During the last several years at Lord Hill Park, several multi-use trails have been converted to high-speed extreme mountain bike trails; these are continually being made more “extreme” by the construction of higher berms, bigger jumps and deeper drop-offs, attracting a radical fringe of MTB users. These users publish videos of their exploits on YouTube, bringing more extreme riders. Some of these riders are harassing the equestrian users of the park, mostly females alone or in small groups, with the obvious goal of scaring them out of the park. A horse that is startled can “spook” and throw its rider, causing serious injury to the rider.
These harassment incidents has been increasing over the last couple of years, along with the construction of more extreme features on the MTB trails. Reports of these incidents are made to park authorities, but construction continues. There have been three public meetings with parks over the last three years, with public attendance steadily increasing from around 100 to well over 400 on the subject, where disapproval of those high-speed trails was made crystal clear by the attendees. A petition with over 1,000 signatures was recently presented, and still the construction (and harassment) continues.
My questions are, why does the situation continue? Why are these trails being added to, instead of restored? Since public opinion counts for nothing with parks, what can be done to solve the problem?
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