VCTC Citizen Advisory representative questions Council on trail use

November 11, 2011
Santa Paula City Council

A member of the Ventura County Transportation Commission Citizens Advisory Board asked the City Council at the Monday meeting if it is considering new laws to govern the recreational bike trail.

The trail - which ranges from Peck Road to 12th Street in close proximity to the railroad tracks - is now in the landscape phase, and although it has not been officially opened to the public there are more and more users. 

John Bravo questioned the council at the November 7 meeting, noting the “trail is up and running and looking pretty good... however my main concern” is what steps the council will be taking to govern those who use the trail. “Are you planning on proposing any ordinances on what people can do and what they can’t do on the trail?”

Bravo noted he had been questioned on whether or not dogs are allowed on the trail, and he asked if canines would be allowed access. If so, he said there must be rules including for waste cleanup and disposal and police enforcement of such rules.

“We’re all very excited about the near completion of the bike trail,” and Mayor Fred Robinson said input has been received from “numerous sources” on different aspects of its use to “put together an appropriate response” to such issues. Safety, he added, is the main concern - several crossings have been improved or are being studied - and animal regulation is also to be considered.

Fontes said rules, regulations and guidelines have been a priority since the beginning of the project that has “not come to fruition yet,” and he noted the trail is not yet open to the public. “Actually, it is closed in some places” undergoing landscaping, the last phase of the project.

When the trail is completed there will be set and displayed “rules of the road” for all users, from pedestrians to cyclists to animal owners. Fontes said there would also be a plan for police patrols of areas least visible, as well as regular scrutiny of some crossing areas. 

Bravo also questioned whether or not the city was going to allow two-wheel motorized cycles and scooters. Robinson said such issues would be considered, and he urged that the public contact City Hall with input.

The $4 million plus trail project - overseen by VCTC - was funded primarily by state and federal grants. The city had to provide a match of approximately $400,000 for the trail.

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