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DCR Gives Mountain Bikers The Shaft Despite Overwhelming Public Support
The DCR has sent out a letter to users and supporters of the Fells. They have also posted a summary of all of the comment letters they have received. And despite the overwhelming public support for increased fairness in the Fells, the DCR is siding with the anti-bike crowd and doing nothing for now. With the promise that when their Resource Management Plan comes out, then a few trails may be opened to bikers.

In my opinion, these two documents are a giant F-U to the mountain bike community. The DCR acknowledges that bikes have the same impact on the trails as hikers. But they are still going to side with the minority (primarily the Friends of the Fells) and keep mountain biking fully restricted now, with the hope that it will only be heavily restricted in the future.

This is a HUGE disappointment after the past year, where the DCR has always given the impression that they want to do right by the public. Apparently they mean only the public that doesn't ride a bicycle.

DCR Letter to Users and Supporters:
View PDF

DCR Summary of Comments Received:
View PDF
  • Comments
  • I agree with you comment
    When I read the DCR's letter I had exactly the same reaction that you did to this. I wrote this letter to Paul Jahnige expressing my 'disappointment': Dear Paul, After reading what you are going to implement I have to say that I feel really let down by the DCR. You asked for an got great participation from the users of the Fells, based on this you produced a plan which was a huge step forward and this plan was supported by 82% of the (significant number of) people who replied with only 14% of people against the plan, this is a huge majority of people in favor of the plan by any standards. However you have now decided to ignore all the support for your plan and do basically nothing. I understand you have to perform an RMP, but nothing about producing an RMP should effect the change in day to day policy which your Fells Trail System Plan addressed. I am at a loss to explain how you decided to make the significant policy change over dogs on leashes at Sheepfold (which I actually support) based on 10 positive comments for and something like 7 comments against, where as you get 2100 people or 82% of the people who responded supporting your change of use for mountain biking and yet you are doing nothing. Why does it just take 10 people to support dogs off leash at Sheepfold and yet 2100 people can not help get any changes in mountain biking trail policy? I do not get a lot of free time, with a busy job and two young children and yet I have spent a fair amount of my time going to meetings about the Fells, writing to the DCR at the various stages of the process and even meeting with the Melrose Major Dolan to find his position on the trail plan. I was really excited that something would finally be done to improve a resource I greatly value and use frequently. Now it appears you are just going to more strictly enforce rules that 82% of the people are against, I feel that my time has been wasted and my and the other 2099 people who supported your plan are being ignored due to a very small minority of people who opposed it. How is this decision representing the wishes of the people you asked to participate?
    Comment Posted by (mark at markandshannan dot com) on January 7th, 2011
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