Letter To The Editor: Opposition To Proposed Flow Trail Location

By CAROL BRONISZ
Los Alamos
 
I am writing in regard to the proposed flow trail. A flow trail is a high speed, no-stop trail. The proposed flow trail crosses and closely parallels (within 3 feet) existing high-traffic trails.
 
Hikers (including children), joggers, runners, dog walkers and horseback riders currently use the Bayo canyon trails. Adding high speed, no-stop bicycles is an accident waiting to happen.  
 
As it is, mountain bikers use these trails, but they are generally courteous and will stop and wait for other trail users if necessary. Even so, I personally know one runner who was hit by a child on a bicycle, and have heard stories of others. I also know of cases where bicycles came careening up behind horses causing them to spook. Adding high-speed bicycles in this already high-traffic area with the expectation of bicycles not having to stop is foolhardy, at best.
 
My horse was formerly an Amish buggy horse and is extremely traffic safe and well trained. However, I guarantee that if a bicycle comes zooming up on her tail (3 feet away on the parallel trail) or runs into her at an intersection, bicycle and/or bicyclist will be smithereened by her kick. Less traffic safe horses are even more likely to react to bicycles shooting past them.
 
Additionally, there are many dogs off-leash in this area; high-speed bicycles and loose dogs are also a recipe for disaster (I know from experience since a dog tried to cut off my bike, resulting in a torn ACL and surgery).
 
County Council has repeatedly been warned of the safety concerns with the proposed flow trail location, but the public has NOT been heard. When (not if) someone or someone’s animal is injured, the county will be liable because of ignoring the risks associated with putting the trail in this high-traffic location.
 
I have heard the argument that the flow trail will attract tourists. Tourists are not likely to have cars to shuttle, so are you now also proposing that we run shuttle buses to ferry tourists back up the hill to their cars? And what about parking lots at the ends? The parking lot at the roundabout is often full with hikers, etc. Are we talking about expanding the parking lot? If the county council had truly been interested in promoting tourism, they would have taken advantage of the ski area.
 
This project is being pushed by a small interest group, and the concerns of those to be affected are being ignored. County council was elected to represent the people of this community, not this small interest group to the detriment of others. County council has been accused of not following the will of the voters.
 
Please show respect for your constituents and do not approve the flow trail in this location.
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