East Bay Park District bans smoking, drones

Park board agrees to add single-track bike trails on Pleasanton Ridge

East Bay Regional Park District directors have voted to ban smoking and the use of drones in all parks under their jurisdiction.

At the same time, they agreed to increase the number of single-track bike trails in the parks.

The smoking ban came at the request of Save the Bay as a way to reduce cigarette butt litter and improve health conditions for park visitors.

Billions of cigarette butts flow into San Francisco Bay annually, harming fish, birds and other wildlife and blighting the shoreline, coalition representatives said.

Cigarette butts take years to decompose, and contain chemicals, including arsenic, chromium and ammonia, that can be harmful to water quality and wildlife, they said.

Smoking will still be legal in overnight campsites, but prohibited everywhere else.

The ban on drones adds to the district's long-standing ban on motorized model airplanes. Drones can be extremely dangerous to helicopters and airplanes, disruptive to wildlife and annoying to other park users, the park district board said..

The board also added several single-track trails to the list of those where bicycles are allowed, including at on the Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park and the Tassajara Ridge Trail in Dublin.

Other locations where single-track bike trails will be added are at Warep, Two Peaks, Goldfinch and Tree Frog Loop trails at Crockett Hills Regional Park, Vollmer Peak Trail at Tilden Regional Park, Towhee and Red Tail trails at Anthony Chabot Regional Park and MacDonald Trail to Grass Valley Trail, and Grass Valley Trail to Bort Meadow at Anthony Chabot Regional Park.

— Bay City News Service

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