SARA remains opposed to expanding off paved trail cycling to other areas of the American River Parkway, most especially because the recommendation does not comply with the American River Parkway Plan 2008, Chapter 5, Policies 5.16, 5.17-5.17.1, pages 96-97, and most importantly, with the Plan’s own direction to maintain a trails system consisting of three designated types: equestrian/hiking trails, pedestrian trails, and bicycle trails. (American River Parkway Plan, Chapter 8, Public Access and Trails, pages 130-131). On June 22, 2017, the Recreation and Park Commission approved the Off-Paved Trail Cycling Pilot Program to open selected fire breaks and maintenance roads in Woodlake and Cal Expo land use areas to mountain biking for a trial period, September 2017 to September 2020.
SARA knows from 59 years of collected experiences from Parkway users, that the off paved trail cyclists, while prohibited from using the equestrian/hiking trails, do so anyway. We know that the off paved trail cycling trial in the CAL Expo and Woodlake areas of the American River Parkway, has not helped with this illegal activity in the remainder of the Parkway. There persists no way to eliminate the inherent problem of users traveling at slow and fast rates of speed, attempting to share, for the most part, narrow dirt trails. Nature-hikers, dog walkers, equestrians, joggers, home schoolers, photographers, etc., cannot mix safely with bicycles riding on the dirt trails. Users traveling at slower paces do not need clear sight lines and extended reaction times to avoid dangerous interactions that might result in serious injury. Users, especially older and/or physically impaired adults, and families with small children cannot peacefully enjoy sightseeing, nature, and exercise, if they are worried about colliding with fast moving cyclists coming around a corner.