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Action Alert: Your Help Needed to Stop Cycling Hate Group

PostPosted: February 7th, 2010, 6:00 pm
by jajones
Attention Washtenaw County Cyclists, Mountain and Road:

Plans have been underway for some time to create a Border-to-Border trail network spanning the County. Many parts are completed and many are in development.

One key section is a pathway along the Huron River connecting the Hudson Mills Metropark in Dexter with the Village of Dexter. This connection would provide a safe and scenic nonmotorized pathway along the river, connecting the Hudson Mills pathway on the west side of the river which was constructed in 2008 with the Village of Dexter behind the Hudson Mills Golf Course and behind a subdivision called West Ridge.

This connector would provide a safe and scenic greenway easement for cyclists coming out from Ann Arbor on Huron River Drive to nearly connect to Pinckney Recreation Area. The Huron-Clinton MetroParks Authority will be applying for funding this spring to construct this trail.

The problem that has come about is that there are some NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) homeowners in the West Ridge Subdivision trying to halt construction of the connector. Last week, they illegally posted large professionally made red signs all over trees and lampposts in the Dexter area reading, ?We Aren?t the MetroPark Bike Path!? Say NO to thru or around Westridge Subdivsion!? The signs also have a no bikes allowed graphic of a cyclist with a slash thru. This same minority group of homeowners are also spreading hate speak and fallacies about the cyclists and the impact the trail will have on the subdivision.

If you bike in Washtenaw County and the Dexter area, we need your help! Please try to attend the following public input meeting on Tuesday February 16th, or cyclists stand to lose out to this hate group.

The Huron-Clinton MetroParks Authority will host an open meeting at the Administrative Offices (Ranger station) at Hudson Mills Tuesday February 16 at 7pm.

This is a required Public Meeting by the HCMA as required by the State to air the proposals for funding of the Bike Path through HCMA land
.

Please PM me if you require further info.

Thank you,

Jason Aric Jones
MMBA Potawatomi Chapter Member
MMBA Potawatomi Trail Coordinator
Dexter Township Resident

Re: Action Alert: Your Help Needed to Stop Cycling Hate Group

PostPosted: February 7th, 2010, 9:35 pm
by ADDam
Hey Jason, If you don't mind, I'm going to re-post this on Facebook.

Re: Action Alert: Your Help Needed to Stop Cycling Hate Group

PostPosted: February 8th, 2010, 9:03 am
by jajones
By all means. Let's get the word out!

Re: Action Alert: Your Help Needed to Stop Cycling Hate Group

PostPosted: February 8th, 2010, 9:21 am
by djansen00
I used to live in Westridge...and owned one of the homes where this would have been in my backyard. I loved the idea of it back then...and still do now. I still know some people there and the folks I know were looking forward to the path. I'm going to reach out and try to find out who the troublemakers are.

Re: Action Alert: Your Help Needed to Stop Cycling Hate Group

PostPosted: February 8th, 2010, 9:32 am
by Sparty
hate group - really? hate is a pretty strong word.

or, is it concerned homeowners worried about bike traffic in their backyard, children out playing, strangers, etc...?

Re: Action Alert: Your Help Needed to Stop Cycling Hate Group

PostPosted: February 8th, 2010, 9:42 am
by c0nsumer
Sparty wrote:hate group - really? hate is a pretty strong word.

or, is it concerned homeowners worried about bike traffic in their backyard, children out playing, strangers, etc...?


STRANGER DANGER STRANGER DANGER

Re: Action Alert: Your Help Needed to Stop Cycling Hate Group

PostPosted: February 8th, 2010, 9:56 am
by jajones
Sparty wrote:hate group - really? hate is a pretty strong word.

or, is it concerned homeowners worried about bike traffic in their backyard, children out playing, strangers, etc...?


I believe it goes a bit deeper than just the NIMBY mentality. I'm not saying that they are going to go around physically attacking cyclists, but I have had some run-ins that I don't want to get into. Suffice it to say that there is an underlying "bikes don't belong" mentality by some involved.

I should mention that I don't believe the group behind this initiative is large. However, they are making an earnest attempt to poison the community.

Re: Action Alert: Your Help Needed to Stop Cycling Hate Group

PostPosted: February 8th, 2010, 10:04 am
by cyclodan
Sparty wrote:hate group - really? hate is a pretty strong word.

or, is it concerned homeowners worried about bike traffic in their backyard, children out playing, strangers, etc...?


"Hate group" , strong language? Maybe, but it is an irrational fear that is fueling the resistance to the path. I am pretty sure that it has been shown that the presence of cyclist, walkers or any recreational users tends to reduce illegal activity. Many developers are adding pathways to developments as a selling point.
I am making arrangements to be there at the meeting.

Re: Action Alert: Your Help Needed to Stop Cycling Hate Group

PostPosted: February 8th, 2010, 10:10 am
by Sparty
cyclodan wrote:
Sparty wrote:hate group - really? hate is a pretty strong word.

or, is it concerned homeowners worried about bike traffic in their backyard, children out playing, strangers, etc...?


"Hate group" , strong language? Maybe, but it is an irrational fear that is fueling the resistance to the path. I am pretty sure that it has been shown that the presence of cyclist tends to reduce illegal activity. Many developers are adding pathways to developments as a selling point.
I am goin to try to be there at the meeting.


i guess my point is that instead of assuming that these homeowners "hate" bicyclists maybe the trail advocacy group should look at it from the homeowner POV. the easy route to take is to assume they hate bikers when, in fact, their real issue is most likely the safety of neighborhood. address those issues & the trail is probably a no-brainer.

Re: Action Alert: Your Help Needed to Stop Cycling Hate Group

PostPosted: February 8th, 2010, 11:23 am
by jajones
Of course, those typical arguments are at the crux of their campaign -- "stranger danger"...my kids now have an easy route to get abducted...my property values will decline, etc. These are the same ole, same ole specious arguments and fallacies put forth in the history of people challenging greenways. However, these arguments are often times just fabricated cover-up arguments that the home/property owner's don't even believe. The bottom line is that they look out into the (MetroPark owed) field that goes behind their homes extending to the (Huron) River, and they don't want to see change. They don't want a swath cut out with cyclists constantly going back and forth. In the end, their arguments have many parallels to those of the Hateful Old Hiker community who don't want to share trails such as the NCT with bikers. They present specious arguments lacking fact like safety or environmental damage as a smokescreen to cover up the real reason they don't want bikes on the trail -- that being that they just don't want to see them there. It is kind of like people who step on nonvenomous snakes in their garden. There is typically no reason to kill or get rid of them other than the fact that they just don't like to see them. They hate snakes, just like some people hate to see cyclists on the road or pathways. It may not have a lot of logic behind it, or, there may be some twisted perspective based on some warped view. Either way, it is emotion-based. When this is the case, there is very little that can be said by the masses of the rationale and logical thinking who support the trail system. They just need to overwhelm the cries of the emotion-driven minority. It is kind of like taking the rake out of the hand of the person readying to strike the snake.

Re: Action Alert: Your Help Needed to Stop Cycling Hate Group

PostPosted: February 8th, 2010, 11:26 am
by scat silvurz
This is mega deja vu for me....

10-15 years ago when I lived in Novi, the P+R dept. was all set to have a linear bike/hike pathway, where a portion would be adjacent to a subdivision's line of back yards. The pathway would link two small parks together. However, the subdivision got all freaked out, and was worried about pathway zombies wandering off the reservation and invading their suburban bliss - the city council got scared off by the small, but vocal citizen outburst squad at various city hall meetings, and nixed P+R's recommended plan for linking the parks. Fear, as always, prevented a great plan from seeing fruition...

The two parks were never linked. But now - the same subdivision now want's the pathway - they realized that their fears were unfounded, but there's no money available to put it in, and development has inevitably occurred in the area which will make it infinitely more difficult to do so. It just never fails to amaze me, that if you wait long enough, both opposing sides will want the same exact thing in the end.

By the sounds of this situation, we're in stage-one, of repeating the whole Novi comedy......guess history does repeat itself!

If I can, I'm going to try to make this meeting and tell this exact story - it needs to be heard there.

Re: Action Alert: Your Help Needed to Stop Cycling Hate Group

PostPosted: February 8th, 2010, 12:34 pm
by barrybs
Thanks for the heads up about the HCMA meeting, it seems that no matter how many times you submit your email add. they still don't inform you of the next meeting.

I attended the meeting concerning this a couple of months ago that was put on by the village, Washtenaw County and HCMA. There were about six different options presented as to how to get the path from the North end of West Ridge into the village. There were three ways shown for the West Ridge portion.

One was to go through the middle using an existing greenway and some streets. This seemed like a poor option and I don't think it was seriously considered.

Second was to use the adjacent right of way along Dexter Pinckney and Island lake rds. This was the cheapest way but probably not very desirable as you would be close to traffic.

Third was to go around behind West Ridge through a wetlands with a boardwalk. This was the most expensive but nicest option.

Once you get past the sub there were several options on how to cross Mill Creek and enter the Village of Dexter.

So... I'm curious to see which options (or all) are being protested. There were a couple of residents from the backside that weren't happy with their view being interrupted by a path.

I'll look when I get home for a link to the proposals that were presented, and will be sure to attend the meeting.

Barry

Re: Action Alert: Your Help Needed to Stop Cycling Hate Group

PostPosted: February 8th, 2010, 1:26 pm
by jajones
Hey Barry,

Yeah, the signs they are putting up specifically state "Say NO to thru or around Westridge Subdivsion!?, so it sounds like the opposition just doesn't want any pathways anywhere near the sub.

Let those SOB kids and cyclists play in the street (as long as it isn't our street)! :P

Re: Action Alert: Your Help Needed to Stop Cycling Hate Group

PostPosted: February 8th, 2010, 4:43 pm
by scat silvurz
they probably don't want the bike path route going thru their subdivision on the street......their "turf"......

Not sure how I'd feel if I had one going past my front door, in the street.....but, I think it would annoy me.

Re: Action Alert: Your Help Needed to Stop Cycling Hate Group

PostPosted: February 8th, 2010, 4:57 pm
by barrybs
jajones wrote:Hey Barry,

Yeah, the signs they are putting up specifically state "Say NO to thru or around Westridge Subdivsion!?, so it sounds like the opposition just doesn't want any pathways anywhere near the sub.

Let those SOB kids and cyclists play in the street (as long as it isn't our street)! :P


The favored option seemed to be the boardwalk around the backside of West Ridge to Mill Creek and then cross over just down stream of the railroad trestle and come through the trestle into the park behind the new library.
HCMA already owns from West Ridge to the Huron River and Mill Creek so I don't think the WR residents will have much say. It appeared that they had enough funding in place and hoped to start late this year.

The Irony of this is that the WR residents have been asking for better pedestrian access to the village. Their only options now are the Viaduct or climbing up and over the railroad tracks, neither of which is very safe. Hopefully this is just a vocal minority.

Barry