another propaganda meeting on how EB parks keeps bicycle riders and hikers safe by keeping them away from the trails and does improvements for grazing cattle. Big deal they put a gate and two trail markers to open the northern section of the park. Congratulations! It took them 15 years to do that. I wonder how many trails will become un-accessible due to new plan. EB parks completely ignores its users and cave in to environmental lawsuits, this is why most of the EB parks are better place for sheep or cows rather then bicyclist and hikers, and logic has nothing to do with their usage plan. Check the real story about EB parks at Web Link
Unfortunately people voted yes on measure WW last fall to give EB parks another $500 million for next 30 years, so do not expect improvements anytime soon.

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Posted by Dan
a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 23, 2009 at 9:06 am

I can't understand why other park districts in the bay area have single track trails specifically for bikes (no hikers/horses allowed) and the EBRPD just can't seem to catch on to the same idea.

Such dedicated trails are easy to maintain and keep traffic of people/horses/bikes separated. Most of all they are great fun for bikers.

I will be going to the meeting to look in to such items.

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Posted by Dublinmike
a resident of Dublin
on Mar 23, 2009 at 12:54 pm

I not at all happy with how the EBRPD parks have become or retained as pasture lands. I chuckled this past Friday when I read the sign at Pleasanton Ridge that asked us to stay on the trail to reduce irrosion but the cattle are unable to read signs.

I say: teach the cattle the rules or kick them off the parks!

But, more seriously, I will attending the meeting to express my opinions (but leave out the teaching of the cows... :))

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Posted by jj
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Mar 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Ditto on the previous posts.

EBRPD takes credit for all the converted fire roads used by ranchers and now label them "trails". Nothing like a 12 ft wide gravel road to ride my bike on, take the kids on a hike or ride my horse.

Talks cheap. It won't be in my life time I'll experience intersting trails for multi users. We'll never see anything from WW except lip service.

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Posted by Dublinmike
a resident of Dublin
on Mar 23, 2009 at 6:21 pm

I would like to encourage anyone who cares about the EPBPD park trails to turn out. If you think all we're going to get is PROPAGANDA, then you need to be there to counter it.

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Posted by EH
a resident of Avila
on Mar 23, 2009 at 9:17 pm

It is unbelievable how few single track trails there are at the Pleasanton Ridge. Look at the Water Dog park in Belmont, Skegg's Point off of highway 35, SoCal Demonstration forest in Santa Cruz Mountains, or look at just about any other park. Trails are open to all and bikes are welcome and cheered by others. Not in the East Bay. We must change that. The administrators have to accept the reality or they will be out of their jobs before they know it.

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Posted by Ellen
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 23, 2009 at 9:24 pm

The EBRPD is not looking after the interests of the citizens.
To make it worse we passed WW to further their longevity.

The time has come.

Break the unjust laws. Create and maintain our own trails in the east bay park district. We have played fair ball far too long.

Interesting article on EBRPD discrimination of cyclists in the east bay parks.

Web Link

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Posted by Eric
a resident of Stoneridge
on Mar 23, 2009 at 9:34 pm

Can't believe these posts, we were just discussing this at the ridge this evening amongst a group of cyclists.

We were simply adding up the numbers of hikers/bikers compared to the number of park district employees who would be able to enforce fines on a daily basis.

We can easily outnumber their forces to have our own trail system and do the upkeep ourselves. We'd endure some tickets at the start, but after a while how could they keep up.

I agree with Ellen, break the unjust laws. Take our park back.
Attica! Attica!

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Posted by SG
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Mar 23, 2009 at 9:53 pm

EBPRD's approach to managing the park is disappointing. During the 7+ years I have been mountain biking in the park, EBPRD has done little or nothing to add or improve facilities for users of the park. In particular, other than opening fire roads, no new trails have been added in many years. The park has about 30 miles worth of "trails." Of these, about 27 miles are pre-existing fire roads EBPRD has designated as trails. There are about 2.5 miles of narrow single track trails that are officially recognized by EBPRD as trails. Of these, only 1.5 miles of the Bay Leaf is designated for multi-use. The 1 mile Woodland Trail is restricted to hikers only. I beleive these are the only two trails which were created by the EBPRD. The other "trails" (> 90% of the trail system) existed before EBPRD obtained the land.

In order to ride on the 1.5 miles of Bay Leaf single track one has to embark on a minumum 14 mile round trip from the Foothill staging area, the only staging area and parking lot that exists in the park. The full trip includes approximately 2500 feet of elevation gain. In other words, you had better be in good shape if your goal is to ride the one section of single track that is open to cyclists.

Although EBRPD has not been able to open up any new trails other than fire roads, they have done substantial work to facilitate cattle grazing. Within the past year they have put in a nice new concrete water trough near the top of the Oak Tree trail, added a gate where the Oak Tree and Woodland trails meet the ridge line, and added fencing all along the Olive Grove. They also bulldozed a new road straight up the hill near the park's border with the Oak Tree Farm neighborhood - must not be Alameda County Whipsnake habitat, but no doubt it would require a extensive, multi-year environmental review to authorize hiking and biking on existing narrow trails in that area.

Their most recent actions for human users of the park are to place barricades across cattle trails turned bike trails. They've even placed a barricade across the cattle trail that leads to the new watering trough - not sure why they put in a new watering trough in if they are planning to close off access to it.

While they are busily putting up barricades to restrict human use of the park, they apparently haven't had time to deal with the huge tree laying across the fire road portion of the Bay Leaf trail. It has been there the last two times I've been back there.

Hopefully, this meeting is the beginning of a new approach, but I'm not going to hold my breath just yet.

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Posted by Gordon
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 24, 2009 at 12:02 am

I thought WW was for acquisition, not management of parkland. If that's the case then the question of management shouldn't be confused with acquisition. In my mind the acquisition of land and it's subsequent preservation and public access is a brilliant reflection of our community values. With 71% of voters approving WW, there are many who agree. It seems like we wouldn't be complaining about the park management if AA hadn't been passed 20 years ago to create parkland in the first place. It would still be broken up and blocked by private land blocks.

Now to the management. I and two friends were recently stopped and cited by the EBRPD helicopter for riding down the single-track by Del Valle dam staging area. It seemed rather absurd to be landing the helicolpter to enforce against our single-track transgression. Bicyclists are clearly the primary users - bikers, and of course the cows. Other single tracks in the vicinity are marked for multiple use, but the well-used descent is unmarked. The judge split the difference, finding us guilty but reducing the fine to $50.

Is this what's next for the Ridge - helicopter (or patrol based)enforcement against bicyclists riding single tracks? I bike the ridge frequently. Except for the ascents from the Staging area and Golden Eagle, there are not many hikers and even fewer equestrians. I've never even seen a horse up there. Most hikers (I'm also one of them) stay fairly close to these access points due to the distances. The Ridge is a huge amenity for Pleasanton and surrounding communities and biking is the fastest growing and most popular access to most of the land.

As noted in an earlier entry, bikes have no greater or lesser impact on the land than hikers, and probably much less than cattle or horses. Single tracks are less environmentally damaging than the many dirt roads, but single tracks do need errosion control and maintenance. I've even taken a spade with me to dig little diversions on the Bay Leaf trail because the water otherwise runs down the trail and creates a deep trough. Errosion will happen with or without bikes on the trail.

Here's my bottom line. The Ridge is a bikers Mecca. It's going to grow in popularity and reputation. Managing use to include biking is the management challenge and opportunity. Single tracks are a necessary and reasonable amenity for the Ridge. There are many examples of how it's done at Demonstration, Skeggs, Wilder, and others. It just has to be prioritized for EBRPD through public input here. Let's do it!

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Posted by hiker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 24, 2009 at 1:31 am

Looks like the bikers have a knot in their spandex and are asking people to break the law.

Me, me, me............

Not cool.

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Posted by Mike
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Mar 24, 2009 at 7:17 am


I'm curious to see how a helicopter could stop you. What if you kept on riding until you were out of the park?

Really, think it through. If we ignored the helicopter folks, I'm sure they wouldn't shoot to stop us. I reckon they'd call an officer in a truck to meet us in the parking lot though huh.

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Posted by Z
a resident of Avila
on Mar 24, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Helicopter will land, if doable, and give you a ticket. A huge waste of taxpayer's money, but who's counting? If they can't land, they'll radio ground patrol, because clearly, busting a poor sap riding on single track is a huge offense, worthy of spending inordinate amount of time and effort to stop.

The management of the EBRPD is inexistent. The board caters to the equestrians (1% of all users) and the Sierra Club. And to top it all, they basically let the ranchers run the parks. They use any stupid excuse to restrict bikers from having access to the parks ("ma, look, a whipsnake!"), but let the cattle trample everything (including the stupid snake) because it's "fire management".

Despite all that, the park district thinks of itself as a model park district. Ignorance must indeed be blissful...

I won't go to the meeting because it'll be a complete waste of my time. I'm better off poaching when I want to and drive down to Soquel on the week-end.

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Posted by JD
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Mar 24, 2009 at 4:49 pm

Z -

At least come to the meeting to tell them what you've voiced above. The EBRPD is pathetic.

Oh, unless you're cattle or a fire truck, this park is for you.

Can't wait to see them bulldoze the existing single tracks to make another erosion disaster, just like a few years ago. lmao..

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Posted by Scott
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Mar 24, 2009 at 5:04 pm

I'm a 5th generation Pleasanton resident. My family is one of several considered a "heritage" family in Pleasanton. I've been in those hills in one fashion or another much of my life, both before and after the EBRPD first opened the park. I was also a participant on the first pre-opening hike and tour guided by Joanne Freemire, a naturalist with EBRPD at the time.

I hike, bike, and take nature photos. And I want to have legal access to more than just ranch roads while riding my bike in the park, a place where my roots sink deeply. There's plenty of narrow trails incised by 100 years of bovine hooves trodding along the contours of the ridge. I want to ride my bike on them as, other than cattle, no one ever seems to. That sure seems like a simple and reasonable request, and will certainly reduce any perception of potential conflict when all trails users aren't forced onto the same fire road system. It would be a simple solution.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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