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Hornsby Shire trails - support needed


stevebaker's picture

By stevebaker - Posted on 25 February 2011

Support needed from riders in the Hornsby area. Some planned trail building in the Hornsby Shire has been put on hold due to the usual ill-informed local lobbying of council, causing them to backflip on plans to build XC trails in the area. Email from HSMBA below, with ways to help out if you're interested.

Hi Fellow Singletrack Activists,

Happy New Year and we trust you had a relaxing festive season since our last update.

Sadly we have some terrible news.

As many of you might know Ku-ring-gai Council have hit a hurdle with their mtb trail project - the dreaded Nimby.

Stage one - dirt jumps and flow track are approved.
Stage two - cross country loops and XC based skills track are yet to be approved.

An anonymous person spread leaflets around the area stating that Council have approved a dirt bike arena of International renown, din and noise 7 days a weeks, wide spread drug use and vandalism. For crying out loud!

A petition of over 800 people has been raised against it and they are enlisting green groups and even Barry O'Farrell (the local MP). Barry has written letters to residents stating that he was concerned that Council had not really established the need for the facility.

In a surprise move Council have done a backflip and reversed the decision to build all of stage one (they removed the dirt jump park). They have also put on hold indefinitely any cross country trails. So the Nimby has won because they made a lot of noise.

This will be REALLY sad and WRONG.

So we ask that you write to Councilors. Here are some ideas;

- Thank them for taking steps to provide a facility for us.
- Ask that they do not to remove the cross country components and skills park as the majority of riders are cross country riders needing these facilities.
- Although the proposed trails are a sorely needed facility and great, they do not provide a long enough ride to attract people from that far afield and most users would be from the local area.
- Tell them who you are, do you have kids?, the good things about riding, and that you support a healthy lifestyle etc.

For some reason we have a bad image of being a bunch of hoodlems so PLEASE PLEASE write a positive email to Ian the Mayor and copy the Councilors sometime over the next couple of weeks.

As before lets unleash the emails and show them that we need to be considered!

Mayor - Ian Cross

icross@kmc.nsw.gov.au

Other councilors

janderson@kmc.nsw.gov.au
sholland@kmc.nsw.gov.au
rduncombe@kmc.nsw.gov.au
emalicki@kmc.nsw.gov.au
dmcdonald@kmc.nsw.gov.au
thall@kmc.nsw.gov.au
chardwick@kmc.nsw.gov.au
ekeays@kmc.nsw.gov.au
cszatow@kmc.nsw.gov.au

And if you want;

barry.ofarrell@nsw.liberal.org.au

But be nice and positive and just demonstrate the need.

All the best for 2011 and lets hope we can keep the opposition at bay
and start building this year.

HSMBA

Noel's picture
From: XXXNoelXXX
Date: 26 February 2011 13:32
Subject: Jubilee
To: icross@kmc.nsw.gov.au, janderson@kmc.nsw.gov.au, sholland@kmc.nsw.gov.au, rduncombe@kmc.nsw.gov.au, emalicki@kmc.nsw.gov.au, dmcdonald@kmc.nsw.gov.au, thall@kmc.nsw.gov.au, chardwick@kmc.nsw.gov.au, ekeays@kmc.nsw.gov.au, cszatow@kmc.nsw.gov.au, barry.ofarrell@nsw.liberal.org.au

Thank you for planning to provide a facility for off-road bicycle riding. I have heard that there was a scare campaign with people saying there would be dirt bikes (which are powered motor bikes), excessive road traffic, drugs and graffiti. Those claims are outrageous. I'm really dissapointed that people were mislead to sign such a petition. We need a cross county facility. I have ridden along the fire trails near Jubilee many times, and each time I have actually ridden there. Why would I drive a car there when I have bicycle?

I've got children who are keen bicycle riders. One day they will want a cross county facility. Don't people notice that playgrounds have little paths for the kids to ride bikes? They learn to ride, then they get older and there are no facilities. Riding a bicycle in the bushland provides increased awareness of nature and biodiversity, just cause some people choose do to it by foot does not mean we should all have to.

Thank you,

XXXNoelXXX

Herding Cats's picture

Hi,
Thanks for the addresses and draft content. I copied the content, personalised it and duly sent it. Took five minutes, the effort was too easy.

Hopefully KMC will stay the course and make a long term investment in cycling in the area.

Alistair

pancakes's picture

Thought I'd hit them with the old $$$ carrot and dispel the stereotypes pushed by the nimby/s.

Dear Mr Mayor, Councilors, Sirs and Madams,

I am writing to congratulate yourselves and Council on the forward thinking and social responsibilities demonstrated by developing plans to construct new mountain bike tracks and facilities in the Hornsby area.

I am, however, most disappointed to hear that a minority view point has been misrepresenting the typical users such facilities would attract.

I am a 42 year old professional with children and an avid mountain biker. My children are also cyclists. My friends who ride are in a similar position. Though we are not residents of the Ku-ring-gai shire we live close enough (Northern Beaches) that these facilities would be easily accessed and would bring us, our families and our associated spending habits into the area. We are not the type of individuals referred to by those opposing the facilities. It is discouraging that Council has given credence to their claims.

My primary interest in the proposed facilities are the "Cross Country"(XC) elements. The Sydney area in general, and particularly the North Shore, is in great need of more XC facilities. While the proposed tracks are a start the whole community would benefit from extra tracks being developed. There are also the positive community health benefits to consider flowing from increased participation in what is acknowledged as a very healthy pastime.

I strongly urge you to avail yourselves of the true nature of the mountain biking community, XC in particular. The vast majority want to be able to ride sustainable, challenging tracks. Preferably in their local area. Apart from Manly Dam at present the best tracks within easy reach of the North Shore are at Ourimbah and Awaba. Both on the Central Coast and at least an hour's drive away. Many riders transit the Ku-ring-gai shire in their vehicles to get there. An area closer would be of great benefit to both residents of Ku-ring-gai shire and those outside the area.

Thank you for your consideration,

XXX

peddling home's picture

My letter to the council

Dear All,

It was most encouraging to see Kur-ring-gai Council's Mountain Bike Plan for the Wahroonga and Turramurra areas.

After initially being advised that the whole of the Plan was going ahead, I was shocked to read in the Hornsby Advocate that now only a small percent of the Plan was to be built. What was even more concerning was that this turn around had apparently been caused by a slanderous, highly inaccurate petition from 'local residents', that labelled cyclists as drug users and vandals. My wife and I wrote to many Councilors and received many return emails stating their support for the Plan, and their acknowledgement that the claims on the petition were false.

Councils seem to be good at providing parks and ovals in abundance for the traditional sports (such as cricket, football and netball), and playgrounds for small children (which are much appreciated). However, I believe that Kur-ring-gai Council are giving up a chance to provide a facility that is both family friendly and forward thinking (mountain biking is a hugely popular and growing sport), based on the ill informed opinions of a small, but very vocal group who organised the petition and the residents who signed it without the full facts. If one applied the same analogy in the petition to road cyclists, we would see the wearing of club colours (lycra) and group rides as the equivalent of belonging to an outlaw motorcycle gang.

As a father, I will be soon looking for somewhere for my daughters to ride with me other than around the local oval or on the road. A place that is away from the dangers of road traffic, but provides more challenge than the flat footpath or paved cycleway would be the ideal location. Looking around both Hornsby and Kur-ring-gai areas, there are very few facilities for the older primary school and high school age children to participate in off-road bicycle riding.

Was Council aware that many local schools are involved in mountain bicycling? Both Baker and Abbotsleigh offer mountain biking as a school sport and yet have no local facilities to train at locally. In 2010, the Inter School Mountain Bike Championships were held, with the following local high schools competing:

* Kur-ring-gai Creative Arts High School
* Barker College
* Knox Grammer
* Chatswood High School
* Shore
* Hunters Hill High School
* Riverview
* Oxford Falls Grammer.

This shows a strong growth in the sport of mountain biking from the youth (high school) demographic.

As mountain biking is, by nature, a form of transport in itself, it does not rely on car transport. The majority of riders would ride to the area or access it after short ride from the train station. The location of most of the proposed trail access points facilitates and encourages this.

Properly constructed trail facilities also help stop illegal, unsafe and non-environmentally friendly trails from occuring. As shown in other regions (e.g. Manly Dam, Blue Mountains, Glenrock National Park), the mountain bike community have proved extremely responsible and are happy to help with on going maintenance of the trails.

I urge the council to revisit the Mountain Bike Park as a valuable sporting asset for all ages, encouraging a healthy life style and love of the environment through cycling.

Yours sincerely,
Craig

peddling home's picture

Today i received this email in response to my letter to the councils

"Fingers crossed. The mountain bikers emails are balancing those from the locals" from member of council

so please keep the emails coming as it is making a difference
thanks Craig

Lenny_GTA's picture

Just re-posted this issue at twentysixinches to help spread the word.

I'm not local but I will get an email in early tomorrow, hopefully it assists.

Vic's picture

Hi Everyone,
Have spoken to someone who know politics and decision making and they have made the following suggestions:
Invite both the three local MP's (O'Farrell, O'Dea, Hornsby Liberal Candidate Matt Kean) and two mayor's (separately) for a short ride (bikes and hemets may need to be provided) on a weekend so they can see what you do and understand the sport is quite, healthy and does not damage the enviorment. Then discuss the proposed plans and how a sensible outcome can be achieved.
Anyone up for the challange.

......'s picture

better provide a paramedic as well as helmets. Not sure Barry could handle a bike ride.

Rob's picture

I've invited many pollies on bike rides and aside from the Manly Dam protest (that was cancelled so doesn't count) they always refuse.

BTW, Barry isn't much to look at, but he completely the Kokoda track so sure a bike ride wouldn't kill the bloke.

Kristina Keneally rides a bike to work regularly... we should invite them both along and see who can lap the Dam the fastest Eye-wink

rp91's picture

E-mailed the councillors and recieved this e-mail in reply.

"I loved your email Rick and couldn't agree more. Just be aware that the papers have reported on a lot of non existent decisions of council. We have not voted to dump or reduce the project and I have asked the Mayor who has given the Press this misinformation.
Glad to hear from you and keep up the campaign."

Hopefully something good will come of all this. Keep up the support and the e-mails

Ray R's picture

Hi Rick - which Councillor gave that reply pls?

MarkkyMarkk's picture

I got this reply from one of the Councillors

The information in the newspapers was not correct and council has not voted to dump or reduce the project. The locals would like us to do so though.
Thanks for your comments.
Regards
Elaine M

Tristania's picture

Dear Sir,

I am in Barker in year 12 and am a keen member of the school's mountain team. In its second year of existance, the team's size has increased from about 20 to 35, and I believe that there are also numerous other people at the school who would do it as a sport if it didn't take so much time. It takes so much time because it is necessary to drive 45 minutes for the weekly training sessions and even further, up past Windsor, for the Saturday races. Why? Because there no facilities any closer to which the team can train on.

It has occured to me that there has been a recent discussion regarding the construction of cross country mountain bike trails around Golden Jubilee Field. I reckon that this is a great idea, as it helps people who would be inclined to drive long distances to get to a track save fuel as well as encourages people who would not be inclined to drive such a long way to be exposed to the sport. Additionally, they would give a location for school groups to train, as, particularly for people in their senior year of school, have very little time to drive to far away venues, it will be much easier to drive to the location. Even if no races were to be held at any of these places, it would still be an opportunity to train in a better location, as the only local tracks currently present are firetrails, which do not have the types of ascents and corners present in proper cross country racing.

As I followed this discussion, I also read many letters in the paper by concerned locals voicing their outrage about how these tracks would cause 'vandalism, drug abuse, extreme noise and parking chaos." I personally believe that all of these claims are outragous. I have never heard of vandalism occuring due to surrounding mountain bike trails. Neither do I ever hear of mountain bikers classified as drug addicts. Drugs and fitness rarely go together. The noise issue seems absurd to me as well - these people don't seem to understand that mountain bikes have no motors and will make little more noise than walkers. The fact that there is a large amount of parking at GJF that can fit the athletes and spectators for two fields there suggests that there should be plenty of parking for anyone who chooses to drive (as many will choose to ride to the venue.)

I personally, along with many others find the sport of off road cycling be great fun, good fitness as well as being out with nature, and it is a great opportunity for tracks to be made around GJF, so I hope you can heed the advice that my and my fellow cyclists are asking.

Sincerely,

rp91's picture

Ray, same as the person who replied to Markkymark.
cheers

Noel's picture

I think numbers help on this one. Keep sending them in please.

"Subject: Jubilee Oval
To: icross@kmc.nsw.gov.au, janderson@kmc.nsw.gov.au, sholland@kmc.nsw.gov.au, rduncombe@kmc.nsw.gov.au, emalicki@kmc.nsw.gov.au, dmcdonald@kmc.nsw.gov.au, thall@kmc.nsw.gov.au, chardwick@kmc.nsw.gov.au, ekeays@kmc.nsw.gov.au, cszatow@kmc.nsw.gov.au, barry.ofarrell@nsw.liberal.org.au

Thank you for planning to provide a facility for off-road bicycle riding. I have heard that there was a scare campaign....."

Rob's picture

My 2c is here... Misinformation about Ku-ring-gai council plans at Golden Jubilee Oval.

I'm absolutely disgusted at this, please let the council know if you are too! Sad

ps's picture

I had one of the nimby's on our table last night. She made numerous outrageous claims including that the council had banned night use of Manly Dam, World Trails planned to host international mountain bike events, there would be 500 riders on the track each weekend (claims the council told here that number) etc etc.

Doubt we changed her mind much by pointing out a few facts.

Rob's picture

@ps... all you can do is keep telling people the facts, and point them at the resources you get those facts from. When they read this you'll soon find out if they are rational or not.

I guess you could also show and interest in their sources, but not many people with views that oppose ours have them. Funny that.

sellwood's picture

Thanks Chris, for your email.
We have certainly had our share of polarising views on this proposal.

Never the less, I will pass on your comments to KMC Staff.

Regards,
Duncan McDonald

-----Original Message-----
From: Chris _____
Sent: Sunday, 27 February 2011 10:33 PM
To: Ian Cross; Jennifer Anderson; Steven Holland; Elaine Malicki; Rakesh
Duncombe; Duncan McDonald; Elise Keays; Cheryl Szatow; Carolyne
Hardwick; Tony Hall
Subject: Off-Road Cycling facilities

Dear Mr Mayor, Councillors,

I was very pleased to hear that your Council was considering plans to
construct new mountain bike tracks and facilities in the North Wahroonga
area.
However, I was dismayed to hear that this has recently now been severely
cut back in favour of a minority view point completely misrepresenting
the typical users of such facilities.

I as a 51 year old mountain biker, I resent being branded by with lies
and paranoia by local residents.
The opponents of the the proposed facilities have an extremely narrow
view of the cycling fraternity.
The existence of riding tracks would encourage more people, particularly
the young, to develop a healthy lifestyle in the outdoors and counteract
the tendencies towards obesity.

The Sydney area in general, and particularly the North Shore, is in
great need of more mountain biking facilities.
While the approved facilities are just a start, the whole community
would benefit from the original proposal being developed.

Golden Jubilee Park was set up to address a need for sporting fields for
the local community and now that mountain biking is becoming
increasingly popular, a similar level of facilities is needed.
Car parking facilities for the users of Golden Jubilee Park have
obviously been catered for and apparently do not attract complaint from
local residents.
Would an expansion of the current sporting field cause a similar level
of reaction, so why the reaction to a cycling facility?

Although I do not live with the Ku-Ring-Gai Council area, I support
other riders who would regularly use such facilities.

Thank you,

Rob's picture
We have certainly had our share of polarising views on this proposal.

Never the less, I will pass on your comments to KMC Staff.

What they have had is a load of complete and utter BS from certain people!

kazam's picture

I acknowledge receipt of your email regarding the proposed mountain bike track.

I have received a large amount of correspondence on this issue, and would like to assure you that I have noted your comments and have forwarded them to relevant staff.

Thank you for your interest.

Yours sincerely

Cr Ian Cross

Mayor

peddling home's picture

I to have received the same reply from the Majors office
Craig

philberesford's picture

Oh yeah, he's the guy who's just announced $100M spend on new roads in Western Sydney if the Opposition win the next election.

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1494581/Coalition-announces-$100m-roads-package

Do I detect a hint of a hypocritical pollie BS here?

More bikes, less roads please.

BT's picture

I'd vote for him if he could fix the Spit Bridge/Military Road debacle!

philberesford's picture

I'd vote for him if they'd build an express tunnel all the way from the Harbour Bridge/Tunnel all the way through to Dee Why Eye-wink

My pipe dream - lol

Dicko's picture

What's the latest status with Golden Jubilee folks ? Has there been any response / change in plans / revert back to original plans as a result of out lobbying ?

Things seem to have gone quiet on this one.

D

Rob's picture

We were basically told to be quiet as nothing was going to change and the more correspondence the council got on the matter, the less time staff had to actually work on it.

I do not know how the plan has progressed. I suspect it hasn't.

Noel's picture

I think this was the latest?

from Mary-lou Lewis
date 8 March 2011 10:19
subject Mountain bike proposal at Golden Jubilee
8 Mar

Dear all

Thankyou for your support and concerns regarding the proposed mountain bike facility at Golden Jubilee Oval.

The following information may alleviate some of your concerns.

Council has undertaken a number of studies in relation to the proposed mountain bike track:

1. A needs study was done to determine the type of cyclist who will use the proposed facility and what their requirements would be;
2. A one month community consultation through public exhibition was undertaken. This included a concept proposal of the bike facility at Golden Jubilee and covered expected conducts for rock climbing, orienteering and even dog walking in bushland.
3. Council is currently engaging an external traffic study which will give us more accurate estimates on the numbers of people using the facility and the expected impact.
4. Council are currently engaging contractors to undertake an environmental assessment to the impacts associated with the brief.
5. Council are seeking quotes for design and construct

We are currently waiting results of these studies.

Further community consultation is expected to be provided. You can remain informed by visiting our website; www.kmc.nsw.gov.au this information will be updated as information becomes available.

Regards
Mary-Lou Lewis
Environmental Levy
Natural Areas Program Leader
Ku-ring-gai Council

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