On our petition, which is entitled “Save the
Pogonip…again!”, we provide space
for signers to offer comments. Comments from April 7
through June 4 are listed below.
(We'll be updating this page from time to time.)
None of these comments was either solicited or
Please please please
Hello, My entire family loves walking in the Pogonip. And we ride our bicycles on pavement. Walking outdoors, watching nature and wildlife on trails is a large part of what most of the public enjoys in Santa Cruz. We have been shocked and almost run over countless times by mountain bikers in the Pogonip. It makes it difficult to relax on the trails and the erosion has gotten worse from the tires. Mountain biking is Not passive recreation. Please. No more mountain biking trails! Save the park from this spreading mountain biking dis-ease.
If Santa Cruz can not protect their environment, what chance other places?
I enjoy hiking in the Pogonip, and I do not wish to see additional mountain biking trails there.
Please keep the balance between mountain biking and walking/running. I'm concerned about the mix of riding and walking, especially when there are small children walking or running with families. This doesn't mix well with bikes. Secondly, Santa Cruz Co is famed for its abundance of trails already. I bike all the time and find we have enough trails at this point. Commuter biking lanes, that is definitely needed on the other hand!!!
I am a lifelong bicyclist from a family of road bikers and mountain bikers. And I also like to walk safely in nature with older friends and small children. Let's preserve some peaceful places for such activity.
Let's not turn Pogonip into a racetrack.
Presently there are enough biking trails in Pogonip, and there are many other priorities for recreation in our parks. Many of us enjoy the quiet trails where only hikers are allowed. More environmental damage and trail / cross country erosion are not needed in our parks.
Thank you so much for what you're doing to preserve the natural beauty and wild habitats of the Pogonip.
Just because mountain bikers show up at meetings, that doesn't mean they speak for the majority of city residents. They should be content with the many trails they already have access to, and not continue to press for more. Enough is enough.
Please leave the Spring Trail free of bikes…
Natural areas across our county, state and country are under constant attack This is just one more example of this insidious destruction of our natural habitat by recreational and commercial interests. lOur community worked long and hard to set aside these utterly beautiful and ecologically important lands. Please do not allow ANY activities on the Pogonip except the passive recreation allowed for in the currently existing management plan.
I'm a hiker and a mountain biker. I do a lot of mountain biking in Wilder, and know that there are plenty of trails in Wilder to support mountain bikers. Pogonip is not the place for additional mountain bike trails. We need places to walk that are bike-free. Please do not approve more mountain bike trails in Pogonip. Thank you.
Totally agree. Mountain biking is not a priority for the Pogonip.
The Pogonip supports a corridor for wildlife space, and is especially loved by hikers and runners. If recreational mountain biking were added to that mix, the dynamic would change. I urge you to keep this greenbelt as an open space parkland, limited to walkers, runners, and wildlife.
It is so disheartening to be forced to fight again for nature and try to stop further encroachment of hypermasculinist domination of the Pogonip. Of course, once the argument against allowing wheels in the Pogonip was lost, everyone knew that mountain bikers wouldn't be satisfied with what they got. Power-over always wants more. Witness this happening on steroids in all aspects of society, at all levels of governments. What needs to be done is to reverse the prior decision and return to a no-wheels policy in the Pogonip. Local actions such as this are the key to claiming a healthy, safe, livable world for all.
Adding more bike trails to Pogonip is a mistake. The park was created as a passive recreational open space. Bikes are not passive! They are fast, dangerous (I have been scared to death walking on the bike trail) and they are causing obvious erosion. Since the current bike path was added a few years ago there has been no study done to monitor the impacts of erosion or human safety. Adding more bikes and paths at this time, without providing data based seems as reckless as many of the bike riders! Bike paths also disrupt bird and wildlife patterns creating “dead zones” where animals tend to be cut off from natural areas. I urge you “DO NOT EXPAND” any bike trails at Pogonip.
No how you cut it, mountain biking is NOT passive recreation. It's fast, aggressive and chews up the trails. If you want mountain bike trails, (aren't there enough already?), then please at least keep truly passive activities such as walking, hiking, plen aire painting, etc. protected from mountain bikers. Make separate trails for them. I also suggest such trails be One-Way.
While there is a push for mountain biking trails circling Pogonip with trails while adding only a few miles to their track list, this idea is complete counter to the intent of the General Plan on Pogonip as a passive activity Greenbelt. Don't be swayed by eager lobbyists who seem focused on hyper-activities that will ruin the pastoral landscape.
Please no more trails in PogoNip for mountain bikers. They are unnerving and not compatible with calm, healthful nature walks. Even if they don't hit you, you feel you have to move quickly aside and apt to step on uneven surface and fall or turn your ankle or knee. Many,many people including myself have had to stop hiking on so many formerly beloved trails due to mountain bikes. People with babies and children and/or dogs on leash and people with hearing or sight or balance or connective tissue disabilities, fragile bones, nervous or heart and blood pressure issues, even just people of a certain age and those who want a quiet, calm communing with nature need these precious PogoNip trails to be free of mountain bikes. They have plenty of places to ride and for more variety they can always join us in walking/hiking… but for many of us even the threat of mountain bikers coming fast from behind is enough to make us nervous and jumpy and ruin the experience or drive us away from using the trails. With damp weather their tires also cause ruts that harden into longterm walking nightmares.
A problem related to mountain-biking which I think is insufficiently accounted for in planning is the loud noise associated with the sport. I recently participated in a citizen-science bird count in a nearby park, and experienced the sudden onset of loud clattering of several bikes along with loud, constant shouting of the bikers to each other, which disrupted the calmness of the habitat for several minutes even though the bike trail was nowhere in sight. Every wild animal and bird for about 1/4 mile radius was probably on emergency alert during this time. If the trail continued to be used every hour or so during the day, my hypothesis is that many species would withdraw from the area, in spite of it being “protected”, and the trail covering only a small strip of ground. Clearly, not every group of bikers is equally loud, and many hikers are also noisy. I totally understand that the bikers were not doing anything “wrong” - just being exuberant human beings. Unfortunately, our human impact on natural habitats is placing ever-increasing pressure on ecological communities and native species. I hope that the PMP will take this factor into account, and decide not to increase the number of biking trails in the Pogonip, as well as perhaps doing more community education about the effects of human noise disruption in general.
Let's take a deep breath and appreciate the beauty and serenity of Pogonip. It's simply is irrational to expect a place of beauty to provide the kind of activity mountain bikers demand. Hikers, walkers, and bird watchers will be displaced with the further intrusions they request. Let's keep Pogonip for passive recreation… mountain biking's huge footprint does not work in a pastoral environment.
Keep the mountain bikes out of this rare greenbelt space. The proliferation of wheeled vehicles -- from cars to skateboards to bikes -- has made places where people and other animals can simply walk in peace are all too rare. Mountain bikes are particularly hazardous, both to humans and the environment. We should protect Pogonip trails from all wheeled vehicles except wheelchairs and save it for the peaceful treading of feet, paws, and hooves.
Please don't further reduce the precious habitat needed for our local wildlife by creating further mountain-biking trails in the Pogonip. And please don't further degrade the enjoyment walkers/hikers experience in a community where they represent a significant portion of that community. I've hiked our local parks and open spaces extensively for several decades and watched the unrelenting degradation of wildlife habitat, hiking-only trails, and safety caused by mountain biking. Santa Cruz County already has LOTS of trails for mountain biking. And, unfortunately, too many mountain bikers choose to create new, unauthorized trails AND to use pedestrian-only trails, always pushing the boundaries anywhere near their “authorized” trails. Nisene Marks and Wilder are examples of places where mountain bikes are common on pedestrian-only trails. Please don't extend this “give-an-inch-take-a-mile” process into our beautiful and unique Pogonip!
Mountain bikes destroy walking trails. Please help us preserve these trails for the use of very many walkers and hikers — the largest users of Pogonip.
No more erosion causing mountain bike trails please!
After years of having to jump out of the way of aggressive, hostile and disrespectful mountain bikers who damage the Pogonip's supposedly “multi-use” trails, cause erosion, and scoff the law by riding on pedestrian-only paths, I am completely opposed to any more mountain bike trails. Although there are some respectful and law-abiding bikers, there are way too many “bad apples” in the barrel, and adding more bike trails simply opens up more of the Pogonip to the bad apples to roll on to pedestrian trails and make their own trails, damaging fragile hillsides and watersheds. Mountain bikers may be vocal and well-organized, but they represent a tiny minority—less than 10% in the City's own studies—of Pogonip users. Keep the Pogonip free of bikers and safe for the vast majority of Santa Cruz residents and the wild animals that enjoy the Park as it is. Public funds should not be hijacked from maintaining existing foot trails, many of which are badly-eroded and increasingly risky to walk or jog on, just to cater to the selfish desires of mountain bikers and their corporate sponsors. I speak not only for myself and other hikers and joggers, but for little children, the elderly, and the hearing- and sight-impaired who are at even greater risk from the aggressive disrespect routinely demonstrated by mountain bikers when they are reminded that they are breaking the law and endangering others and damaging the ecosystem by riding off designated bike trails.
Aren't there enough places for cyclists to ride on? The serenity of walking on the pogonip would not be peaceful with more bikes.
As someone who rides a mountain bike I know that there is already an extensive mountain bike trail network at Wilder Ranch which can be accessed from trails in Pogonip and UCSC's upper campus. It is important to preserve the Pogonip trails for hikers who don't want to risk collisions with mountain bikes.
The problem with building legal bike trails in wild areas has two aspects: first the destruction of habitat and disruption of animals from the trail itself (both as it is being built and from then on), and, second the implied invitation to go off-trail. Neither is acceptable in the rare wilder areas of the Pogonip.
Biking and walking on a trail are not compatible uses. A person walking can never let down their guard and enjoy the serenity of a natural setting with bikes whizzing bye. No matter how considerate the biker may be the underlying threat remains.Certain places need to be preserved as natural retreats.
Please add my name to the petition.
No more mountain bike trails. Walking and hiking are preferred.
Pogonip needs far greater protection from current illegal mountain bike use. To open it up to impactful new downhill mountain bike trails will only lead to more environmental destruction and drive passive users away. Bikers already have ample trails besides their illegal trails. It's time to protect what's left, not time to cater to a single use that is well-funded but not representative of the majority of city residents.
Please do not add more biking trails in the Pogonip. It is a perfect area for walking, and to enjoy the beautiful greenbelt. To add more bike trails would spoil it for walkers, bird watchers, and, lovers of the natural world. Please do not expand mountain biking in the beautiful Pogonip.
I have hiked in Pogonip for decades. I used to hike in the hills of Wilder Ranch, but I had to abandon that area when the bikes took it over. Bikes and walkers are not compatible. Please keep Pogonip bike-free.
Enough bikes trails there already.
Mountain bikers have severely damaged the trails in the upper part of the UCSC campus. Please do not allow them to do the same to the Pogonip. Please preserve the Pogonip for walkers and hikers who are by far the largest percentage of people who use this beautiful space.
The largest percentage of people surveyed, by far, wished to see hiking as the primary use of the Pogonip property. Their wishes should be honored by any Democrstic process!
I believe it is important to retain at least some public park areas for walking, nature study, and other more passive forms of outdoor recreation. Pogonip is particularly worthy of protection because of its unique mix of habitats and (some rare) varied plant and animal species.
Pogonip is the only major, large park that can be reached on foot from anywhere in the City. It is ideally suited to walkers and hikers. Mountainbiking is an intrusion that presents a real physical danger to hikers. Pogonip is no place for mountainbiking.
The City perhaps mislabels mountain biking as “passive” because bikes are not motorized, although I would argue that hiking and biking are both “active” and require physical effort. A better term might be whether an activity has a high or low impact on the environment. All of the formerly identified passive activities are low-impact, while mountain biking has an outsized impact on the quality and longevity of the trails, on the wildlife, and on humans who walk or hike in the open space expecting peace and quiet. The campaign for mountain biking trails in the Pogonip is being waged by a small group of enthusiasts who want to lay claim to large areas of the open space for “their sport” alone. This is not what the Master Plan provides. The Pogonip should not be divided up amongst various groups, it should be available for the no-impact appreciation of all users who respect the natural wildness of the land, rather than turned into a playground for those who want to ride their bikes fast in the woods.
Please help protect our open spaces. This is about balancing conservation and acres and you are called upon to make grave decisions which may not be popular today, but future generations will applaud your ability to save some beauty for them even In the face of user groups clamoring for more services. Thanks!
There are already two trails in Pogonip which may be used by bicyclists to access the UCSC campus. Bicycles disturb the serenity of this park for pedestrians like myself, and no further bicycle trails should be allowed in Pogonip.
The mountain bike riders have lots of other places in Santa Cruz County to ride. More importantly, the City needs to preserve peaceful Pogonip for the many walkers who don't want to compete with mountain bikes as they must do in Wilder, Nisene, etc. Erosion and parking issues caused by those bikes should also be considered. Mountain bicycle groups/meetups are very pro-active in promoting their “new finds” for out of town bike groups to take advantage of. Pogonip should not just become another park to be over-used by out-of-towners!
I hike on Pogonip quite often, usually starting on the Spring Street Trail. I am ALWAYS passed by mountain bikers at least once, sometimes as many as four times in an hour. Opening up Pogonip to bikes simply enables the continued misuse of existing trails that are clearly marked “no bikes.” There also seems to be no enforcement of the currents laws on the existing trails. Perhaps a couple of weeks or a month of consistent, bike focused enforcement would get folks attention and they would start complying.
I want to see the Pogonip preserved as one of the few places in the county where there are non biking trails. It serves as a safety for wildlife and hikers. I strongly urge you to keep the trails as they are to preserve the natural beauty from degradation and the chaotic traffic that “so called multi-use” trails encourage.
We work and play in Santa Cruz. Although some kids and young adults enjoy mountain biking, hiking is more of an all-age past-time. While recently hiking in Wilder Ranch and Nisene State Park, it seemed like every 5 minutes (especially on the weekend) we had to step out off the trails for mountain bikers tearing down the mountain. I ride a road bike, so I appreciate the fun, but I don't think we need to encourage being more of a Mecca than we are for this sport. Thanks for all your hard work in deliberating these matters.
I am a senior citizen, who enjoys walking and hiking in Pogonip. Most of the times I have encountered mountain bikers on the trails, they have been polite and considerate of walkers, but there are some areas where neither walker nor biker can see ahead to a possible collision. This poses a potential danger to both.
I think it's great we're able to enjoy the space in so many ways, but it can be pretty dangerous when I'm walking and a bike come tearing down the trail. I always try to listen and get out of the way, but there have been some close calls. If you do go forward with the plans I would post no walking signs on those trails.
The 2030 General Plan provides the overarching policies and guidelines for anything the Parks and Recreation attempts to do to Pogonip. We must remind the City over and over again of its responsibility to uphold, not contradict, the General Plan.
Pogonip is a local treasure. I urge you to keep it quiet, sane, and slow by withdrawing the consideration for additional mountain bike trails from the PMP.
I enjoy walking in areas where I do not need to jump out of the way of bicycles. Bicyclists routinely demand that pedestrians move out of their way, which makes me unable to relax when walking through the Pogonip. Bicycles also damage wet/muddy trails. What percentage of off-road bicyclists that are not Santa Cruz (or Santa Cruz County) residents are using Pogonip and not contributing to the maintenance of trails and roads? Are any cycling clubs contributing to the maintenance of trails, and if so, is the amount contributed enough to pay the costs for maintenance? I have been a resident of Santa Cruz since 1973 and supported the creation of the Santa Cruz greenbelt.
Thank you for this petition!
We are so fortunate to have quiet relaxing places to walk in nature, to watch birds, to learn about the plants, to enjoy the free-flowing streams, without having always to be on the lookout for fast-moving bicyclists.