For a printable version of this flyer, click here.
To return to the main site, click here.

The EBRPD wants another $500 million from us.

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 the second largest user group in the parks, yet we are banned from 85% of the trails…all but 20 miles!
-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 our website 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!

And it's your only chance in 20 years to get the EBRPD's attention.

-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.
-Make copies of this flyer, distribute them to friends, family, and local bike shops, and tell people about our website, www.bettereastbayparks.org!
-Check our website for public meetings, events, and other opportunities to make a difference.
-Printable copies of this flyer are available here.

Contact your EBRPD board member!

Written, typed, or printed letters are taken much more seriously than emails.
Please be courteous and polite, yet clear and firm.
Mailing address for all directors: c/o EBRPD, 2950 Peralta Oaks Court, POB 5381, Oakland, CA 94605


Nancy Skinner, Ward 1 Board Member, Secretary of the Board, represents Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Kensington, a portion of Oakland, a small part of Pinole, Richmond and San Pablo. E-mail: nskinner@ebparks.org

John Sutter, Ward 2 Board Member, represents Oakland, Piedmont, Canyon, Moraga , Orinda, Orinda Village, Rheem Valley, Lafayette , and Rossmoor. E-mail: jsutter@ebparks.org

Carol Severin, Ward 3 Board Member, represents Castro Valley, Hayward, Union City, and a portion of Fremont. E-mail: cseverin@ebparks.org

Doug Siden, Ward 4 Board Member, Treasurer of the Board, represents Alameda, a portion of Oakland, San Leandro, and San Lorenzo. E-mail: dsiden@ebparks.org

Ayn Wieskamp, Ward 5 Board Member, President of the Board, represents Brightside, Dublin, part of Fremont, Livermore, Newark, Pleasanton, Scott's Corner, and Sunol. E-mail: awieskam@ebparks.org

Beverly Lane, Ward 6 Board Member, represents Alamo, Blackhawk, Clayton, Concord , Danville, Diablo, Pleasant Hill, San Ramon, Tassajara, and part of Walnut Creek. E-mail: blane@ebparks.org

Ted Radke, Ward 7 Board Member, Vice-President of the Board, represents Antioch, Bay Point, Bethel Island, Brentwood, Byron, Clyde, Crockett, Discovery Bay, Hercules, Martinez, Muir, Nevada Dock, Oakley, Oleum, Pacheco, the majority of Pinole, Pittsburg, Port Costa, Rodeo, Selby, and Tormey. E-mail: tradke@ebparks.org

Did You Know?

-The EBRPD banned people on bicycles on their entire trail system overnight, unilaterally. Yet to regain access, they demand bicyclists go through a year-long process called the Checklist for each individual section of trail.
-In ten years, they have approved just six out of over 40 such requests. Two of these trails have since been bulldozed into fire roads, and two are still closed despite approval. Total trail access under ten years of the Checklist, as of July 2008: 1.5 miles.
-The EBRPD has rejected a Checklist request to open a road currently used by 35,000 pound EBRPD maintenance trucks to bicycles -- riding uphill only! (The “Stream Trail” in Redwood Park.)
-The EBRPD has rejected a Checklist request to open a paved road to bicycles, in Las Trampas Regional “Wilderness”.
-After approving access to the Heron/Swallow Bay trails in Del Valle, the EBRPD bulldozed them into fire roads.
-In late 2002, the EBRPD drove bulldozers through Pleasanton Ridge in the rainy season, destroying the trail system to the point of getting the dozers stuck in the mud. They then called a press conference where they blamed this destruction on bicyclists, and promptly banned us from the trails.
-58% of mountain bikers are also hikers. If you’re a hiker and haven’t tried it yourself, you should! It’s a great way to see places normally too remote to get to in a single day of hiking.
-Despite the fact that many equestrians are anti-bicyclist, we are not anti-equestrian. We simply want the same access to our parks and open space, paid for by our tax dollars, that they have.
-Footnotes for the studies referenced on the first page, and even more egregious examples of EBRPD anti-bicycle bigotry, are listed below.

Let us be clear: we are environmentalists who strongly support the preservation of open space for everyone to enjoy, and we are very unhappy to have been put in a position where we must oppose open space funding. However, the selfish and unreasonable actions of the EBRPD, which ban us from our own public lands, have left us no choice. Cows have more access to our parks than people on bicycles, and that’s just wrong.

And...don't forget to REGISTER TO VOTE!

Footnotes:
This article by W. Keen of Trail Dynamics quotes and summarizes several controlled studies, each of which clearly shows that people on bicycles have similar trail impact to people on foot, and far less than horses.
The Seney/Wilson study he references is available here.
This detailed report on Joaquin Miller Park says: "Surface water runoff was determined to be the dominant erosion mechanism acting on the park trails. Erosion generated by horses, bicycles, and hikers was determined to be a minor erosion mechanism on established park trails. [page 9]"

To return to the main site, click here.