June 20, 2016 at 1:43 pm #811238
More for the record than anything else I thought I would post a response I recently (Friday) received from the City of Mississauga regarding exploring options for a formalized trail network and maintenance along the Etobicoke Creek. Probably a pretty timely response and position given some of the recent forum activity regarding working with municipalities (i.e., the Don).
I haven’t included it here, since I figure this post is plenty long already, but I sent an email in January introducing myself and the site and to essentially ask:
We would be interested in meeting with the Mississauga Cycling Advisory Committee to discuss the issues surrounding these trails [Etobicoke Creek] in more detail as we feel these trails are an important piece of cycling infrastructure that is currently not receiving the attention it should.
Here is the response I received:
Thank you for your e-mail to the Mississauga Cycling Advisory Committee regarding the possibility of formally establishing a mountain biking trail facility along the Etobicoke Creek. Your request has been passed along to the Park Planning Division for response.
A review of strategic policy documents including Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s The Living City Policies, the Region of Peel Official Plan and the City of Mississauga Official Plan, has been undertaken to evaluate your request. The subject lands are within the Etobicoke Creek valley and have been identified in all the documents as part of the Natural System and Hazard Lands where the primary objective is the protection of valley and stream corridors. Recreational uses therefore require management so that these natural areas can be enjoyed without exacerbating natural hazards or threatening the integrity of natural features and functions. To establish new recreation uses in these areas they must be generally of low intensity, non-intrusive and passive in nature, requiring very little modification of terrain or vegetation.
It should be noted that the mountain biking trail that is the subject of your e-mail is not currently sanctioned by the City of Mississauga. Mississauga’s Official Plan and Zoning By-law are very clear in this regard. The Etobicoke Creek valley lands are identified as a Significant Natural Area which are designated Greenlands and zoned to ensure long term protection. Permitted uses are limited to conservation, flood and/or erosion control, essential infrastructure and passive recreation. Mountain biking is an active recreational use and therefore not permitted in this location.
As you likely know, the City offers four BMX and Mountain Biking facilities located at Clarkson Park, Meadowvale Sports Park, Windrush Woods and Ellis Leuschner Challenger Park. Further, the City’s Future Directions document, which addresses the provision of future recreational facilities, identifies the need for one new multi-use park with a specific focus on mountain biking to be designed in consultation with local youth and bike sport representatives. Park Planning staff will further examine opportunities through the review of the Future Directions document to be undertaken in 2018.
Should you have any question please do not hesitate to contact me.
Teresa Kerr, BES, MCIP, RPP
Planner, Park Planning
T 905-615-3200 ext.4426
City of Mississauga | Planning and Building Department,
Policy Planning Division
So there you have it. Pretty clear stance on mountain biking it would seem.
Mountain biking is an active recreational use and therefore not permitted in this location.
I have written back to ask a few questions and points of clarification – to save you the time and energy of having to read yet another email here are the Coles notes, excerpts from the email follow:
What is deemed passive recreation?
I find it curious how in Toronto there are a system of formalized mountain bike trails found in the Don Valley (TRCA is the landowner there as well) specifically, Crothers Woods, which is deemed an ESA by the TRCA ( http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=6ebfdada600f0410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD&vgnextchannel=53f9dada600f0410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD ), similar I am sure to the ‘ Significant Natural Area which are designated Greenlands’ as per your email regarding the Etobicoke Creek. While I am aware that different jurisdictions have different policies it still strikes me as odd that given that the landowner is the same in both the Etobicoke Creek and Don Valley that ‘active recreation’ is not permitted. The TRCA, along with many other local Conservation authorities, regard mountain biking as an acceptable form of recreation on permitted trails and are actively promoting it. Perhaps you could further elaborate on why this isn’t the case in Mississauga?
I also added a piece about the need for formalized trails from a maintenance/ sustainability perspective etc. but I know I am preaching to the choir here.
In any event, I am truly not expecting anything earth shattering to come from this but I am curious to hear back from the powers that be in the ‘Sauga. Given the response, it would seem that their currently MTB policy is ‘Ghettoizing’ (verb: put in or restrict to an isolated or segregated place, group, or situation) mountain bikers into Bike Parks rather than providing trail opportunities that I would argue the community actually wants – but I could be wrong.
In the mean time there were plenty of trail users ‘actively recreating’ along the Creek trails this weekend. It was great to see such an array of users enjoying the trails in such a variety of ways.June 21, 2016 at 7:30 am #811240
You are doing great work fietser. Getting this info into the public could not be more important. Please keep up the good work and get even more info into the public light.
I agree with “Significant Natural Area which are designated Greenlands and zoned to ensure long term protection.” and think that MTB/hiking trails fit perfectly into this plan. All property needs access to monitor what is happen on it. A well built trail is something that would aid in management of this Natural area. This is public lands that should be managed for the public, so keep presenting solid ideas within their long term protection idea and force them to answer them. Reporters would love a trail of content to write about where volunteers who want to help make a community better are stone walled instead of being used to make this world a better place.
You are on the right track fietser, good luck and I hope you are able to get to where you want to go.June 21, 2016 at 2:15 pm #811244
Thanks for the kind words and encouragement @tom_shaw – they are appreciated. As you well know trail advocacy is a fickle beast.
I fully agree that it is important to have these discussion as part of the public dialogue. Especially since, as your point out, these are mostly public lands we are discussing. Quite frankly it is a little disheartening to see the success that many other groups around the Province (country, continent) are having yet we here in the GTA are continually stopped dead in our tracks. I think I speak for many when I say I would rather be behind (handle) bars than a key board crafting yet another email to an official who will give me the same ‘justification’ that we have heard for decades – and long before I was even in the game. It has been said many times before by many people on this very site that advocacy burn out in the GTA likely comes from constantly being told ‘no – go away’. Eventually you have heard it enough and you just listen.
Perhaps even more frustrating, for me anyway, is their reason and logic behind disallowing a conversation about trails to even move forward – ecology. Let me state clearly, I am all for the health of the forest and preserving what we have. However, I am also a realist and understand that a) these lands are in the middle of extremely densely populated areas b) have been and continue to be misused for years (see pic below for just one example) – I could go on but you get the point. These spaces are not and will never be ‘wilderness’ areas (again). Given their geographic location and years of misuse it isn’t going to happen. Sure, we can and should do what we can to protect them but let’s be realistic about the approach and rhetoric we use. Allowing user groups as Stewards of these spaces would be a great first step towards protecting them and educating people on why they SHOULD be protected AND enjoyed.
I struggle with the idea that Ravines in large urban areas are supposed to be these pristine green spaces yet we are okay to allow ‘essential infrastructure’ and the like. If I look at the Etobicoke Creek as an example there is an off-leash dog park, golf courses, airport, make shift dumps, various forms of road/ rail infrastructure, the former site of an unbuilt Gas Power Plant… that directly impact the ravine, like I mean either boarder on it or cross over it– but they are concerned about mountain bikes? Seriously?
In an era where we are bombarded with studies that show the numerous health benefits of recreation in nature natural surface trails are a no brainer. We hear constantly that people need to get out and get active – what better way to do so than on the trails that are right down the street or a quick bus/subway stop away? We are constantly faced with news of climate change largely due to our dependence on cars and fossil fuels. Instead of using the resources, trails, that are already there, it would seem cities like Mississauga and Toronto (okay, there is Crothers…) would rather we jump in our cars and drive outside of the City where it is deemed okay to recreate actively in Conservation Areas. Anyone want to wager a guess on how many riders will be descending on Albion Hills (a TRCA owned and managed property) this weekend for the 24 hour race to rip out laps?
It would be amazing to see a major media outlet pick up the story – sure is plenty of material.
Attachments:June 22, 2016 at 6:29 am #811257
This makes me sad and uncomfortable.June 22, 2016 at 11:05 am #811273
Fietser, I think we all struggle with the inanity of the environmental argument. My favourite bugbear is the Carolinian forest. In the Crother’s woods stands the last remaining redoubt of Carolinian forest, and thus it must be protected at all costs. No matter that advancing climate change will finish off what building the British navy started two hundred years ago. However, your diplomacy and skill with writing and communication far exceeds mine, so I hope you will continue dealing with the various municipal agencies and not burn out. I’m also going to advocate here for my preference of ‘garbage glacier’ to ‘trash avalanche’. While both labels draw inspiration from winter phenomena, I prefer the slow moving analogy of the glacier to the high-speed avalanche, while not denying the inexorable force of the avalanche to drive any and all before it just as the glacier does. Cheers!June 24, 2016 at 2:34 pm #811310
Thank you for the encouragement @repack. You are able to express yourself very eloquently yourself! The fact is we need more people writing letters and bugging their local politicos – I think, more on that later. One of the reasons the Ecology Camp has such success is a result of their ability to mobilize (and vocalize) large numbers of people. Numbers talks – especially when dealing in the political arena. The more people who hammer out a quick email or pick up the phone the better. As mountain bikers we have always been pretty poor at doing that and it is often to our detriment. We would rather be riding bikes of building/ maintaining trail.
I decided to ride a little earlier than I usually do on Wednesday night – I wanted to do some trail work that I had been meaning to get to for awhile and just kinda wanted some selfish ‘me’ time on the trail. As it was earlier ( I usually ride after 7 when my kids go to sleep) I came across a whole new group of trail users. Naturally, I stopped to chat to any and all who I stumbled upon – being our own positive trail ambassadors is one of our most important jobs, in my opinion. The range of ages and skills I encountered was amazing. I actually ‘talked’ to about 8 riders ranging from 8 yrs to about 45yrs (lots of walkers and dogs as well). But my focus was the riders.
In a nut shell, the main comment was “WOW!”
One couple I ran into who were out exploring the trail for the first time (on the Mississauga side for what it is worth) were blown away when I gave them a quick run down of the general loop – they asked how far the trail went. Now, I couldn’t make this up if I tried. The next words out of his mouth were, ‘Wow, it is so amazing we have this much trail. You don’t even have to leave the city to ride great single track.” I smiled and laughed, he asked why. I then proceed to tell him about the very conversation that we were having here about how the trails are ‘unsanctioned or perhaps even illegal’. They were flabbergasted assuming that the trails were built and maintained by the City. I directed him to the site and said he could read more about it.
However, to bring this back to where we started, the fact is that it is highly improbable that either of them will take the time to write their local city official (I am not sure which side of the Creek they actually live on) and tell them how they should be working towards formalizing the trails. Like many of us they will finish their ride, chat about how awesome it was – perhaps over a post ride beverage, hang up their bikes (I don’t have the time to wash mine after most rides either), throw their sweaty bike gear in a heap on the floor and move on with their lives. I am not faulting them, I get it and honestly does it matter? I mean, the trails are going to be there next time they head out right? Likely someone will have done some work to make them a little safer, a litter better, a little more fun.
I have been doing some thinking lately and perhaps this is the our greatest feat yet our greatest fault. We are caught in a vicious cycle – no legal trails, but want to ride locally, so we build and maintain our own trails for our own enjoyment and benefit – so why bother stirring up a potential hornet’s nest by poking the City?
Simple answer would seem that legal, legitimized trails would mean no one should be able to step in and close them down with the simple stroke of a pen (or keyboard). Which may or may not be the case as recent closures in a number of US locations (and I am sure Canadian too) suggest otherwise. But is that likely to happen here? The City can’t stop MX bikes from riding the trails or off-leash dogs from roaming out park so what is the likelihood they would be able to enforce widespread trail closures? Plus, the CoT actually tried to bar access to the Don back in the day, some may remember the fence, or rather the continual hole in the fence that is now the Loblaws Trailhead.
Sorry for the musings and long winded post. It is something that I have been pondering for some time. Truth is, I have no idea what the actual answer(s) is/ are. Is there a definitive answer? Add to that the outright ‘no’ that was received from the City of Mississauga it only continued to muddle my thoughts.
And now, let’s go ride bikes!June 26, 2016 at 10:59 am #811314
For a completely different perspective on city-maintained recreational facilities for ‘active’ uses, and associated liability, I stopped in at leonard linton skate park after my ride yesterday. vans was having an event there, i missed it but in the aftermath of the event there were still dozens and dozens of people milling about, including quite a few skaters. I was the only person onsite with a helmet. I guess helmets are just verboten in the world of skateboarding; so that’s part of the culture, I get that. what I don’t get is how the city gets it.June 29, 2016 at 2:37 pm #811378
I find this greatly ironic:
It would seem, according to the information on the Ontario Summer Games website that the max loop is 4km which, as it is a loop, is lapped several times. Pretty confident that the hosts could have found 4 km of single track somewhere closer than Albion Hills to run the event and in turn create a legacy trail.
Not knocking Albion, put in plenty of laps there this past weekend, but let’s share the love when possible. Look outside the box organizers, this seems like an opportunity lost. What better way to promote cycling in Mississauga then actually hosting the events there – just a thought.July 6, 2016 at 1:26 am #811437
I met one of you guys last Fall in Etobicoke Creek trail, didn’t catch your name, but I believe you were riding a black and green carbon, rigid-fork hardtail, and heading north. I was on my first real MTB, a new Salsa El Mar, and as a “roadie who’s trying mountain biking”, you suggested I check out this site and I’ve been a lurker ever since. But reading this thread I felt compelled to formally register to log my first post.
Due to my career position and desire to avoid potential optics/conflict problems with my work vs personal life, my apologies in advance that I can’t offer too much information about myself on a public forum. The reason is that I work for a municipal body in the GTA, and I’m one of the guys who is directly responsible for getting trail systems designed and built, the Etobicoke Creek Trail included. I deal with municipalities, conservation authorities, and cycling advisory committees on a regular basis, and am intimately aware of the problems, challenges, interests (or lack of), and responses of each. So, after seeing the post above by fietser and the letter/response from Mississauga, I wanted to shed some light, if I may.
With my passion for cycling (Road, CX, MTB) I’m in a bit of a unique position in my day job, with the opportunity to take my personal viewpoint on trails, land issues, public views, etc and translate them into action out on the trails. So in that sense, I’m constantly excited by the progress and work we all do as cyclists, advocates, and volunteers. That said, with my “municipal” hat on, I see the flipside of the coin all the time.
So, here’s the way the chess board is laid out:
The City (whichever one, doesn’t matter, since they all are bound by the same rules, regulations, and Acts) typically owns the valleylands. Not always, but usually. And due to zoning restrictions, most valleylands are typically designated either Open Space or Hazard Lands. When they are Hazard Lands, the “official” permitted uses are extremely restrictive. Basically, they can’t be used for anything other than “nature” area, or possibly Passive Use/Recreation (more on that in a minute). Insofar as we may not like it nor agree with it, mountain biking does not fall into the permitted uses within the zoning designation. So, the City will always ALWAYS reply with the stock response of “Mountain biking is not permitted/sanctioned/etc”. Even if it makes sense, even if we offer to maintain, it will not matter. Period. The reason is simple: if the City sanctions it “officially”, then two things happen: first, they are in contravention of their own zoning, which is not only hypocritical but it’s also politically and legally problematic; second, the City can be found liable in court for damages if someone is injured and sues the City, because they went on record as sanctioning a non-permitted use and access. So they will ALWAYS say “no”.
Now, the issue is complicated by the Conservation Authorities. They typically don’t own the valleylands, but they have “regulatory jurisdiction” for any land within a floodplain. And essentially all valleylands are located in the floodplain. This means the Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) has a binding say on any development, mitigation, alteration, or activity proposed within the valleylands. This means whether or not the City wants something, the TRCA can object on a variety of grounds. Now, I’ve found the TRCA to be pretty good partners, and I’ve installed trails in valleylands WITH their help, but the problem is the TRCA has an absolute MANDATE to protect the watershed and its affected properties, which include all valleylands. So, the TRCA must balance their wants (ie-install a trail) with their unbiased mandate to protect the land (ie-mountain biking can be destructive IF not done properly). So then advocacy groups could get the TRCA onboard, but the City could refuse. Or vice versa. It’s tricky, trust me.
So then we have to address the issue of “active vs passive” recreation. The reality of the definition is that regardless of what cyclists/riders think, all biking is deemed “active” recreation. It’s inherent to the sport/activity. Period. Passive recreation could be considered walking. Even hiking could be considered active. So basically, passive recreation is barely touching the land. VERY minimal impact. So, whether the City or TRCA agrees with installing a trail, the potential destructive impacts of “active” recreation must be weighed against the potential benefits of the users (or not).
And lastly, the Cycling Advisory Committees are simply that: advisors. They wield no authority, no power to implement, they own no land, and have no jurisdiction. They are there only as advocates, and need someone in a position of authority to no only agree with them, but have the ability to affect change. CAC’s are basically lobbyists, more or less, who operate under the guise of change and implementation, but lack actual power.
With that all said, despite my passion as a cyclist, despite our good efforts and intentions, and despite prevailing logic, I am sorry to say, but after many years of doing this, here’s the harsh reality:
Do what you want in the valley, but do it “unofficially”. Do not poke the City, do not get on their radar. As long as there are no problems, the City will indeed willfully ignore you and let us continue to use and maintain the trails without issue. They know it exists, but as long as nobody complains, you’ll have latitude to just do your thing and they won’t bother you. But if you push and make it “official”, then they’ll have no choice but to address it. They’ll be FORCED to. Because politically and legally, they will have NO CHOICE otherwise. They’ll have to send TRCA agents or By-Law enforcers in there, monitor, and possibly issue tickets. I’m serious. I’ve seen it firsthand. But if you operate within your own sphere of influence with other riders and informally promote the valley trails amongst other responsible riders, then the City can claim ignorance and no adverse response will be triggered.
I wish it were different, I truly do. Unfortunately, in my day job, I’d have to do the same thing if a letter like that came across my Inbox. And I’m the guy who gets the trails designed and built! I’d have no choice. But on these forums, I can advocate all I want with my cycling hat on, so to speak, to help fellow passionate riders understand how the chess board is laid out and how the game is played. It’s “change from within”, albeit slightly surreptitiously, rather than through official channels.
My apologies if I’ve burst a bubble, I hope I haven’t come off as a downer. Truly, I’m a dedicated roadie, I commute regularly to work and everyone there knows I’m the crazy cyclist, I take my kids mountain biking at Kelso and Albion (they’re beginners) and I love riding in Etobicoke Creek, I’ve done it many times from top to bottom since part of it is actually in my jurisdiction and project portfolio. I love it, I want to share it, and I want to help offer info or advice if anyone has questions, but I also want to temper the expectations with a dose of unfortunate reality. So please don’t take this as any sort of pushback or deflection against your advocacy. Far from it. I’m behind you! But I’m also painfully aware of how things work on the other side of the stage, so I just thought I’d pull back the curtain a bit to give a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes.
Hope that helps.
Enjoy your ride, hope to see a few of you in Etobicoke Creek! 🙂
~SkyguyJuly 7, 2016 at 6:31 am #811443
Wow that was quite a read. Thanks.
So there is no other way then off the radar/ rouge trail building and maintaining. I guess there is zero reason to attend any meetings or waste any time what so ever with the officials who own the land. The thought that nothing can be done about this situation because of zoning is hard to believe. The use of these areas will continue to grow and the owners are wilfully saying do as you wish.
Everything is legal man as long as you don’t get caught.
Horrible foresight and a missed opportunity. It will be interesting to watch how these routes evolve over time with increased use and a Wild West attitude. Horrible leadership to say the least.
Thanks again for that very well written information piece.July 7, 2016 at 9:22 am #811445
I’m hoping that while the status quo may be exactly as described, there is always room for a black swan event (like someone persisting with out of the box thinking) to change course.
I’m going to keep repeating my favourite analogies until someone decisively proves me wrong. For years, Parks Canada operated with an unwritten and unspoken bias against ‘active’ uses of their land base, until people stopped coming and they were challenged on their mandate from parliament. More recently I understand they’ve begun to change course (somewhat; it’s an evolving process but at least it’s evolving). Or, what is the legal arrangement the city has for their paved infrastructure, which kills a number of dozen people (cyclists and peds combined) every year, and why can’t we have the same deal on natural surfaces?
I did contact my councillor about the natural surface trails in our ward. It is seemingly a grey area of little political return, that is challenging to address for any one councillor. It does seem doubtful that existing relationships at city council will be adequate to get much done.
However, institutional bias against ‘active’ outdoor activity will have to come to terms with a few disturbing realities in the next 10-20 years. We’ll see how strong and resilient that bias can be.July 7, 2016 at 12:23 pm #811448
First, let me apologize if I came off as “anti-advocacy” or anything of the sort. That was not my intention whatsoever. So if there’s any miscommunication on my part, my apologies. I think there are some amazing people doing some amazing work in the GTA’s trails, and to all of you who participate, my sincere thanks. It’s people like you who make mountain biking exciting! I am one of the people who directly benefits from your hard work and dedication!
My intention was to simply outline the current situation, and explain the City’s response. I wanted to illustrate what currently is, not what could be. In this context, the City is bound by legalities, and hence their response. For THEM, it’s not a question of definition of “active recreation” (which by the way, Repack is entirely correct that it is subject to some interpretation and could absolutely evolve over time!). For THEM, it’s a question of what law requires of them. So, even if the Advisory Committee and TRCA believe trail expansion, for example, is a good thing, the City will still say “No”. Short of changing the law (which in this case, is based on safety risks), the City will always say “No”. That’s not to say that things can’t be improved, but the fundamental reason will remain the same.
My only concern was that there is a risk of having the City take more “extreme” measures to prevent unauthorized usage (ie-mountain biking) in the valley if they are poked. So, again, my intent was not to say advocacy is worthless. My point was that if everyone is currently enjoying the valley and self-policing its usage and maintenance, then there is a risk of losing that if the City’s hand is forced. That’s all I was trying to say.
So in direct reference to Tom’s comment, please don’t think you’re wasting your time. My intent was also to help educate, so you can speak their language, understand their position, and quite frankly, know when they’re bullshitting you. I wanted to give a behind-the-scenes glimpse so people realize how the game is played, and can then maybe affect positive change from within. Believe it or not, I was honestly trying to provide a bit of ammo for everyone in your advocacy. Because I’ll be honest, the City is a big machine that can easily chew up the little guy. I see it, and I don’t like it. But sometimes ya gotta know how the game is played in order to change things.
Again, my apologies if I was unclear. The passion in this forum and on the trails is absolutely amazing, and we need more of that. Some battles can be won, some can’t, but I guess that shouldn’t stop us from doing was we believe in!July 7, 2016 at 6:12 pm #811455
First off, I want to thank skyguy for all the information on how the behind the scenes stuff works and how all the pieces fit together. With the background filled in, we can now understand why we’ve been getting the responses we’ve received, we may not agree with them but at least we can see where they’re coming from. And that is going to be incredibly valuable in the long run since instead of repeatedly beating our heads against a wall and getting answers that don’t make sense, we can begin figuring out plans for making the changes that will get us closer to our long term goals.
Do I know how to get there yet? Hell no. But at least we now what needs to change (laws & liabilities) as well as what we can, should, or shouldn’t do in the meantime. It’s a lot to think about, and at some point all the Creek regulars will need to sit down over a few drinks, bounce ideas off each other and see if we can figure out where we want to go.
1 user thanked author for this post.July 7, 2016 at 8:36 pm #811456
Aerius, that sounds like a solid plan.
If you ever have any questions, or want to bounce ideas, please by all means let me know. I’d be happy to answer if I’m able.
Food for thought: the TRCA can be a powerful ally. They have some clout when it comes to valleylands and dealing with municipalities. TRCA may have a position or ideas on how to approach usage in the valley because they actually construct trails in the valley, and are very experienced with mountain bike users and “active vs passive recreation”. Also, since the trails technically fall within their jurisdictional interest, they do have some say and/or knowledge about how to deal with trails in the valley. TRCA is good to deal with, they understand there’s a desire for trails in valleys and they’ve been strong advocates in many instances around the GTA. Approaching the TRCA and getting them onboard (or at least in the loop) might be a very good opening move.
I know the guy at TRCA who’s in charge of trails for the area including the Etobicoke Creek Trail. He’s on vacation next week, but I’ll give him a call if you’d like when he’s back and have a chat. He’s very experienced and is actually an avid rider himself, so he may be willing to reach out to you guys and have a chat.
I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes here, but if you’re open to it, I’d be happy to make a call.July 8, 2016 at 9:53 am #811457
I’ve had nothing but bad dealings with the City of Mississauga for over 20 years related to anything off road and bike park related. Been waiting for 3-4 months and several emails as to what is going to be done with the Challenge park now that all the obstacles were taken out. I gather they are just leaving an empty field and the skinny sections at the bottom.
As to the Etobicoke Creek trails, I see one huge obstacle apart from the City. That is, that it stretches a substantial distance and is not continuous. Maybe break it down in chunks. Even this seems unlikely to work though. It is so much easier to do nothing and to have no real consequence or grief as a result. In the other hand, they can agree to do something and get caught up in a quagmire of jurisdictions and probably feasibility studies, public consultation and the like.
Even if this went somewhere, I am not sure that RFG would be the best advocacy or representative group. While the site offers the cycling community great resources, it is a for profit business I gather. I am not sure how that would affect a relationship with a government group should something become formalized. Forming a specific club with members would show the city a certain level of organization and commitment.
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