After 10 long years of working with the Minneapolis Parks to establish an off-road cycling system we are down to the last public meeting – the final approval by the Planning Committee of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB).
Minnesota Off-Road Cycling Advocates (MOCA) is a volunteer group that along with MORC works to promote off road trails in Wirth Park. MOCA built and maintains the four miles of trails that currently exist. Theo Wirth was the first planned MTB trail system in a major metropolitan area.
MOCA’s president has spent the last two years participating as one of 20 some people from a variety of organizations and backgrounds on a Citizen’s Advisory Committee (20+ meetings) that has recently recommended a plan that includes the construction of additional multi-use trails that will be open to mountain biking.
The CAC considered a lot of input from citizens and experts, and made a lot of tough decisions and compromises along the way. MOCA did not get everything proposed, but in the end received access and the vision of a sustainable trail system that is free and open to the public is about to become a reality.
On Wednesday June 20th at 6:30pm at the MPRB headquarters the Planning Committee will be hearing final public comment on the year-long Theodore Wirth Citizen Advisory Committee recommendation – which includes the building of the final two segments of the trail system. These two areas are West of the parkway between Hwy. 55 and Interstate 394.
So what can you do? Well, you can help by doing one of two things.
First, you can show up at the MPRB headquarters on Wednesday, and if you like – speak during the public input time. In order to speak, you should get there a bit early and sign-up.
When speaking just talk about how you feel about having the trails as a resource, speak from your heart. If you ride with your family you can talk about that. If you ride for fitness, talk about how the full system make sense from a ‘full workout’ advantage – not having to do multiple loops on the pilot project trails in North Wirth.
Even showing up with a helmet in hand, standing silently in support along the back wall is better than doing nothing.
Second: If you can’t be there for the meeting or you are shy about public speaking you can email the Planning Committee members to voice your support. Same message, just tell them what you think. No need to talk about other user groups like golf or skiing, or criticize those opposed – they have a right to their opinions too. Just a positive message supporting the Plan as recommended by the Citizen’s Advisory Committee.
Board Members contact info:
There is still a chance that we could lose access. Despite the two-year long process and many meetings and public comments received, and many people convinced that more trails are a good thing, there is still some opposition that would like to take mountain bike trails off the map. This is the most important decision point we’ll face in regards to future trails in Minneapolis! The plans being considered are the foundation for a 20 year plan for Theodore Wirth Parks – and much of the related funding.
Now is the time to make time for MOCA and for more mountain bike trails in Wirth Park – please step-up and show your support now.