Bikers Clear Path for Watchung Biking

There was a freeholder double meeting tonight which we will get to later but there was also a meeting at the Trailside Auditorium at Watchung Reservation where mountain bikers made their points to county officials.

The parking lot was packed as was the auditorium with about 200 attendees who all looked athletic enough to be mountain bikers.  My first thought was that this show of support may not have been the best strategy to assuage fears of hikers, equestrians, and runners that mountain bikers would not overwhelm the trails once they were allowed in.

Here is how it played out starting with wrap-up comments:



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Dissent:
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Full video of the second hour:
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12 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mike on October 20, 2016 at 11:57 pm

    Bottom line takeaway from the meeting is what the county counsel said three times in the third video clip between 39:24 and 39:34 – “No done deal.” It’s a shame that this fiasco has gone this far. Time to shut it down, and the bikers can take their toys and play elsewhere where it’s permitted.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Henry on October 24, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Once again we need to remind Mike that cycling on the trails in Watchung is not prohibited. There is no law, regulation or ordinance to support his version of reality. The only fiasco here is Mike’s continued temper tantrum.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Henry on October 24, 2016 at 11:16 am

    So my take away from the video offering dissent is this, a single individuals experience indicating every mountain biker he has met is nasty (while extolling his vast experience as a runner) is only the experience of a single individual. One persons experience. That counts for nothing, or perhaps a single point of view. To place all cyclists in this bucket is an immature point of view at the very least. Do we take one experience and classify everyone who looks or acts like that individual in the same manner?

    Reply

  4. Posted by Mike on October 24, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    For the third time in these Union County Watcher threads, I’m reminding Henry the troll that he is incorrect about the county ordinance prohibiting biking on the reservation trails. He already knows. This is for the others who are reading this: Union County Ordinance § 115-14 G. Operation in designated areas. “No person shall operate a bicycle on a roadway, except as a thoroughfare, and no person shall operate a bicycle upon any sidewalk, footpath, footbridge, or bridle path, except those that are specifically set aside and marked for bicycle use. No person shall operate a bicycle in such a manner as to impede vehicular traffic.”

    Reply

  5. Posted by The Lone Rider on October 26, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    And where in that ordinance does it say “trail”?

    The things we are talking about are marked on county maps as trails, not paths. The county has been saying the ordinance refers to trails since 1995. So do we believe the county — or the county?

    Also the ordinance was passed in 1983 according to OPRA requests. Mt. biking was not banned until a backroom meeting in 1995, at which time no ordinance was passed and the existing one was not changed or altered to refer to mt. biking or bikes on trails.

    I think the gov’t backed itself into a corner by doing this in secret 20 years ago and they are not in a position of having to tell everyone that an ordinance that clearly says one thing means another.

    This is sad.

    Reply

  6. Posted by Mike on October 27, 2016 at 5:16 am

    LoneRider: Not all paths are trails, but all trails are paths. That aside, I googled trail path. This should brighten your dreary day and add to the confusion:

    http://ucnj.org/parks-recreation/paths-trails-greenways/

    The parks department officially declares that there are “a host of multi-use trails that are also open to bicyclists.”

    The signs go up. The signs come down. The signs go up again. It’s a comedy of errors with no real leadership. Truly, the county is speaking out of both sides of its mouth. No biking on our trails that are open for biking.

    Reply

  7. Posted by The Lone Rider on October 27, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    I can agree to the confusion – especially since those “multi use trails” are actually paved paths. (the mountain biking issue is not about paved infrastructure).

    Perhaps if things were done more openly 20 years ago there would not be such confusion.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Mike on October 27, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    L.R.(B.M): I since noticed that that’s a semantic misuse of terms, i.e. path vis-a-vis trail. You and your cohorts need to be prepared to accept if and when the county turns you down entirely. So don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

    Reply

  9. Posted by Lonerider on July 23, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    And we now all know it was a scam to pay CME…. welcome to union county liars government

    Reply

  10. Posted by Lonerider on July 23, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    re semantics, what a law or ordinance says is not semantics words in laws are the law, thats the problem there is not a single aspect of this ban that makes any sense including say, the fact that for 20 years it was just about watchung but in 2016 they arbitrarily expanded it to all county parks, whats the point of legislation if it can mean whatever the govt wants after the fact, and objecting to that kind of fiat government is dismissed as “semantics”? Hope someday your interests are gored on the same ox, no one benefits from underhanded govt and mtb’ers have been facing such for 20 years…it might interest all mtb opponents that even now 20 years later the government still cant get its stories straight about the history of the ban. This is not just about mountainbiking it is about misgovernment… And now CME may be walking away with tax money for a plan that was approved and paid for,m then cancelled by the misguided.,.. hope all you shortsighted mtb-bashing folk are proud of perpetuating a ban created in secret behind closed doors 20 years ago!

    Reply

  11. Posted by Lonerider on July 23, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    It doesn’t matter what the law says, they say – after quoting the law

    Perhaps one of the most alarming aspects of the whole three year farce was the attitude, at the end, of some of the ban supporters, who for twenty years remained silent, then spoke up when anyone dared challenge the status quo, by essentially endorsing the concept of fiat government. Their approach can be best summed up by one individual who repeatedly posted on online news coverage of the issue under the name “Mike”. After he harangued cyclists who pointed out the ban was of questionable legality and that there was no legislation prohibiting biking on trails – quoting the 1983 ordinance in the process — I politely pointed out that the very ordinance he was quoting never even contained the word trail, and all the associated problems.

    His response was not to address the substance of the issue, but to dismiss my pointing it out as “semantics”, actually referring readers of his posts not to the text of the ordinance he himself quoted, but instead to a google result regarding paths and trails. (https://countywatchers.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/bikers-clear-path-for-watchung-biking/#comment-5902)

    Essentially, his dismissing what the ordinance he referenced actually said as “semantics” boils down, in plain spoken English, to, “It doesn’t matter what the law says, it means whatever I want.”

    It is not only ironic that a person making such a statement would accuse his opponents, i.e., those who want trail access, of being outlaws at heart, it is also frightening that this person, who while simultaneously posturing as the voice of law and order is essentially declaring, “It doesn’t matter what the law says”, seems to have no idea how absolutely beyond outrageous he sounds.

    One such person is a minor curiosity. A handful, potential concerns. You get too many in one place, and you have fiat government and dictatorship.

    It may sound farfetched, but that’s the point; there are bigger issues here than mountain bicycling. And sadly, these people do not see it. Down the road, we may all of us, bicyclist or not, have to deal with the consequences of their permissive attitude towards misgovernment and abuse of power, on issues of far more import than park access.

    If the government is not constrained to what the law actually says… what;s next?

    I wish the county watchers would have reported on this this issue in a way that acknowledged the misgovernment of the ban, made in a backroom, without public input, by the unelected, and kept in place for twenty years by lying to the people of union county, This is not just about mountain biking, it is about misgovernment, and we may all have to answer for it someday as the method of misgovernment moves beyond this issue to those of greater significance.

    Reply

  12. Posted by Lonerider on July 23, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    It doesn’t matter what the law says, they say – after quoting the law

    Perhaps one of the most alarming aspects of the whole three year farce was the attitude, at the end, of some of the ban supporters, who for twenty years remained silent, then spoke up when anyone dared challenge the status quo, by essentially endorsing the concept of fiat government. Their approach can be best summed up by one individual who repeatedly posted on online news coverage of the issue under the name “Mike”. After he harangued cyclists who pointed out the ban was of questionable legality and that there was no legislation prohibiting biking on trails – quoting the 1983 ordinance in the process — I politely pointed out that the very ordinance he was quoting never even contained the word trail, and all the associated problems.

    His response was not to address the substance of the issue, but to dismiss my pointing it out as “semantics”, actually referring readers of his posts not to the text of the ordinance he himself quoted, but instead to a google result regarding paths and trails. (https://countywatchers.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/bikers-clear-path-for-watchung-biking/#comment-5902)

    Essentially, his dismissing what the ordinance he referenced actually said as “semantics” boils down, in plain spoken English, to, “It doesn’t matter what the law says, it means whatever I want.”

    It is not only ironic that a person making such a statement would accuse his opponents, i.e., those who want trail access, of being outlaws at heart, it is also frightening that this person, who while simultaneously posturing as the voice of law and order is essentially declaring, “It doesn’t matter what the law says”, seems to have no idea how absolutely beyond outrageous he sounds.

    One such person is a minor curiosity. A handful, potential concerns. You get too many in one place, and you have fiat government and dictatorship.

    It may sound farfetched, but that’s the point; there are bigger issues here than mountain bicycling. And sadly, these people do not see it. Down the road, we may all of us, bicyclist or not, have to deal with the consequences of their permissive attitude towards misgovernment and abuse of power, on issues of far more import than park access.

    Reply

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