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EBATC Announcements, Meeting Minutes, News: January 2005

EBATC website: http://www.ebtrails.org


East Happy New Year to you all. We are Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Bay Area pleased to begin the new year with a meeting
full of interesting trail issues.
7:15 to 9:30 pm
One of the most compelling matters East Bay Regional Park District
is a new Land Use Plan (LUP) for the Sy- Headquarters: Board Room
❧ 2950 Peralta Court, Oakland
camore Valley Open Space Regional Preserve
2950 that is being prepared by staff. A public re- Telephone (510) 635-0135
view meeting is scheduled for Wednesday,
Oaks Agenda: January 19, 2005 Meeting
January 26 in Danville, so attendance at our
meeting on the 19th could be critical. The Sy-
❧ camore Valley Preserve is 700 acres of open, 1. Call to order: 7:15 p.m.
Oakland, grassy slopes, consisting of two parcels strad- Approval of Agenda: Action
California dling Camino Tassajara, near Blackhawk Rd., Approval of Sept. 2004 Minutes: Action
❧ in Danville. One of the key goals is to pro-
vide public trail recreation. This will include: 2. Land Use Plan Trail Updates
installing signs at the main entry at the Town Sycamore Valley
of Danville’s Sycamore Valley Park and trail Gateway
markers at local access trailheads; maintain- Sibley
ing 5 miles of existing farm roads to serve as
unpaved, multi-use trails (for hikers, eques- 3. Reports and Discussion
trians and cyclists); developing 1-1/2 miles Checklist trails progress
of new trails; working with the Town of Bay Trail Alignment in Martinez
Danville to finalize the development of the Joaquin Miller Master Plan
equestrian staging area on the west side of
Sycamore Valley Park.; working with the 4. Round Robin and Future Agenda
Town of Danville to develop the alignment Reports from members
of the Sycamore Creek Trail across the trail
The EBATC easement the town holds along Sycamore that lie roughly between Orinda and Sibley
is composed Creek; and working with the East Bay Mu- Preserve. There are many issues involved,
of public
nicipal Utility District and City of San Ramon including trails, habitat and endangered spe-
to accommodate a trail and trailhead park- cies, and other environmental concerns. At
agencies, ing at the City’s parking lot at 5000 Crow stake will be access for trail users from Orinda
equestrians, Canyon Road. to Sibley Preserve, at minimum. Apparently,
hikers, With these trails, the Preserve will there has been a fair amount of activity on
bicyclists, provide great opportunities to area residents. the regulatory end of things, and the City of
Unfortunately, many park neighbors were Orinda will be weighing in soon. There will
surprised and alarmed to hear that this long- be an opportunity for public input in Orinda.
conservation time land bank will be opened to the public. We will have a presentation on Gateway at
-ists who are EBATC members can bring to this discussion our meeting, and hopefully ascertain ways
committed a positive message of trail benefits. Volun- that we can proactively become involved.
to furthering teer Trail Patrollers might also share their ob- The new Sibley Preserve LUP is re-
servations about the success of the Park Dis- lated to this, and will also be on our agenda.
trict at being a good neighbor along its trails. That LUP involves the recent addition of land
protection of Be sure to attend our EBATC meeting to hear to the north of the Sibley parking lot, and in-
the scenic a presentation about these and other aspects cludes some increased trail access, among
and of the LUP, an learn how you can participate other things. We will only hear a report on
recreational to make it a reality. that, since the public comment period will
It’s time again for EBATC to take a have closed January 14, just prior to our meet-
resources of
look at the long-standing Gateway develop- ing. This LUP is important, because if a trail
the East Bay. ment. You will recall it will be built on lands continued on back page
Minutes for the Meeting of October 20, 2004 along Waterfront Rd. A decision was made to put
in median strips plus two 4-foot wide bike lanes
The meeting was held in the East Bay Regional and pedestrian sidewalk instead. EBATC dis-
Park District Boardroom and began at 7:15pm. cussed the public comment process, the issuance
Michael Kelley chaired the meeting. of a Notice of Preparation (NOP) under CEQA in
July 04, and the need to enter the process in order
In Attendance: to advocate for looking at a better Bay Trail align-
Glenn Kirby Park Advisory Committee ment. It was decided that Ed would contact the
GKirby@Silcon.com City of Martinez and the SF Bay Trail project to
Jamie Perkins EBRPD Staff coordinate writing a letter to the decision makers.
Terry Noonan EBRPD Staff Steve mentioned an exciting trail project
Erik Johnson BTCEB ebmtnbkr@hotmail.com underway in Martinez - SF Bay Trail/Bay Area
Brent Englund BTCEB brent@btceb.org Ridge Trail expansion from Nejedly Staging Area
Howard Hornig Hayward Hiking Club to Berrylessa St – this will result in the first “rail
hc.hornig@juno.com with trail” in EBRPD’s jurisdiction. The trail will
Michael Kelley IMBA continue from Carquinez Scenic Drive, with a sepa-
Rich Guarienti guari@comcast.net rate easement on the railroad right-of-way, cross
Ed Mendelsohn Sierra Club the new bridge over Alhambra Creek, and carry
edgarmnd@earthlink.net trail users into EBRPD’s Martinez Regional Shore-
Marilynn Terstegge Tilden Wildcat horsemen line.
Jean Tarabek Mokelumne Coast to Measure CC – EBRPD’s Wildlife Protection, Pub-
Crest Trail - rvjean@juno.com lic Safety and Environmental Maintenance Mea-
Gary Fend Moraga Horsemans Assoc. sure. This measure will be presented to the voters
Eric Merkle MTHA ericmerkle@earthlink.net in the western portion of the park district bound-
Geoffrey Carter gcarter@alameda.courts.ca.gov aries including the cities from Pinole to Emeryville.
John Steere Berkeley Partners for Parks The measure would result in an assessment of
jsteere@igc.org $12.00 per year for single family homes and $8.28
Jack Appleyard Ohlone Greenway per year for units in multi-family properties with
Steve Fiala EBRPD Staff the money spent on specified projects within the
Bob Doyle EBRPD Staff special zone of benefit. Detailed information as to
what projects would be funded is available at
Corrections from minutes of 10-20-04 meeting: www.ebparks.org. The Measure will require a 2/
Regarding the trail use change checklist first para- 3 majority to pass and will result in a $12.00 per
graph, “…The Trail Use Change Checklist is a pro- year parcel tax for residents in Zone 1 – Richmond
cedure developed, in part, because of requests by to Oakland. The Measure is polling well and has
the trail cycling community through EBATC to received many endorsements from many different
consider opening more narrow EBRPD trails to groups, organizations, and individuals. More info
multi-use access. Clarify to “bicycle access”. available at www.yesforparks.org. The results
from the election will be discussed at the Nov.
Reports and Updates meeting.

Bay Trail Alignment in Martinez Trail Use Change Checklist update

Ed provided a handout outlining his in- The meeting schedule for the two trail use change
terest in possibly seeking an improved alignment proposals that the Park District is considering this
(closer to the Bay) of the SF Bay Trail (which cur- year has been changed. The Board Operations
rently exists along MarinaVista Rd. in Martinez) Committee is now tentatively scheduled to make
during current land use planning (request for lease a recommendation on this item on November 18
extension) on Shell Oil Co. property. Steve Fiala and the full Board is tentatively scheduled to con-
gave some history on Shell Oil’s obligation to pro- sider it on December 7, 2004. The Parks Advisory
vide for a segment of SF Bay Trail/Bay Area Ridge Committee will hear this item at its meeting next
Trail about ten years ago during a time when they Monday, October 25. As additional review is be-
were seeking leases from the State to operate state- ing done by different public review committees,
owned waterfront property west of Benicia- there still may be changes or extensions of Board
Martinez bridge. Shell’s concern about having SF meetings to address any new concerns or com-
Bay Trail across their property, closer to the Bay, ments. Any new information will be updated at
revolved around the existence of their major pipe- the November 04 EBATC meeting.
line and security concerns. At the same time, City
of Martinez was planning for street improvements
POTENTIAL EBATC PROJECTS FOR 2005 of-Way Trail Advocates which formed to support
trails in abandoned railroad corridors, such as the
Up to two additional trails can be nominated by Iron Horse Trail. Steve continued to evolve EBRPD
EBATC in 2005 for review in the EBRPD Trail Use out of a defensive posture to being an integral part
Change Checklist Review process. Possible of our community infrastructure and transporta-
changes in trail use are not limited to adding Mt. tion system. Now major funding initiatives for
Bike use on narrow trails. This topic will be on the non-motorized transportation trails exist which
Nov. agenda. complement City and County efforts for improv-
ing bicycle and pedestrian use by installation of
Trail Signing Projects – there may be interest to bike lanes and pedestrian circulation enhance-
determine if EBATC would like to get involved in ments. These can connect to the “regional trail
additional trail signing projects. Possible assistance spine corridors” providing an extensive network
could be given to the SF Bay Trail, Bay Area Ridge for travel and recreation. Steve further showed a
Trail, and the Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail. working style which united and coordinated multi-
use on trails through advocacy (EBATC is a key
Trail maintenance and construction volunteering player in this regard), that says mediate and stick
– there are opportunities to increase participation together. This approach has been used success-
in these efforts. Jamie referred folks to fully by Steve, and others who have learned by
www.ebparks.org, under ‘volunteers’ and ‘trail watching him, to advocate for others trails. His
volunteers’ for EBRPD opportunities. Almost all listening skills, ability to engage a large public au-
park, trail and open space agencies in the East Bay dience as if he were one of them, and perpetuation
and region offer volunteer opportunities which are of trails as a “positive” is how these issues have
usually available to peruse on their websites. been worked out over the years. Bob thanked Steve
for all his hard work and success at the District.
TRIBUTE TO STEVE FIALA, Outgoing/Retiring Geoff shared his view of how Steve could
EBRPD Trail Development Program Manager get you psyched up about trails. His energy and
enthusiasm would motivate volunteers to don
Bob Doyle, EBRPD Assistant General Man- “toxic avenger” outfits with him to cut back over-
ager for Land Acquisition, Interagency Planning, grown poison oak on the trails. They would mar-
Environmental Review, and Regional Trails, kicked vel at his gourmet b-b-que skills, and learn skills
off the tribute to Steve by providing some valu- through his leadership of thousands of volunteers
able background information on the evolution of of all ages and backgrounds. His organization,
successful trails planning and development. Bob advocacy, and coordination of those with many
as former Trails Coordinator for the District, re- different perspectives were impressive, as was his
calls that trails were once considered extremely ability to take a complex issue and put a human
controversial, with arguments such as who would face on the District.
use them, no one will use them, why spend money Bob interjected that he hired Steve as Trails
on them, property values will be lowered, and they Coordinator after he saw him in action as a Natu-
will lead to actual crime. At one time, it was even ralist at Sunol Wilderness back in 1986. Bob asked,
thought that a “new trail user group – joggers” and Steve did what no one had been able to do –
would not be able to share the trail. The need for clear the entire Ohlone Wilderness Trail of poison
studies arose in order to obtain factual data. Stud- oak!
ies have been done on user perceptions of neigh- Michael shared that EBRPD is a success-
bors of trails, property owners, trail users, busi- ful national model for promoting trails, as is Steve.
nesses, and real estate professionals on trails such Glenn noted Steve’s long time history at
as the Iron Horse, Lafayette Moraga, and Contra public meetings and how he was known for attend-
Costa Canal Regional Trails, and many others . ing some public events incognito. He recalled that
Results run counter to the opposition indicating when Steve had his hip replaced, yet wanted to
high user satisfaction, value for health, exercise, attend a trail dedication on the Lafayette Moraga
and reduction of vehicle emissions, and in fact, a Trail, he showed up in a wheelchair as “Steve
Board of Realtors study indicated that well planned Earkle” who plays accordian.
and maintained access to trails and open space are Bob shared that in 1988, the District wrote
viewed as top amenities by homebuyers. Concerns Measure AA, a $225-million dollar bond measure
such as these may be legitimate for those who are to acquire parkland and trails. Steve carried forth
new to trails; however, results and years of experi- a huge growth effort in trails development over
ence from agencies such as EBRPD, and others, the last 15 years. EBATC has been integral to the
have not borne out these fears. District’s success; by attending public meetings,
Early negotiating for trail building funds communicating to decision makers in letter cam-
has come from early founders such as the Right- paigns, partnering and supporting EBRPD and
Minutes: continued from inside page Trail Enthusiasts: continued from front page
other open space organizations, Cities, and Coun- is built from Orinda, passing through Gateway, it
ties, and formalizing trails as important features will connect at the eastern end of Sibley. We need
for the community. to track it diligently.
Rich shared that Steve has been a mentor As mentioned in earlier newsletters,
to him in the fine art of trails persuasion to those EBRPD’s Checklist procedure to consider changes
who might be opposed. He noted his well-known in trail use is moving along. This year, the District
culinary skills in the trail volunteer community and has proposed that two trails be opened to bike ac-
his success at getting a group to advocate for trails. cess, and as you know, they both have been
John mentioned Steve’s pleasant de- through EBATC on repeated occasions. We will
meanor, which comes across as a practical, appro- hear a brief report on how that has been progress-
priate approach to trails advocacy. ing. More importantly, the District has asked
Jack said that Steve is a superfine indi- EBATC to come up with more suggestions of trails
vidual with a great sense of humor which has that can be used by bikes. It has been suggested
helped the trails community move forward. that EBATC propose four trails, and that the Dis-
Jamie and Terry said that Steve has been a trict will pick two to consider under the checklist
great boss, has taught them invaluable lessons, and during this year. We hope to at least begin this pro-
they will do their best to be half as good as Steve cess at our meeting.
in the years to come. This is an unusually exciting agenda in
Bob wrapped up with the observation that many respects. It deals with active trail matters,
Steve has been able to consistently, tenaciously some of which require our participation on an on-
keep moving the ball forward. going basis. They will give us a chance to wrap
At the conclusion of the tribute, Gary pro- our arms around projects that are dearest to our
duced a classic photo of Steve’s High School hearts, and which are the very reasons we perform
Graduation Photo from 1964. The group had a big this work.
laugh and broke for pizza and sodas.
The party ended at 9:15 p.m. Let’s make it a fun and proactive gathering.

Minutes prepared by Jamie Perkins Michael Kelley

2950 Peralta Oaks Court, P.O. Box 5381
Oakland, CA 94605-5369