Petition to Union County Freeholders
Shared trail access in Watchung Reservation
Trails across the United States help connect people to nature, inspire healthy activities, and by their very nature, help protect natural places - making communities more livable and connected. However, there is not a single shared trail in all of Union County, New Jersey. This is unacceptable. The positive impact of a shared multi-use trail network is multitudinous. Economically, property values and taxes tend to rise near shared trails, jobs and revenues in local businesses increase, and health care costs are reduced as communities adopt a healthy lifestyle. Environmentally, shared trail systems are generally well protected and enjoy better maintenance and care overall. Finally, shared trails offer a safe space for children and families to enjoy free recreation devoid of the hazards of neighborhood street riding. While the Freeholders have begun the process to permit cycling in certain parts of Watchung, the process is slow and is being stalled by a very small but vocal special interest group that ignores the facts and uses fallacious arguments. Please let the Freeholders know that you support beginner and intermediate bike trail access to Watchung Reservation. Make it known that you support a safe place for our kids to enjoy nature traffic free and close to home. Put them on notice that the majority share of their constituency support this plan.
Petition to Metro Parks Tacoma
Point Defiance: Close the Outer Loop to Cars!
Please sign this petition urging Metro Parks Tacoma to close the outer loop of Point Defiance Park's Five Mile Drive to private cars and trucks. As Tacoma and the Puget Sound area grow, the need for quiet places like the old growth forest surrounding the outer loop is increasing. As at Seattle's Seward Park, pedestrians and bicyclists could use the paved road much more safely, and park shuttles or other alternatives could allow the elderly and disabled to continue to enjoy the loop. A closure would not affect access to Owen Beach, Fort Nisqually, or the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. Closing the outer loop would also address a stubborn problem at Point Defiance Park: the feeding of wild raccoons from cars. This is a liability for the taxpayers who fund the park through Metro Parks Tacoma. A rabid raccoon could bite a person or a pet, an issue that's likely not just foreseeable but inevitable. Despite signs warning people to "not feed the animals," the problem persists -- the raccoons act like Yellowstone National Park grizzly bears did in the 1960s, approaching cars like little masked zombies. Closing the loop would also reduce the litter problem in the otherwise pristine forest, which is mostly associated with teenage drinking and pot smoking near pullouts along the outer loop. Urge Metro Parks Tacoma to close the outer loop to private cars!
Petition to Tom Nolan
Keep the loop! Preserve parking, biking, and hiking all the way 'round Twin Peaks!
I love San Francisco's Twin Peaks, and I love to bicycle all the way around the figure 8 loop up there, and take in the beautiful city and ocean views. Unfortunately, there’s a plan ("Twin Peaks Figure 8 Pilot Redesign") to change the traffic flow at the top of Twin Peaks in a way that: · would make it much more dangerous to bike, run, or walk around the entire figure 8 loop, · make it considerably more dangerous to drive over Twin Peaks, · eliminate all parking around the figure 8, · create bigger and more frequent traffic jams on Twin Peaks, · create big problems for tour bus operators, · and hamper emergency vehicle access to and over Twin Peaks. See the plan description here: http://sfrecpark.org/twin-peaks-figure-8-pilot-redesign/ The plan will make it more dangerous for drivers as well as cyclists, runners, and walkers, as drivers distracted by the view pass one another in opposite directions around the sharp, blind curve on the west side of the north peak. Imagine what it would be like to be walking or cycling there when a tour bus is passing you with a car coming in the opposite direction. Or what about when two tour buses are passing one another? It doesn’t sound pretty to me, and the probability of a head-on collision around that blind curve will go up a huge amount. Add to that motorists leaving their lane to dodge the rocks that regularly fall on the road at that curve and the frequent dense fog, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. The proposed redesign would also be a major problem for tour bus drivers because even now, traffic at the parking lot at the overlook frequently gets backed up to a stop. Without parking around the figure 8, that situation would be much worse, and the number of cars parking illegally in the tour bus spaces would increase substantially. Bus drivers that can now continue around the loop or sometimes even park along the figure 8 would be unable to do so. In fact, bus drivers would be completely stuck, because they are legally prohibited from going down the north side of the hill, and would not have enough room to turn their buses around to travel down to Portola. That means terrible traffic jams, tourists stuck in buses and possibly missing other activities or flights at the airport later in the day, etc. Also, many stuck cars will travel down the north road and turn around in resident’s driveways. The plan is a "solution" for a problem that doesn't exist. Twin Peaks is one of the safest places to bicycle in San Francisco. To increase safety even further, the City could paint large one-way arrows in both traffic lanes to let drivers know that they can use both lanes to give cyclists and walkers even more room when they pass. They could paint clearly defined crosswalks to make it easier and safer for hikers on the trails to cross the road. And they could also paint a wide white line 4 – 6 feet away from the edge of the pavement all the way around the figure 8 loop to provide a marked area for walkers, runners, and hikers. If enough people who actually use Twin Peaks sign this petition, the SFMTA will change the plan, and preserve safe access for cycling, running, and hiking around the loop, and parking for visitors who want to enjoy a beautiful sunset on a warm weekend evening. I attended and testified at the most recent hearing before the SFMTA (San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority) on 3/4/16, and almost everyone who testified was opposed to this plan. I plan to testify again at the upcoming meeting on this proposal: SFMTA Board of Directors Meeting Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at 1:00 pm (subject to change*) San Francisco City Hall, Room 400 firstname.lastname@example.org *To confirm: https://www.sfmta.com/projects-planning/projects/twin-peaks-figure-8-redesign-project I sent an email opposed to this plan, and I hope you will too. Send your emails to: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com Thanks! Jeff San Francisco resident, homeowner, and voter. Suggested email: Hello. I’m writing to express my views on the proposed redesign for traffic flows on top of Twin Peaks. I cycle, run, or walk at the top of Twin Peaks, and I greatly value the ability to go all the way around the figure 8 with two lanes of traffic going in the same direction. Because there are two lanes of traffic in the same direction, and the traffic volume is usually low, it gives the cars plenty of room to easily pass bicycles, runners, and walkers. It’s actually one of the best, and safest, places to bicycle in San Francisco. Being able to do loops all the way around and take in the views on both sides of the peaks is a big plus. I’m concerned that the new head-on two-way traffic flow would make looping around the full figure 8 much more dangerous for cyclists, runners, walkers, and drivers. With two lanes of traffic going in opposite directions, conflicts with cars and tour buses attempting to stay in their single lane would make cycling or walking on that side far more dangerous. The probability of head-on collisions between cars and between cars and tour buses would also substantially increase. The current situation seems to be working fine for everyone. There are many bicyclists who do the whole loop. And most hikers and runners do the loop on the wide shoulder of the road. Another significant drawback to the proposed plan is that on weekends and at sunset there are many cars parked up there along the guard wall, and this plan would eliminate the available parking along the wall. It would be a significant loss to eliminate that option for the many, many people who go up there to enjoy the view. In summary, I strongly oppose the proposed redesign. It seems to be attempting to “solve” a problem that doesn’t exist. Please don’t change the two lanes of traffic in a single direction looping around both peaks. Thank you.
Petition to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Keith Weaver, Scott E. Bennett
Save the historic Big White River Bridge!
What We're Trying To Do and Why: The Friends of the Historic White River Bridge at Clarendon is a 501(c)3 non-profit that came together in 2014 around the cause of saving the historic Big White River Bridge for two reasons: It is a national treasure (listed on the National Register of Historic Places maintained by the U.S. Department of Interior), a gorgeous landmark worthy of preservation (see video) It will play a vital role as part of a larger effort to develop outdoor and eco-tourism in the Arkansas Delta, a region that is simultaneously one of the most beautiful and the most poor in the United States. Specifically, our mission is to adapt the historic bridge for use by cyclists, hikers, pedestrians, and wildlife / bird watchers, so that it can serve as a vehicle for tourism-based economic development in the Arkansas Delta. If successful, the converted bridge will be one of the longest and most scenic pedestrian and cycling bridges in the United States, as well as one of the longest elevated bird viewing platforms in the world, complete with spectacular viewing afforded by the Mississippi Flyway of migratory birds which hourglasses to its narrowest point in this area. What We've Done So Far: With the Arkansas Highway & Transportation Department on the verge of letting bids to demolish the bridge (in fulfillment of an agreement made with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service that enabled them to build the vehicle bridge that replaced the historic bridge), the Friends of the White River Bridge filed suit. What We're Asking: All we are asking is that these agencies conduct the proper studies and analyses to ascertain whether the destruction of this magnificent landmark serves a greater good or would be a tragic mistake based on outdated and/or incomplete information. [See "The Details" section at the very bottom if you want the full scoop] Specifically, we are petitioning the following agencies to take the following actions to ensure this vital decision is made with the best possible information in hand: ITEM 1: Arkansas Highway & Transportation Department (AHTD): Commit to the preservation of the entirety of the historic White River Bridge (per the provisions of USC Title 23, Chapter 1, Section 144(g) and the Arkansas Historic Bridge program) – including the still extant western and eastern approaches – should either of the following occur: AHTD is relieved of its obligation to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to demolish the bridge, OR... AHTD learns after conducting the proper study on the impact of the demolition of the bridge on bicycling that a sufficiently negative impact will result ITEM 2: Cache River National Wildlife Refuge / U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: Commit to release AHTD of its obligation to the demolish the historic White River Bridge should either of the following occur: An updated hydrological study reveals that the demolition of the historic Bridge is not ecologically necessary, OR... It is determined by a proper study and analysis that the demolition and removal of the historic Bridge may negatively affect the threatened Rabbitsfoot mussel or its designated critical habitat Bottom Line: Given the tremendous enthusiasm for saving the historic bridge, the irreparable harm that would come from its destruction, the enormous potential upside to the region if the bridge is adapted as planned, and the lack of any urgent need to demolish the bridge, we ask that the relevant agencies simply take their time, conduct the proper studies with an open mind, and make every reasonable effort to accommodate those who wish to preserve this magnificent structure and enable it to enrich the lives of all who encounter it. ===========================================OPTIONAL READING: The Details: The basis of our case is built on three arguments, all of which have merit: Change of Circumstances: Hydrology – The argument for removing the bridge is primarily based on an outdated and obsolete hydrology study conducted in 2003. As part of construction on the new bridge, a lengthy berm (which was highlighted in the original study as the primary cause of water flow concerns) was removed. Our position is that the removal of the berm has created such a substantial change in water flows that a new hydrology study is required. If the problems that demolishing the bridge were intended to solve have already been solved, there's no reason to move forward. The U.S. Geological Survey, who did the original hydrology study, has indicated that a new study would make sense. Change of Circumstances: Endangered Species – The Rabbitsfoot mussel, which occupies the White River, was listed as a threatened species in 2013. In 2015, the area in the vicinity of the historic bridge was designated as critical habitat for the Rabbitsfoot mussel. When the plans were originally made to demolish the historic bridge after constructing the new one, these environmental issues were not considered. A quick subsequent study was done, but it is our contention that this study was inadequate. Violation of State Law: Impact on Bicycling Was Not Considered – Ten years ago when the Highway Department considered alternatives to tearing the bridge down, it never considered the impact on bicycles even though Arkansas law required it to do so. So not only should this obligation be fulfilled, but given the growth in bicycling regionally and nationally, revisiting this crucial obligation is simply the right thing to do.