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Ridge Trail Concept Design Plan

HOME FORUM RIDING GREATER TORONTO AREA THE DON VALLEY Ridge Trail Concept Design Plan

This topic contains 100 replies, has 29 voices, and was last updated by  BlurredLines 9 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 101 total)
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  • #806424

    mcbain
    Participant

    I guess my invitation to the stakeholder meeting got lost in the mail 🙁 “Developing a concept design plan to improve the Ridge Trail” is a worthwhile goal. There’s no denying that certain sections (like around and under the Millwood Bridge) could use some serious trail-fu!

    My concerns about the Ridge boil down to these:
    (i) challenge – the current level must be maintained or, better yet, increased.
    (ii) – is the City equipped to provide (guarantee?) timely maintenance and deal with the trash-avalanche from Thorncliffe?

    Good points @fietser. A skills park is only useful if there are also trails with similar features nearby. If technical trail features (TTF’s) were to exist in only one location I’d choose trails. Riders will be well-represented with you at the table 🙂

    Santa Cruz

    #806443

    fietser
    Participant

    Your lack of invitation is a serious oversight by someone @mcbain. You should certainly have a seat at that table. Perhaps you should email the hosting parties for an invitation as your voice needs to be heard.

    In a recent conversation it was suggested that there is a proposal to include advanced lines and features as part of the Ridge Concept Plan. This is very promising news that this is even being considered. However, it is important that as a community we hold the City to task when these proposals are tabled.

    #806857

    fietser
    Participant

    Just a quick check to see if anyone else had anything else they would like shared, questions asked, concerns raised etc at the meeting tomorrow.

    So far I have:
    1. MTB largest and most engaged users of The Ridge
    2. Volunteer time/labour at Trail Stewardship events on a regular basis
    3. Challenge – must be maintained or better yet increased (while offering safe ride/ walk arounds options)
    4. Is the City equipped to provide timely maintenance/ repairs to The Ridge
    5. What is the City prepared to do about the on-going issue of the ‘trash-avalanche’ from Thorncliffe?
    6a. Will the Trail Stewardship Team currently in Crothers be extended to the Ridge?
    b. Will we see the implementation of the Trail Crews/ Trail ambassadors as outlined in NETS? **Education is an important part of dealing with potential user conflict that is missing in the CoT Ravines**

    My goal is to represent our community, not my own agenda – because I don’t have one! I would be happy to bring any and all concerns and questions forward at the meeting tomorrow night. Please add to the list as you fit.

    The survey is still live so if you haven’t yet filled it out please take a minute to do so ( http://bit.ly/RidgeTrailSurvey)

    #806858

    fietser
    Participant

    Public Consultation Meeting for The Ridge Trail Plan

    As mentioned previously the City will be hosting a Public Consultaion to gather input from the community regarding The Ridge. This is our chance as the primary and most engaged user to group to have our say. Flyer to follow.

    Thursday October 8 from 7-9PM
    Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office, 18 Thorncliffe Park Drive.

    I know it is a Thursday and that is a ride night but it would be amazing to see a strong turn out to this meeting to show the City the kind of support the riding community is famous for in the Don. It would also be great to have some face time with people from here on the forum who may not get out to the group rides. Could I propose an Apres somewhere perhaps? I would certainly be up for that!

    #806860

    jcitizen
    Participant

    Public Consultation Meeting for The Ridge Trail Plan

    Thursday October 8 from 7-9PM
    Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office, 18 Thorncliffe Park Drive.

    I know it is a Thursday and that is a ride night but it would be amazing to see a strong turn out to this meeting to show the City the kind of support the riding community is famous for in the Don. It would also be great to have some face time with people from here on the forum who may not get out to the group rides. Could I propose an Apres somewhere perhaps? I would certainly be up for that!

    Jeremy, I’m gonna do my best to make it! Think we can bring our bikes inside? I might hit trails on the way in our out, haha

    #806861

    fietser
    Participant

    I will ask @jcitizen – haven’t been to the building before so I am not sure what space is like!
    Good question though.

    #806868

    mcbain
    Participant

    @fietser – thanks for posting your list of talking points. Can’t think of anything to add. Thanks for being there to represent! I’ll be at the Public Consultation for sure.

    #806869

    ex_rider
    Participant

    My understanding is that the meeting on the 17th is invitation only. There will be a public meeting on October 8 at 18 Thorncliffe Drive. Anyone who didn’t receive an invite for tomorrow will be able to chip in their 2 cents worth on October 8.

    #806874

    FastTimes
    Keymaster

    Thanks for the hard work and including the community @fietser

    Here is the info for the public meeting.

    #806947

    jcitizen
    Participant

    I’ve said it lots, but I’ll say it again at the meeting Oct 8: make the trails directional, for cyclists at least. Allows for better flow, and makes it a bit safer knowing which way the traffic is coming when on foot. There’s room. Worse case you have some overlap with signage at the junctions to keep the traffic moving in the right direction.

    #806979

    fietser
    Participant

    Ridge Meeting Summary

    Last night’s meeting regarding the future design of The Ridge was attended by many stakeholders and facilitated by CoT PFR Staff, ThinC Design and Alpine Bike Parks.

    Stakeholders included:

    Thorncliffe Park Residents
    Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee
    U of T Mountain Biking
    Wild Bettys
    Thorncliffe Park Public School
    Leaside Property Owners Association
    Members of Crothers Woods Stewardship Team (good to see you again @dakar)
    Member of former ‘Bring Back The Don Task Force’
    Riding Feels Good
    (I may have missed some titles – apologies)

    The goal of the next few meetings is to gather information to prepare a concept plan – there are no drawings or decisions that have been made as of yet regarding the Ridge. These recommendations will be used to create a concise framework and ultimately inform the build.

    Of primary importance, as with Crothers Woods, is the protection and enhancement of the natural environment in the area.

    Some Numbers:

    The area in question is extremely high density. There are approximately 30 000 residents in the area adjacent to The Ridge with 34% of those being under the age of 14 years old.

    The section of trail being discussed is 1800m long spanning from Crothers (Millwood Bridge) to ET Seton Park. There are also approximately 1000m of side trails (informal/ social) found in the area. There is a max slope of 36 degrees and 34m of elevation. Generally speaking the alignment of the main trail is good and would likely remain predominately unchanged.

    In ground counters placed by the CoT between June and October (had to be removed before the snow but prime riding weather) counted 26 000 passes on the Ridge. While other counters along the Ridge left for the duration of the year triggered 74 000 passes.

    90% of the respondents to the survey identified themselves as riders. Of that percentage over half said they use the Technical Trail Features along the Ridge.

    Given the people around the table it is clear that the City realizes that the Mountain Bike Community is by far the largest and most engaged user group. However, there is also a push by the Thorncliffe community to increase accessibility to the area in order to better use the resource. There are also several other user groups who identify the natural environment/aesthetic as being significantly important.

    Challenges as highlighted by CoT and ThinC:
    -shared use
    – environmental protection and restoration
    – no formal/ easy access from the Thonrcliffe Community (there are several holes cut in the fences above)
    – no signage wayfinding

    Since this was a fact gathering mission stakeholders had a chance to share their wish lists as it were for the Ridge. I shared the points outlined in the posts above (@mcbain, @alen_z, @jcitizen) regarding: challenge, directional trails for safety (echoed by Bettys), trash removal, trail etiquette education, trail remediation where required etc.

    Other groups wished for better/ safer access from the adjacent building, removal of all wooden trail features, narrowing of main trail and closure of side/ social trails, tranquil meeting spot for outdoor education or relaxation, signage, information kiosk. I think that was the bulk of it. The vast majority of the Thorncliffe community has never even ventured onto the Ridge – cultural differences and lack of education/ information about the area were cited as reasons for this coupled with the cancellation of a popular Outdoor Education program at Thorncliffe Public School. While members of the community have been trying to educate others about appropriate use of the natural environment and trash disposal practices it is clear that message needs to continue to be spread.

    All present MTB groups agreed that keeping the challenge on the Ridge is imperative while also keeping safety (for all users) in mind. I suggested that the Ridge is an iconic trail in the Don and there are features that have long been proving grounds for many riders. It was agreed that while many more recent additions have been well built others have fallen into a state of disrepair due to lack of use over time. Note: the City wants to keep the intermediate/ advanced level of the Ridge – they realize that building something that riders are not interested in riding will only cause the community to continue to build what they want to ride – thus not solving the problem and potential causing even more issues.

    In Summary:

    It is going to be imperative that people come out to the meeting on Oct. 8th – we need to hear the voice of the riding community. It is your chance to have your say. If you can’t make the meeting please forward your comments and suggestions to trails@toronto.ca. It would be great to see some industry people out on the 8th since I think they are a voice that also needs to be heard in all of this – the bikes we buy are ridden on these trails perhaps more than anywhere else in the GTA.

    There will obviously need to be some give and take but I would highly recommend voicing your opinion. Want wooden features on the Ridge? Speak up. Want directional trails to increase safety? Let them know. Think that the general downhill nature of the trail South to North lends itself to a flow trail with jumps and berms? You’re probably not the only one. Want a ride-thru Starbucks? Me either and I let them know.

    Sorry for the lengthy post just want to be transparent and keep everyone in the loop.

    #806982

    jcitizen
    Participant

    Thanks for the detailed report, Jeremy. I’ve booked off the 8th, so I’ll be there barring any curve-balls from life. I have a little bit of faith in this situation cause it was the city that built the “advanced” and “intermediate” line, so it shows that they can appreciate the need for slightly challenging stuff. This should also keep them busy for years, which probably means the rest of the don is safe for a while, ahah.

    As for the Thorncliffe residents, while I appreciate it’s all our valley to share, the amount of trash in that valley (new not the old stuff) leaves me a bit skeptical about the real value the actual forest has in that community. If you appreciate something, you don’t dumb waterfalls of trash in it. Hopefully better access will create a deeper appreciation. That said, if you live next to a valley, how do you not find out how to get down there?? That’s my bias, though…

    Apres in said valley?

    #806983

    fietser
    Participant

    Great to hear Jesse!

    Oh and confirmed there should be a place for bikes inside should people be bringing their rides.

    Thoughts on Apres? Not my area of town but keen to get out for a pint after.

    #806985

    EnduroRider
    Participant

    Sounds alot more positive then I expected the out come to be. I wish I could be there on the 8th but I will be out of the country but I will curetainly send an email to the address, thanks @fietser.

    #806986

    mcbain
    Participant

    Dude! Thank you for the detailed write-up (and not even 24 hours after the meeting!). You must have been busy on the keyboard with this and other articles – careful you don’t fall asleep during your day job! Looking forward to the meeting on Oct. 8th. Apres at Amsterdam?

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