EDITORíS DESK: Canít we all just trail along?
In a society where alarm is growing about inert, fat children, it has been enjoyable to attend the public meetings this
spring on the Red Rock Canyon Open Space master plan, where everyone is fit and outdoorsy and setting good examples for
their kids (or at least other people's kids).
But just because a room is full of fit and outdoorsy people doesn't mean they are going to agree on everything. In fact, one of the key aspects of the trail system that's proposed for the scenic, 788.1-acre property south of Highway 24 assumes disagreement. I'm talking about trail segregation.
Segregation means that certain trails are off-limits to some types of users. For instance, in the Red Rock master plan that will go before the Colorado Springs Parks Board in June, 1.26 of the roughly 17 miles of trails will be off-limits to bicyclists and horseback riders. This, of course, is disappointing to everyone but hikers, who themselves are not totally pleased - some want more hiker-only trails.
Chris Lieber, trails coordinator for the city, says in California this situation is even more pronounced, with parallel trails now for different types of users. Is this how it should be here? During construction of the Intemann Trail, in which I was privileged to participate, the Intemann Trail Committee never thought of making it anything but multiuse. If a bicycle or horse is coming, you say "hi" as they go by, and they usually reply in kind.
"If everyone has courtesy, this isn't an issue," one man said at the May 5 meeting. He got more applause than anyone.