MBoSC received a 12 page letter with photos documenting shuttle drivers who trespass though their community. This letter is dated May 19, 2011 and signed by 30 residents of Forest Lakes and has been widely distributed to the local water district, State Parks, UCSC, Sheriff and Police Departments. The press is starting to pick up this issue so you will be hearing about this soon.
The letter states that the shuttle situation has grown out of hand over the past few years. It has gone beyond the actions of locals, kids and parents and has turned into a full scale commercial enterprise. There are commercial shuttle vans that take riders from 7 am until dusk carrying up to 14 riders at a time.
The Forest Lakes neighbors specific complaints are
- After the shuttle drivers drop off their riders they will speed speed through the neighborhood roads to pick up riders at Hwy 9. This creates an unsafe situation for residents.
- Many of the roads in the neighborhood are private and the cost of maintenance is borne by the residents. The shuttle driving increases wear and tear and has direct economic costs to the neighborhood.
- Illegal parking in the neighborhood blocks access to roads, fire lanes and driveways.
- Trash has been left in the neighborhood. Some can be directly attributed to the shuttle industry.
- Shuttle drivers and riders have been agressive when confronted by neighbors. Cars and mailboxes of local residents have been vandalized.
- We condemn the actions of these riders and the shuttle companies who do not respect the environment and private property. These riders and shuttle companies creates a negative image of the mountain biking community.
- These riders and shuttle companies reflect a small minority of the mountain biking community. We are doubtful that they are involved with MBoSC or are MBoSC members.
- We will communicate to our membership, the local bike shops and local bike industry that this behavior is wrong and should be stopped immediately.
- The neighborhood conflict demonstrates there is a strong social need to provide legitimate access for downhill style trails in the County. The best long term solution is to provide a safe and sustainable location where riders can engage in legitimate DH type riding. We would like the the Forest Lakes neighbors to support our goal of providing legal DH riding in the County.
What can you do
- If you or anyone you know engages in this activity please ask them to respect the Forest Lakes neighborhood and stop shuttling at that location. Yes, we need to find a legitimate place to ride in this community but Forest Lakes should no longer be used as a staging area.
- Work with us to find a legitimate place for legal DH riding and shuttling. We need people/organizations to lead this effort.
There were a few representatives of law enforcement agencies present at a Forest Lakes Community meeting last week. There is a direct correlation to the incidences of neighbor conflict and an increase in enforcement. Consider this a warning.