West-Side Trails Update

Amy ACTAmy Rides the Chute Photo by K-Mo

I met with Carson City Parks and Recreation staff on Wednesday, April 2, to discuss building trails on the west-side of Carson City. I informed them that the Forest Service liked our proposal to build a trail connecting Kings Canyon to Ash Canyon, but weren’t ready at this time to commit to approving it, yet. But they would like to set up a field trip during the summer to walk the trail alignment with me.

What’s the City’s position regarding west-side trails? Our current economic problems are effecting everyone, Parks and Rec included. They’re having trouble funding on-going projects and are in no position to start another project without a funding source. What I was told is that if we can’t show the Board of Supervisors we have the funds to build and maintain a trail, we can’t present the project to them. At least that’s the way I interpreted it.

In order to get a trail built we need one of two things to happen. One, our economy turns around and the city is flush with cash to spend. Or two, we raise the money ourselves. Neither option looks promising. Trying to raise money for a trail when everybody is feeling the squeeze will be a tough sell. And I think it will be some time before our economic situation changes.

It looks like this will be a long slow process. But I’m not giving up, because a network of trails on the west-side of Carson is something I strongly believe in.

There is some good news though. Parks & Rec were offered a Sweco (trail building machine) to demo from State Parks. I may have convinced them to use the Sweco to construct a new entrance to the Ash Creek Trail and mitigate the user-created trail that is in use now.

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14 thoughts on “West-Side Trails Update

  1. Jeff, It is awesome that you are talking to these people and spearheading the movement to get more trails built in Carson City. The trick will be to convince the city counsel that these trails are a huge asset to the city and help define the city. I understand that there is talk of narrowing Carson Street once the freeway is in to allow for pedestrians and cyclists. Your ideas are congruent with that motion.
    Cyclists are great citizens, and Carson City needs to attract more of them. I always think of what Reno did with the Kayak Park. That was a great move and we need to do the same thing for Carson City but use cycling. We need to get together and come up with a plan to propose to the city.

  2. Thanks for keeping up the good work Jeff. And remember we can still apply for a trails grant to build a trail, so it doesn’t have to be City money. Also in the meantime maybe we can get a more progressive board of supervisors who understand what a great potential economic asset we have in biking and in mountain biking trails. Three positions open this November…
    You know, someone (a local – I forgot her name) made a fancy presentation to the board of supervisors a couple years ago about what a great idea a river trail would be and lo and behold, a river trail (even though the Carson River isn’t high enough to boat most of the time) moved to the top of our local trails priority list and staff was directed to spend their time and funding on it. I wonder if when we get a new board we can do something similar about mountain bike trails – (pictures of Moab in april, etc) I think we need a new board though because I think the current one a) mistrusts us and b) doesn’t get it

  3. Marcus-Thanks

    Lucas-We’ll post any future fund raising efforts here. Thanks

    Anne- It seems like a “Catch-22” situation. How do we get RTP funds without prior approval of our trail? How do we get approval for our trail without funds?

  4. The Board of Supervisors. Is that who we need to convince? I am clueless when it comes to how city government is structured. The Mayor? The Chamber of Commerce? Or is it all of the above that need to be “Sold” on this idea?

  5. Marcus- All of the above. Like Anne implied, we need to convince B.O.S. that our project should be at the top of their priority list.
    How do we do that? I’ve just received a copy of “The Economic Benefits of Mountain Biking”. It’s a pamphlet produced by Shimano & I.M.B.A. explaining the positive economic impact mountain biking has on communities. If we can, maybe we can show them that there is no better return on investment than building sweet single-track.
    Spend 10 mil on a train or spend $500,000 on a professional trail crew.
    We’re working on it and any ideas are appreciated.
    Thanks

  6. I think our money is best spent spreading freedom and democracy to countries we can’t even find on the map. What good is sweet singletrack if Mustafah in Kerplackistan can’t get a corporate burger at McDonalds?

  7. Jeff- as you know I’ve been working for about ten years to convince local leaders of the benefit – health, environment, economic – of biking and walking and all I can say after all that time is that (with the possible exception of supervisor Robin Williamson) THEY JUST DON’T GET IT. They’re not active people. They never get out of their cars (unless they lose their license to a DUI eg our mayor)
    We have to be more vocal, more active – and to get more active progressive people in leadership positions in this town.
    I am taken with the idea of making a slam bang presentation on mountain biking to the BOS, though. Let’s keep that in mind for next winter after the election and we have a new board.

  8. I think Anne just suggested we take Mayor Marv to the top of Baldy Green for a tour. With the only way down being on two wheels.

    At least that is how I interpret it.

  9. Anne- Is it OK to announce the April 10 meeting on the Bike Carson blog?

    Lester- Possibly. She hasn’t seen Paul B’s jumps yet.

    W- Don’t you think you have more urgent matters to attend to than reading our humble blog.

  10. 6dogs- I would be very interested in seeing that pamphlet and more like it. Can you scan it or fax it? Or tell me how you got it?

  11. 6dogs – No, I don’t think so – see w’s post. But hopefully there’ll be more opportunity later
    Lester – if you get the mayor up there I’ll come take pictures

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