At a time when our country faces epidemics of obesity, heart disease, diabetes we are seeing a massive and unprecedented rise in healthy, local, outdoor recreation. In response to the COVID pandemic people are embracing outdoor spaces and a healthier lifestyle. We have more trail users than ever before. It is imperative we offer them the legal, structured, trail access that encourages sustainable use which will allow these individuals to become lifelong outdoor recreationists.
Public advocacy for conserving land and preserving access is one of the most powerful tools we have to ensure adequate resources to maintain these lands. Across all political lines, you find strong environmental support among users of outdoor spaces. To this point many environmental organizations are explicitly nonpartisan because there is such a wide range of political beliefs among trail users. Regardless of political beliefs trail users tend to be conservationists. Keeping these new users is critical for ensuring the future utilization and preservation of our green spaces – creating new advocates on all sides of the political spectrum. The increased awareness of green spaces and outdoor recreation will surmount mountain biking’s limited impact to nature. The increase in awareness, utilization, and advocacy surrounding these areas will have a significant net positive impact to environmental diversity, sustainability, and protection for Rice and Snake Canyons.
This project can enhance our local community by increasing our access to nature and has the potential to have great impacts on our local economy by bringing in local tourism. We have very unique ecosystems here in our Chula Vista canyons that provide unique recreation opportunities. The homeless, druggies, and trash dumping issues can be solved by having a more established use in our canyons. Things like trailheads, nice signs, and constant volunteer work can potentially deter unwanted people while enhancing the communities' access to trails. Volunteer work has already been ongoing for decades; it is a matter of connecting with the community that knows and uses the canyons most. I think we have a strong chance of having community led efforts to preserve our canyons through programs like this instead of trying to keep people away from nature. The impacts from recreation are worth it if we can introduce more people to nature while instilling an ethic of protecting green spaces. By introducing our diverse neighborhoods to nature, we can create lifetime stewards of our local canyons whether a person is a volunteer, or has a career in Environmental Science.
Fencing along singletrack trails can have a negative effect on the experience a user has on the trail by feeling enclosed while out in nature. Thick vegetation or cactus is enough of a deterrent to keep people on the trail, and still allows the user to get close to nature and get a more natural experience. Thank you City Staff
I think opening up of trails and establishing signs will help to keep the unwanted visitors out of our community. I also believe that it will help to protect the local environment and keep people on the designated trails vs wandering off trail.
The Rice Canyon Loop is not identified directionally. The only trail identified is on the north side of Rice Creek. The trail on the south side is very narrow and often blocked as "closed" yet is used by bikers. Our home overlooks the canyon and we treasure this great asset to the community, and want to see it preserved. Please identify the "loop."
Has the city considered reaching out to other communities like Sedona, AZ that have very successful implementations of multi-trail use systems and have become global destinations for hiking, biking, etc? This while balancing the interests of both those looking to recreate/enjoy nature and preserve the environment.
FYI, since the City Dev. Services folks are not familiar or have questions: Race track canyon (named after the bike trail) is where the bridges were recently removed, that had been there for 20 years as part of the singletrack system. Canyon between east H and east J street, paseo del rey on the west, paseo ranchero on the east.
I support the trail loop project. Chula Vista has famous and beloved singletrack mountain bike trails. The more we can preserve them as singletracks the better.
I support the idea of making Snake Trail a one-way, west-bound trail.
It's also important for us to think about safe access to the trails. 50mph streets are incompatible with vulnerable road users such as bicyclists and pedestrians. I encourage the City to develop a strategy/plan for safe access (with livable speeds) to trails. I recommend Class IV bikeways, Class I bikeways, widened sidewalks with tree lined buffers and/or rails, bicyclist friendly crosswalk buttons, prioritizing peds/bikes when the push button at intersections is activated. NACTO provides additional design guidelines for safe streets.
Thanks to City staff for moving this forward!
Hi Cherly, New trails? Concerns on noise pollution. Will the space immediately right behind our backyard fences be respected as a no trail zone?
I support the Rice Canyon/Snake Trail project
Thank you ! I am wondering about the fencing. Will is be appealing- ? not chainlink.
The rice canyon trail seems to be far more developed than snake
Sierra Club comments
Sierra Club mission is to protect nature and foster appreciation of nature through recreation in nature. Sierra Club supports mountain biking and other outdoor recreation to the extent recreation is compatible with habitat and species preservation.
One important consideration for Chula Vista is the primary purpose of open space like Rice Canyon as habitat preserve land that serves as mitigation for habitat lost to development. Recreational use of trails is only allowable to the extent it is compatible with habitat and species preservation and that significant resources are available for management. As such, a pure balance between habitat preservation and recreation is not desirable or appropriate when the habitat values for which the land was originally preserved must be prioritized above all other demands.
Thanks for the presentation! I hope the Council approves.
Grants could include funding for trail counters to gather data although this can be gathered from Strava Metro as well. Also a Borrow a trail bell program would be great too SDMBA is ready to help with all of this and more.
will this impact people who like to walk w/ dogs on the trails?
Cheryl, snake trail has been a legal trail for many years now. why has the city not maintained it in the past years? how does this pilot program have a chance if the same people that are in charge of snake trail over the years are in charge of this pilot program snake and rice canyon singletrack loop system?
Legalize CV Trails.
I fully support the Rice and Snake Canyon Loop Trail Pilot Program, "THIS is Chula."
I support the Rice Canyon/Snake Trail Loop!
The open spaces department has done a fantastic job preserving Rice Canyon. Opening up more of the canyon to the bikers who go off trail is putting all that work at risk. There are already many rogue trails that drop down into the canyon. Creating more bike trails in the canyon would invite more impact on the flora and fauna. Funding to ensure the prevention of these unauthorized trails and maintain the existing trails is of utmost importance. I am in the canyon 4 to 5 days a week and have seen the impact of mountain biking. I prefer keeping the trails as they are.
I am a biking enthusiast but feel opening up more trails in Rice Canyon is not the best idea.