Neighbor conflict: Shuttling at Forest Lakes Must Stop!

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.

MBOSC’s stance

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. We will communicate to our membership, the local bike shops and local bike industry that this behavior is wrong and should be stopped immediately.
  4. 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.

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9 Responses to Neighbor conflict: Shuttling at Forest Lakes Must Stop!

  1. Dave Smith says:

    To set the record straight Shuttle Smith Adventures has not been on scenic drive ever!
    We do provide a shuttle service to the top of Nisene Marks Park and demonstration forest.
    You can hit demo with fresh legs and do more laps than you normally do, spending more time in the good stuff without looking over your back to see if your legal. Then when you had your fill of singletrack head back to Aptos to your car, parked safely and possibly your friends are waiting for you at the beach. Shuttling is carpooling. Ride on!

  2. Scott Cody says:

    Thank you for passing this along.
    You have asked for assistance, what specifically can interested people do to assist in creating legal DH/Freeriding opportunities in the Santa Cruz/South Bay Area?

    Does the MBoSC or other local group have or are working on a long term plan? I know after the most recent bulldozing on the mailbox trail there was a significant ground swell in interest to do “something”. If not, let’s get one together… It is obvious the need is present.

    It seems there are vast and growing number of examples of where common ground has been found in other cities. I’m sure law enforcement has better things to do than write tickets to cyclists, and I know us cyclists have grown weary of being chased by rangers.

    Let us know. I’d love to what I can.

  3. MrToad says:

    The sport is growing and DH/gravity seems to be the fastest growing segment. Enforcement alone will never end this problem because it will just drive it further underground. I have spoken with the media, land manager and the Forest Lakes community and told them that the only long term solution is to provide a place where we can ride DH legally. They all agree and are supportive.

    Long term we hope that when the Coast Dairies is conveyed to the BLM then they will consider more technical and directional trails. There are a few other places under discussion like abandoned quarries or private land that can be donated to a govn’t agency for this purpose. Perhaps finding some land so that the State can operate a DH park as an OHV park with fees is another possibility that has been thrown around.

    It is possible to get what we want. It requires the leadership of a person or organization to drive this. This can be done within the framework of MBOSC but we are all volunteers and we need folks to step up.

  4. Scott Cody says:

    What is the best way to contact you off line?

  5. Beverly Swanson says:

    I am a Forest Lakes resident, and the above photo depicts trespassers blocking my driveway. For many years I have informed those shuttling bikes up here that the roads are private and maintained by the homeowners, not the county. I really appreciate your article and support of our Forest Lakes community. We bought our home up here over twenty years ago for the beauty, seclusion and quiet. With your members’ cooperation, perhaps the quiet will return and our privacy will be respected. Thank you so much. Cheers, Bev Swanson

  6. aloha all,
    I am a property owner on upper Scenic Drive.
    i am also a longtime Mt.biker & supporter of MBOSC.

    I am well situated to be a conduit for communication between my neighborhood and the Mt.Bike community.

    This issue really has reached the tipping point.
    In the last decade, I’ve seen the illegal useage of our private paved and unpaved, (clearly marked no tresspassing) roads become unacceptable.

    Shuttle companies must stop using our roads.
    They could drop riders at the top of Grey whale and drive Felton Empire Rd. back to a pick-up location . I know exactly how long this takes and the logisitics.
    This would likely require 2 shuttles working in tandem all day.

    Two weeks ago my neighbor’s car was side swiped by a van carrying loads of bikes. . .Hit and run ! The van hurtled away. We all came running and the neighbor called the P.D. to no avail.

    We have 3 young children & My wife runs a day care. i find myself routinely yelling “SLOW DOWN” to loaded vehicles speeding by the house. It’s official, I’ve become my father . .Which proves the gravity of this situation!

    I appreciate reading the Mbosc stand on this.
    I urge riders not to trespass. And of course, if you find yourself accidently on our private roads please have the utmost consideration for our children & neighborhood

    owner Surfridercafe & Boulder Creek Brewery

  7. Stevil says:

    All of those expensive bikes, and apparently not a single one of them can be pedaled uphill.

  8. Toby Gardner says:

    They could be pedaled…. those people are just too lazy, I rock a bullit that is over 45 pounds and still earn the majority of my runs. To the MBOSC people, I work full time and am a student part time but am down to help out if with whatever I can, shoot me an email if there is anything I can do to help.

  9. Ace Sievert says:

    Shuttle monkeys are ruining it for everybody. Maybe it’s time for for some Western justice.

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