Measure AA was passed in 1988, and raised $225 million over 20 years for the East Bay park system. It expires in November, and a replacement bond measure will be on the ballot. They have acquired and preserved a great deal of open space with this money, for which we are very grateful. However…
Cattle graze throughout the parks,
and equestrians are subsidized...
-Herds of cattle roam unchecked through our open space, trampling delicate lowland ecosystems and churning trails into a choppy mess.
-Not only do equestrians have full access to East Bay public land -- the EBRPD actually uses our land and resources to subsidize horse recreation, by providing boarding barns, riding arenas, day camps, trailer parking, and trail rides.
Yet people on bicycles are banned from trails throughout the EBRPD park system.
-There are 138 miles of narrow or single-track trails within District parklands. People on bicycles are banned from all but 20 miles of them.
-Official studies, done on local parks like Joaquin Miller and El Corte de Madera, as well as controlled studies by USC and the University of Guelph, prove that bicycles have roughly equal impact to hikers, and less impact than horses, on trail bed surface and water sedimentation. (See the bottom of this page for footnotes.)
-This should be common sense, since horses weigh 800-1200 pounds, and bicycles weigh less than a fully-loaded backpack. (Not to mention that neither bicycles, nor their riders, poop on the trail.)
-Yet the EBRPD still equates bicycles with 10,000 pound trucks, and with rare exceptions, only allows cyclists on fire and access roads navigable by street-legal vehicles! (And sometimes not even then.)
This is discriminatory.
-Children need outdoor exercise, and it’s dangerous to ride on the street where they can be run over. Shouldn’t we be able to enjoy a day in the park with them?
-As we age, we accumulate injuries and arthritis, and many of us can’t hike mile after mile like we used to.
-There are at least 34 mountain bikers for every equestrian in California.
-We do not seek to ban equestrians, or any other group of people. We believe that our parks and open space should be open to all of us, not just those who can afford to own and keep a horse.
You can do something about this!
-This is a once in 20 years chance to get the EBRPD’s attention! If the bond measure passes, they can ignore us for another 20 years.
-You can tell the EBRPD that, as an East Bay voter and taxpayer, you are unwilling to vote to spend your money on any extension of Measure AA as long as they continue to discriminate against people on bicycles.
-It’s easy! You only need to write a single EBRPD council member – the one who represents your district. There is a list below.
-Even better, come to one of the public meetings and speak your mind! The EBRPD is holding open houses around the East Bay to push for more of our money. Meeting dates and times are on the back.
-In any case, make copies of this flyer, distribute them to friends, family, and local bike shops, and tell people about our website, www.bettereastbayparks.org!
-Printable copies of this flyer are available here.