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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 ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 61 through 75 (of 101 total)
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  • #807389

    mcbain
    Participant

    Santa Cruz

    #807390

    jcitizen
    Participant
    #807391

    FastTimes
    Keymaster

    Funny but lets keep this on track please.

    #807392

    repack
    Participant

    I’m intrigued by the semblance of speed comment, versus actual speed. Any time I’ve been out on the crother’s woods/ridge bit, I’m about the slowest rider out there. I never pass anyone. That isn’t the case on other sections though. I think semblance of speed is a win-win scenario, as you get the challenge and the satisfaction of a great ride, at lower speeds which is preferable in the event of a collision. Seeing as there seems to be a commitment to narrow-ish bi-directional trails, a semblance of speed philosophy seems to be a no-brainer. But, by the end of the work week on Friday afternoons, I haven’t much of a brain left so maybe there’s more to it that I see just now.

    I like the idea about attracting younger riders to the ridge. Where actually do kids learn to ride in the don system? While the difficulty of the trail is about right, given the speeds and the traffic level crother’s woods/ridge actually isn’t the best choice for young beginners who have mastered stuff like the flats and boo trail. Other than at the jumps, I rarely see anyone younger than about 14 out there.

    #807393

    mcbain
    Participant

    Perceived speed, perceived risk – it can all be designed into the trail. That the City awarded the concept design contract to a company that builds bike parks is a windfall for riders. Hopefully a fully funded build contract will go to an experienced trailbuilder that can realize the potential of a great design.

    Even getting kids outside is a hard sell when you’re competing with the InterWebs. There are lots of kids on bikes in my neighbourhood but making the leap to competent trail riding usually requires parents that ride too. Gears + Morning Glory have a successful program that collects, tunes and donates bikes and helmets to youth in Thorncliffe. And Kids of Steel train near the Cricket Lot (on grass), so set a good example for other kids. Maybe if the Ridge became a continuous playground of TTF’s (like a linear bike park) it would draw young intermediate riders onto trails? Or maybe it will take an easily accessed skills park so kids can ride under the watchful eye of parents before they let them venture into the deep dark woods? No easy answers.

    #807399

    jcitizen
    Participant

    Perceived speed, perceived risk – it can all be designed into the trail. That the City awarded the concept design contract to a company that builds bike parks is a windfall for riders. Hopefully a fully funded build contract will go to an experienced trailbuilder that can realize the potential of a great design.

    Even getting kids outside is a hard sell when you’re competing with the InterWebs. There are lots of kids on bikes in my neighbourhood but making the leap to competent trail riding usually requires parents that ride too. Gears + Morning Glory have a successful program that collects, tunes and donates bikes and helmets to youth in Thorncliffe. And Kids of Steel train near the Cricket Lot (on grass), so set a good example for other kids. Maybe if the Ridge became a continuous playground of TTF’s (like a linear bike park) it would draw young intermediate riders onto trails? Or maybe it will take an easily accessed skills park so kids can ride under the watchful eye of parents before they let them venture into the deep dark woods? No easy answers.

    What do you think would be a good example of a section in the don with high perceived speed and low actual speed? Might be good for the city to see something local riders like.

    #807506

    fietser
    Participant

    The City has posted the panels from the presentation. If you weren’t able to make it I would highly recommend checking them out since the maps give an idea of the proposed changes and the level of detail that has been taken to document the trail.

    http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=1773bf5f7b5be410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD&vgnextchannel=4afd1d90f2fac410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD

    #807507

    jcitizen
    Participant

    Sweet. Thanks for the link!

    #807520

    repack
    Participant

    On the whole it does look promising. I have just one quibble perhaps. Everything that was done over the years by unauthorized volunteers has been done with the best of intentions. On the odd occasion when an ill-judged attempt was made at building, there was a process of self-policing which generally took care of it. So, the various structures which survived to be judged by the city of Toronto and its various paid consultants in my mind deserve better than to be summarily dismissed as ‘hazardous’ or ‘dangerous’. Let’s have just a wee bit more context please. Any consultants who think they know what hazardous and dangerous looks like are welcome to join me for my monday-friday commute, 250 days/year, on the public highways. And, I’ll be the judge of whether or not Alpine pre-engineered trail brand and Thinc brand can deliver better value for the dollar in long term durability than the many unnamed volunteers whose work is so casually dismissed as hazardous. I’m not a PEng and I don’t necessarily call myself an engineer, but about 90% of my time at work is spent doing engineering and so the ‘pre-engineered’ spin rings a bit false. If you want to call it ‘liability-proof’ by all means do so. But the builds we’ve seen in the don valley for many years now have been quite good in my opinion, well-engineered if you will. So I don’t need to hear that kind of spin. But like I said, that’s just a quibble. On the whole it’s very promising.

    #807523

    ex_rider
    Participant

    Well, repack, it is really quite simple. No builds are acceptable. And that is the bottom line. There is dirt and there is stone. And that is all there is to it.

    #807526

    jcitizen
    Participant

    Well, repack, it is really quite simple. No builds are acceptable. And that is the bottom line. There is dirt and there is stone. And that is all there is to it.

    Dirt & stones’s pretty cool, though.

    #807529

    Neville Park
    Participant

    Admittedly new to the community, I have 60+ rides this season on The Ridge (thanks Strava)

    @repack – you took the words out of my mouth.
    As someone from the trades who came from the tools and also runs projects daily, I was a little disappointed with the consultants lack of context for construction. The build quality as a whole for the features seems quite acceptable, albeit not “pre-fabbed”

    Further, the idea of pre-built ramps should be tendered out based on the design … and not the design based on what “FlowForm” ramps are available to the community. Being in bed with the supplier does not make sense to me on any project, Trail or otherwise.

    On the positive side, it appears that due diligence is being undertaken and it is amazing that all the riding groups showed up in full force to back the survey numbers of 90% mtb riders out on the trail.

    I feel that litter / building waste should be a major priority too.

    Again, i am thankful that there are some many dedicated people in this community to help steer the trails towards the best possible outcome. I am more thankful for the vast amount of trails that are not under scrutiny and continue to be improved by the builders in The Don!

    #808247

    wyrmblight
    Participant

    There has been a lot of discussion on this already, and I’ve finally found the time to put my own comments here. Hopefully I’m not too late to the party.

    I’ve been riding in the Don for about a decade. I’ve been popping in to RFG for trail conditions for quite a time, but only just joined up recently. @fietser and I have been chatting about the difficulty of advocacy in Toronto. Just want to express a huge thanks to @fietser for his work on this, and everyone else who goes to the meetings to represent this community to the decision makers.

    Just in regard to the most recent comments about pre-fabbed TTFs, the engineers no doubt were given a mandate to find a maintenance free replacement to the current wood construction TTFs, where necessary. We all know that the current features, bridges, etc have a limited life span before they are a risk of falling over, sometimes without notice. Use of pre-fab means that the lifespan is known, and able to be monitored against a known point of failure. We all remember a couple years ago when several bridges were dangerously vandalized with a chainsaw. Pre-fabs with steel support structures would be less susceptible to that.
    Don’t read too much into the “FlowForm” equivalent being used in the plan documents. Any bid request package must list a specific acceptable part for each installation, but usually includes “or approved equivalent of similar function and quality”. It is not guaranteed that FlowForm will be the supplier.

    I actually spend a fair portion of my MTB time riding both Crothers and the Ridge, as XC race training. I’ve seen the degradation of these trails over the past year or so, as trail users increase, and maintenance can’t keep up. Something that has been brought up over and over has been the necessity for any volunteer trail maintenance personnel to be supervised by City of Toronto staff, even for the most mundane tasks, such as leaf raking. I absolutely get that we feel that this supervision is unnecessary, but the City perspective is to limit possibly liability. An unsupervised volunteer, with unknown skillset, has the potential to cause damage, or the potential for injury.

    At the other end of the spectrum is Sunnyside Bike Park. FoSBP have an agreement with the City of Toronto to conduct all of the routine maintenance of the park.

    Why couldn’t something similar be proposed for both Crothers Woods and the Ridge? With the Ridge set to become a sanctioned trail (could it already be argued as such?) the limited staff and limited volunteer base will be stretched even more thinly to keep up with the basics. Some members of this community already take care of basic trail clearing in many areas. They give their time, and use their own equipment, to keep the trails passable. We already clear leaves, remove downed trees, repair damaged armoring and creek crossings. Couldn’t we propose to field a group of skilled volunteers, with a mandate to certain basic tasks that we are already performing in these areas, without the layers of supervision required of the volunteer stewardship team?

    Obviously, there are limitations on what PRF would permit such a group to do without approval, but I think a case can be made for a certain amount of autonomy, that no approved group of trail stewards have had in the past. The “RFG Trail Fairies” could go a long way towards reinforcing the idea that our community is a primary stakeholder in these trails, and that we are interested in working with the City in keeping them open to all users.

    Thoughts?

    #808370

    singlesprocket
    Participant

    It’s funny how we move in circles… Prefab structures was a concept I brought up many years ago and have constructed as trial projects. Other then a bridge section of last resort I would not us such products as features. As was said it is much better to build out of rock/concrete.

    #808452

    wyrmblight
    Participant

    Prefab would not be my first choice, either. Natural trails, in my humble opinion, deserve natural materials.
    The list of TTFs and proposed work on Recommendation Panel 1 does list some existing rock features. It appears that most all of these will remain. Additionally, some of the wood TTFs are slated for replacement with rock features. Some wood TTFs in questionable condition will be rebuilt with new wood. (ie. log overs). The TTFs that are being looked at for the steel-framed prefabs seem to be primarily the ones that are elevated.

    These are, of course, the draft plans, which were discussed for revision at the public meeting. As I recall from an earlier post, there were several requests for more TTFs, which would go into a revised plan. To my knowledge, such a revised plan is not yet available for review by the public. I’d be interested to see those revisions.

Viewing 15 posts - 61 through 75 (of 101 total)

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