Monterey: Proactive Pedaling

As cyclists we should care about our trails. Those endless miles that slip beneath the rubber of our tires create a bond between rider and road that is unparalleled in our lives. So it is natural that we should develop a relationship with the trails we ride daily or discover each time we travel.

EXPANSION

It is undeniable that we live in a world where urban development is unavoidable. With populations skyrocketing and science permitting longer life expectancy, there is no way for us to put a stop to our expansion. Despite this, there will always be discrepancy in any building project, whether it is when, where, why or how, there is always a disagreement.

So when Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) proposed a 58-acre bus maintenance and business office park on the backside of (California State University of Monterey Bay) CSUMB’s campus at the former Fort Ord, there were people up in arms. Of course, MST means no harm in building their new facility. With populations in Monterey Bay reaching new heights and the amazing new movement towards mass transit, there is a need for such a facility. However, as previously stated, there is a debate; except this time, it has a much kinder tone.

Heading the opposition to this project is a citizen formed organization self-dubbed the Fort Ord Rec Users (forU). And while most organizations of such defiance usually cause bigger problems than they solve, forU has made their objectives easy and quite clear:

Support Fort Ord Rec Users (forU) Petition for a Referendum:

  • We support MST and public transportation.
  • We oppose the demolition of 3,400 oak trees and 58-acre native habitat for a bus maintenance yard and office park.
  • We oppose the MST Project at this site. Build it on MST’s blighted site at 7th and Gigling, or the Marina Airport.
  • We support the Planning Commission’s unanimous ruling against the project at this site and oppose the Supervisors’ overturning of the Planning Commission.
  • We oppose the encroachment of inappropriate development on CSUMB campus and housing.
  • We support the greenway and Sgt Allan MacDonald Cavalry Trail connecting the beach and BLM open space.
  • We recognize trails and natural habitats of Fort Ord as a regional resource.
  • We are a community of thousands who value the natural habitat and recreational uses of open space at former Fort Ord.
  • Let the VOTERS decide this land-use question. Sign the petition to put a referendum on the June 2012 ballot.

HOW DOES THIS AFFECT ME?

On either side of this issue there are pros and cons. People could argue endlessly over the benefits of both groups but the argument is not what it is about. Being bikers of the self propelled sort we generally pride ourselves on the places we get ourselves. We are an active bunch, usually more than just on our bikes we are active in our neighborhoods, jobs and communities.

So be active! Educate yourself, there is a solution here, let’s find it together. MST and forU both have best interests in mind, but in the end you are the one who deals with what they decide. You may not live in Monterey, or ever heard of Fort Ord, but chances are such land battles rage in and around your community. So get involved. Let’s be the solution, not the problem. Let’s decide what happens to our trails and help urban expansion happen in the best way possible for us and for future generations.

WHAT CAN I DO?

While this is an ongoing issue, the latest this writer has heard forU had received enough signatures on their petition to bring the issue to the voters. So when you get your chance, head to the polls and cast your vote. Not just for Fort Ord, but for your community. When you get your chance, be the solution.

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