Club News & Information (H.M.B.A.) > Advocacy

Eagle Creek West Side Hiking Only Trail Announced.

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Paul_Arlinghaus:
The Eagle Creek Park Foundation just announced a plan to build hiking only trails on the West side of Eagle Creek. 

There announcement can be found here or on their facebook page.
http://eaglecreekpark.org/west-side-trail-project/
in 2016 HMBA replied to an RFP (Request for Proposal) for ideas to add amenities to Indy Parks thorugh outside partnerships.  Our Proposal is below.  It contains a lot of information on the West Side of Eagle Creek.

https://1drv.ms/b/s!AoY9gws0LHlQqAJM56ANXAR6yHYQ
Note that our plan seems to be the basis for the hiking only trail that is being built.

The plan that Indy Parks is rolling out costs more, builds less trails and serves less user groups.  Additionally without mountain biking included there will not be a user group to support the long term maintenance of the trail. 

There was not opportunity for public comment on this plan.  A small group made this plan behind closed doors to build the trail they want vs. want the City needs.

Please review the information below.  We will be providing guidance on next steps soon.


Fett:
If you are as upset about this as most of us are, here is the contact info for the mayors office and Indy's City/Countyu Council:
Indianapolis Area Legislator Contact Info
Mayor Contact Info: http://www.indy.gov/eGov/mayor/Pages/home.aspx
City/County Council Contact Info: http://www.indy.gov/eGov/Council/Documents/CURRENT%20Public%20Council%20List.pdf

Please take a minute and call or email.

Paul_Arlinghaus:
 Eagle Creek
It is interesting to note that with Indiana’s State Forests hold annual open houses to allow the general public the opportunity to provide public comment, Indy Parks has moved forward with a plan to build hiking only trails on the West Side of Eagle Creek without any public comment.   
In 2012 a public listening session was held on the subject of mountain bike trails on the West Side of Eagle Creek.  Over 200 people attended with views for and against mountain bike trails  Indy Parks promised to summarize the comments and get back to us with next steps.  Indy Parks did not follow through on their commitment.  When asked about the next steps, we were told the subject was being tabled.  It turns out, that that was also a lie.  Rather than tabling the topic, Indy Parks allowed the Eagle Creek Foundation to spearhead a committee made up of
 
* ·       Indy Parks
* ·       Indianapolis Office of Land Stewardship
* ·       Indianapolis Department of Natural Resources
* ·       Scott Starling Nature Sanctuary
* ·       Eagle Creek Foundation (committee Chair John Pankhurst) This committee had no representation from the trail community (hiking, trail running, or mountain biking).  It operated outside of public knowledge and developed a plan without any public input or opportunity to comment.  They did hold a members only meeting for Eagle Creek Foundation members to gather their comments.  This violates the public trust with respect to managing public land for the benefit of the public as a whole.  In this case a small group worked behind the scenes to create a plan that benefited them over the public good.
This plan was submitted to the Lilly Endowment and received a $2.6 million grant.  HMBA offered to partner with Indy Parks to build a trail system with more miles of trail and it would have cost substantially less than $2.6 million dollars.  We would have brought volunteers into the trail building process, which would have lowered the overall cost to approximately $500k, while training the volunteers who would remain behind to maintain the trails. 
As we watch nearby cities embrace mountain biking,
·       Terra Haute: Griffin Bike Park
 
* ·       Louisville: Park Lands and the Louisville 100 mile Loop
* ·       Cincinnati: Mt. Airy
* ·       Chicago: Big March
* ·       Columbus Ohio: Berliner Park
* ·       Ann Arbor: DTE Energy we continue to see Indy Park resists mountain bike access.  Eagle Creek already has over 20 miles of poorly maintained hiking only trails.  Adding more hiking trails is not going to move the needle forward with respect to getting Hoosiers outside and enjoying/appreciating our natural resources.  Indy Parks was ranked 98th (tied for last) compared to City Park Systems across the country.  The currently plan is less about providing recreation to Hoosiers than it is about locking out a single user group.
HMBA is going to lead strong opposition to this plan but we need your help. Step 1 is to build a City of Indianapolis Steering Committee. If you would like to be on the Steering Committee, please contact me (Paul Arlinghaus, parlinghaus@msn.com).  This committee will be empowered to determine the action HMBA takes and will lead those efforts. 
 To be successful will need a huge show of support from mountain bikers in the greater Indianapolis Area as well a State Wide. 

matt_laker:

--- Quote from: Fett on December 06, 2018, 10:07:06 AM ---If you are as upset about this as most of us are, here is the contact info for the mayors office and Indy's City/Countyu Council:
Indianapolis Area Legislator Contact Info
Mayor Contact Info: http://www.indy.gov/eGov/mayor/Pages/home.aspx
City/County Council Contact Info: http://www.indy.gov/eGov/Council/Documents/CURRENT%20Public%20Council%20List.pdf

Please take a minute and call or email.

--- End quote ---


I emailed EVERY City-County Council member just now.  Took a little time but wanted to make sure EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM got it!
I also attempted to email the Mayor but got the "spinning circle of death" when I click on the "Contact the Mayor" link on the website, so I'll try again later or will call if email doesn't work.
Thanks for the links, Fett...definitely made it a lot easier!

Steve King:
City Councilor Janice McHenry is holding a Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, December 19th from 6:00PM – 7:30PM Linda Broadfoot, Indy Parks Director is the main speaker and the trail plan on the West Side of Eagle Creek is the main topic.
 
The location is Flanner and Buchanan Community Center (the building in back) located at 2950 N. High School Road.
 
HMBA has been advocating for access for 20 years. Indy Parks has resisted our offers for help. The only way we will be successful moving forward is if the mountain bike community as a whole makes the effort to be involved.
 
Attending this meeting will allow you to show the strong community need for more nature surface trail opportunities in Indianapolis and will help you understand what we are up against.

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