POSITION STATEMENT - BICYCLE ACCESS IN PAWNEE PRAIRIE PARK

 

POSITION STATEMENT - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Aaron B. Santry           - President     

Kansas Singletrack Society

316-350-5869 • 

 

BICYCLE ACCESS IN PAWNEE PRAIRIE PARK

 

WICHITA KS, 7 Feb 2016 – Kansas Singletrack Society (KSS) supports responsible outdoor activities in a safe environment for all trail users. KSS feels the existing trails at Pawnee Prairie Park (PPP) should not be open to shared use between horses and mountain bikes. To do so would put riders of both horses and mountain bikes at risk of injury.  Any introduction of bicycles into PPP will require separate, dedicated use trails.  For purposes of this statement, KSS defines “Mountain” bike as those ridden by enthusiasts on dedicated singletrack trails and “recreational” bikes as those ridden by families /children on sidewalks, neighborhood roads, and paved or improved bike paths. 

1. The existing horse trails in Pawnee Prairie Park should not be considered for mountain bike use for the following reasons:

  1. Poor Soil:  PPP existing trails have a sandy texture that is not conducive for most mountain bike riding.
  2. Trail features:  Our riders like twisting trails with hazards and elevation changes (where available).  Existing PPP trials do not support these features.
  3. Trail bed impact: Horses and mountain bikes impact a trail bed differently.  KSS performs all maintenance on every one of our trails.  Trails used by horses are ill suited for mounting bike use without constant trail maintenance and upkeep. 
  4. Safety:  We oppose equestrian and mountain bike traffic using the same trails at Pawnee Prairie Park. Safety of all trail users is a priority for us.  Limited sight lines increase the chance of an incident or collision.  To do so puts both parties at risk of serious injury.  Horses and cyclists currently share the Prairie Sunset Trail without issue but this trail runs straight with excellent sight lines.  

2. KSS supports cycling in all forms and for all users and age groups.  Mountain and recreational bikes should be allowed in Pawnee Prairie Park on physically segregated trails that do not intersect, cross, nor approach any horse trails. All trails must be marked with appropriate signage.   

2. KSS is always open to work in partnership with the City of Wichita with serve as the trail building / maintenance agency in an agreement similar to our partnership with Air Capitol Park.  That said, KSS has not initiated nor been approached about building dedicated trail in PPP at this time. 

 

ABOUT KANSAS SINGLETRACK SOCIETY

Kansas Singletrack Society is devoted to creating and maintaining singletrack trails in Kansas.  We promote the sport of mountain biking and invite the use of our singletrack trails by trail runners and hikers and view these sports as a means to promote low impact outdoor recreation, conservation, and outdoor opportunities that are environmentally and socially responsible.  KSS has a proud history of cyclists and trail runners sharing all our trails and we look for more partnership opportunities.

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