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Boulder OSMP Turns the Screw...again

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Re: Boulder OSMP Turns the Screw...again

Postby Tory Wells » Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:02 pm

Jim Davies wrote:
[Councilwoman Morzel] said an enhanced tag program or an aggressive outreach campaign would help address the "confusion" that people have on trails, such as with the unwritten rule that people who are going uphill have the right of way.

How can you enforce an "unwritten rule"? And really, why is it some people have so much trouble passing others on trails, anyway?

And is passing others on trails really such a big deal as to require the government to get involved? Of course not. Just another case of over legislation and politicians trying to justify their positions.
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Re: Boulder OSMP Turns the Screw...again

Postby greenhorn1 » Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:05 pm

How about use the $5 fee charged to hire someone to staff the parking lot on weekends and turn away cars if the lot fills up? They can check for the green cards, watch the road nearby, and tell people they can't park there. As for the uphill right aways and passing - how about a sign or verbal notice by staff upon entry? Most will comply if they know the rules.
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Re: Boulder OSMP Turns the Screw...again

Postby coloradokevin » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:18 pm

greenhorn1 wrote:How about use the $5 fee charged to hire someone to staff the parking lot on weekends and turn away cars if the lot fills up? They can check for the green cards, watch the road nearby, and tell people they can't park there. As for the uphill right aways and passing - how about a sign or verbal notice by staff upon entry? Most will comply if they know the rules.


Ugh... might be more fun to go hiking downtown with that level of "management" participation.

As to the issue of the rights of upward bound hikers/bikers, the right of way issues on hiking/biking trails make me laugh. I've seen these arguments on the forums before, heard talk of them when it comes to open space planning, and I've observed expensive signs telling people what to do (in case we were really all that worried about it).

But, really, who cares? And, if they do care so much, then WHY do they care so much? With all of the recent talk of trail right-of-ways, maybe we ought to take a hiking test before we can hike in public? We could start with an "instructional permit" system, whereby hikers would be required to hike with a licensed hiker before being able to hike on their own ](*,)

In all seriousness, we aren't talking about a crowded interstate highway during rush hour. If two adults can't figure out how to politely pass each other on an otherwise open trail through the mountains, then I really fear that our society is finally doomed for good!

The funny part is, the polite thing to do often isn't even the "legal" thing to do. By way of example: we've probably all seen the classic triangular shaped trail yield signs: Pedestrians yield to horses, bikes yield to everyone, and those on horses pretty much get to do as they please. However, as an occasional mountain biker who spends the VAST majority of my time hiking, I'll say that the polite thing to do in many situations is step aside for a mountain bike to let them pass. Similarly, some equestrian types have also waived me by when we've found ourselves in situations where it was easier for them to step aside.

I personally make it a habit to get out of the way of bikes, whether they are climbing past me, or simply descending more rapidly than I could ever hope to do on foot. It takes me very little time or effort to get out of their way, and they can then continue on their journey without having to stop and dismount. Of course, I could pump my chest out and demand that they yield to my foot-based superiority, but what would that really accomplish for either of us? The rule itself is logical, since we don't want hikers mowed down by self-righteous bikers who were granted the power of the all-mighty right-of-way, but the reality of the situation is that it is often far easier for a hiker to yield.

Thus, in a very long-winded and opinionated way, I've just brought myself to the point of asking: CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?


(and, Greenhorn1, none of this post was directed at you personally).

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Re: Boulder OSMP Turns the Screw...again

Postby ajkagy » Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:04 pm

coloradokevin wrote:I personally make it a habit to get out of the way of bikes, whether they are climbing past me, or simply descending more rapidly than I could ever hope to do on foot. It takes me very little time or effort to get out of their way, and they can then continue on their journey without having to stop and dismount. Of course, I could pump my chest out and demand that they yield to my foot-based superiority, but what would that really accomplish for either of us? The rule itself is logical, since we don't want hikers mowed down by self-righteous bikers who were granted the power of the all-mighty right-of-way, but the reality of the situation is that it is often far easier for a hiker to yield.


I probably spend 95% of my time mtn biking in the summer and that is the perception that many in the mnt bike community don't like to see. If I biker is coming toward you in the opposite direction no matter if they are going downhill or up, they should be pulling off to the side of the trail for all pedestrians to let them pass. If a biker is behind you going to the same direction I slow down well before the hiker as to not startle them and politely ask to pass. Yea, sometimes I get some surprised looks when I do this because many hikers have a bad perception of bikers. This should just be common sense though.

When on a trail with high bike/foot traffic people should be slowing down around blind corners and what not, can't tell you how many times i've seen ***hole bikers who feel the need to bomb down trails with tons of hikers and not even slow down so the hikers have to practically jump off the trail.

*end rant*
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Re: Boulder OSMP Turns the Screw...again

Postby coloradokevin » Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:16 am

ajkagy wrote:
coloradokevin wrote:I personally make it a habit to get out of the way of bikes, whether they are climbing past me, or simply descending more rapidly than I could ever hope to do on foot. It takes me very little time or effort to get out of their way, and they can then continue on their journey without having to stop and dismount. Of course, I could pump my chest out and demand that they yield to my foot-based superiority, but what would that really accomplish for either of us? The rule itself is logical, since we don't want hikers mowed down by self-righteous bikers who were granted the power of the all-mighty right-of-way, but the reality of the situation is that it is often far easier for a hiker to yield.


I probably spend 95% of my time mtn biking in the summer and that is the perception that many in the mnt bike community don't like to see. If I biker is coming toward you in the opposite direction no matter if they are going downhill or up, they should be pulling off to the side of the trail for all pedestrians to let them pass. If a biker is behind you going to the same direction I slow down well before the hiker as to not startle them and politely ask to pass. Yea, sometimes I get some surprised looks when I do this because many hikers have a bad perception of bikers. This should just be common sense though.

When on a trail with high bike/foot traffic people should be slowing down around blind corners and what not, can't tell you how many times i've seen ***hole bikers who feel the need to bomb down trails with tons of hikers and not even slow down so the hikers have to practically jump off the trail.

*end rant*


Well, I do understand where you're coming from on the biking perspective. I do as you do when I'm on my bike, by stopping and yielding to the hikers. But, I'm not very pushy in the mountains (regardless of my mode of transportation), so I'm also happy to step aside and wave a bike by me when I'm on foot and see them coming. I guess my overall point is that I don't understand why these right-of-way issues are becoming so contentious in the foothills these days. Admittedly, I've run into the same type of A-wipe bikers you described above, but they are often the minority. I suppose that notable minority of users have been enough to leave a sour taste in some people's mouths.

To my way of looking at things, the mountains serve as a good place to go when I want to escape the BS of society (and I see plenty of BS in my line of work). So, I get irritated by the idea that we need to keep creating new rules to police the use of our trails (beyond what is required to protect the natural resource itself).

My gripe isn't just with Boulder, even though a number of recent threads have focused attention on the idiocy of that city's legislature. I also have plenty to say about my own home county, and most of it also revolves around the idea that we are creating new trail rules to solve problems that don't really exist in any tangible way. For instance, petty bickering over trail space is probably responsible for the new weekend restrictions that are being used at Centennial Cone Open Space. These days you have to arrive on the right weekend day to be able to do whatever activity you showed up to do (Ex: during this week Saturday might be bikes only, in which case Sunday is hikers only; then the system reverses on a weekly basis - as such, you need to find out if it is your day to use the park before you go there). I find that system to be a bit over the top, given that Centennial Cone gets very little visitation when compared with some of the other open space parks.

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Re: Boulder OSMP Turns the Screw...again

Postby greenhorn1 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:10 am

coloradokevin wrote:
greenhorn1 wrote:How about use the $5 fee charged to hire someone to staff the parking lot on weekends and turn away cars if the lot fills up? They can check for the green cards, watch the road nearby, and tell people they can't park there. As for the uphill right aways and passing - how about a sign or verbal notice by staff upon entry? Most will comply if they know the rules.


Ugh... might be more fun to go hiking downtown with that level of "management" participation.

(and, Greenhorn1, none of this post was directed at you personally).


CK, be realistic about the situation nobody is saying hikers should take tests. Based on the comments made, there is a need for parking lot crowd control some of the time. The free-for-all situation isn't working. I'm curious what your solution would be to this.

BTW I agree with you the bike/hike rotation is crap as you have to worry if you will be allowed on the trail or not. Hikers can figure it out if they want to use a trail with bikers or not and should get out of the way on single track IMO.
I hate it when I see a trail that says bikes only and vice versa. I say let people decide for themselves on trails - just be wary of others.
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Re: Boulder OSMP Turns the Screw...again

Postby coloradokevin » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:18 am

greenhorn1 wrote:CK, be realistic about the situation nobody is saying hikers should take tests. Based on the comments made, there is a need for parking lot crowd control some of the time. The free-for-all situation isn't working. I'm curious what your solution would be to this.


Respectfully, I am being realistic in saying that there is no need for a fee-funded ranger to stand there and tell people how to pass each other on the trail, or to check and make sure that they have a proper pass and/or dog license. Completely unnecessary. The so-called "free for all" situation hasn't been working so badly, actually.

And, I put the part about licensing in "pink", which has long served as the official 'I'm not serious' color of 14'ers.com.

But, in seriousness, I don't see any need for a paid ranger to be posted there to tell people how to act on the trail (to me, that sounds like a reason to justify an unneeded TH use fee). This TH really has no more need for a ranger than any other TH in the area.

Sure, the parking is crowded at the Mesa TH on weekends; many places are, including a LOT of our beloved 14'ers. But, I've been hiking from that TH on a regular basis for about 8 years now, and the parking situation has been the only sticking point I've ever had there. Like any other crowded parking lot, the concept is quite simple: wait for a legal parking spot (usually takes me about 5 minutes or so - never longer than 10min), or park illegally and risk a ticket/tow. There's no need for a ranger to stand there and explain a concept that is already clearly explained with parking signs. If you park illegally, you get a ticket or towed. Beyond that, I've never had any type of user-to-user conflict of any sort on those trails, and I've yet to have someone tell me about a bad user-to-user experience that they've personally had there.

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Re: Boulder OSMP Turns the Screw...again

Postby centrifuge » Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:14 pm

coloradokevin wrote: With all of the recent talk of trail right-of-ways, maybe we ought to take a hiking test before we can hike in public? We could start with an "instructional permit" system, whereby hikers would be required to hike with a licensed hiker before being able to hike on their own ](*,)


Isn't this what the CMC is for? :-#

In seriousness though, I think Boulder is at least acknowledging the problem and trying to brainstorm it. I know in Jeffco Open Space, I see issues with off leash out of control dogs, climbers poaching fragile red rock structures that are sensitive bird habitats, and the creation of informal trails due to off trail hiking all the time. Personally, I think it is reasonable for a County or City to create, implement and enforce rules if they are meant to protect the rights of others to enjoy the space, and the environment so that it is there for everyone to enjoy. If people were not violating the rules, the city would not have to be brainstorming ways to enforce them or firm them up. What I dont think is reasonable is creating any sort of rules that allow only Boulder Residents to use the trails. Ken Caryl's HOA does this with their trails, and while I have some understanding why, it's maddening to know that there are beautiful trails mere miles from my house, but because I am not wealthy enough to own a half million+ dollar house, I dont get to access trails in the area (which are great for trail running). Its frustrating to say the least.

I guess my point is, if people would stop breaking the rules that are already there, issues like this would stop coming up.
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Re: Boulder OSMP Turns the Screw...again

Postby pbakwin » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:02 pm

Boulder's new mayor, Matt Applebaum, wants to ban all off-trail travel. This would mean no more exploring and scrambling around the Flatirons, among other things. Yeesh.

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Re: Boulder OSMP Turns the Screw...again

Postby kmaley » Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:07 pm

I've hiked Boulder's trails on and off since childhood and have never had a conflict with another hiker. The only real problem seems to be the parking shortage down at Eldorado. Instead of all this hand-wringing, they could just build more parking, couldn't they? Also, I believe some bicyclists were asking for a path linking S. Boulder to Eldorado. If a path were built it could alleviate some of the parking issues.

As for the idea of mandatory hiker indoctrination and tagging, give me a break -- that's a solution in search of a problem.

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Re: Boulder OSMP Turns the Screw...again

Postby DaveSwink » Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:24 pm

It depends on the problem they are trying to solve. If the problem is too much traffic on the Boulder OSMP trails, building parking lots or bike trails only makes it worse. My impression is that they are trying for lower traffic levels overall.

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