Would you be interested in eventually seeing a formal trail head and maybe even a mountain bike skills park at that location?
If your answer is yes to either of the above, then please attend the City Council meeting this Tuesday, January 15th at 6:00 pm at Flagstaff City Hall!
The City Council is voting to potentially sell off the City owned parcel of land on which is located part of the parking area and most of the trails that access Schultz Creek and Rocky Ridge Trail. We have been discussing various options for recreation improvements at this location with the City, County and Forest Service for years. If the Council were to dispose of this land by selling it to a private owner, that would significantly reduce the number of viable options.
Also, the Council will be considering the sale of several other parcels. One is located between Buffalo Park and the former “Elks Club Trail”. The Regional Plan includes a Flagstaff Urban Trail alignment across this property, and we are asking at a minimum that that easement be maintained if this lot is sold.
See below for our letter to the City Council. Please show up in support of bicycle access at this coming Tuesday’s meeting. We’ll be standing up and talking to the Council, you might want to as well!
Honorable Mayor and City Council-
We are writing to express strong concerns with the timeline and certain aspects of the Consideration of Sale of City-owned Property proposal.
Flagstaff Biking Organization (FBO) is a group of cyclists who came together to “promote bicycling as a safe and attractive means of transportation and recreation in Northern Arizona.” Our initial project was to put on a Bike to Work Week for our community in May 2002. Building on the success we started to expand our efforts to keep people informed of cycling related issues and galvanize support for better and safer facilities, trails, and trail access. We represent as many as 300 paid members and many, many more cyclists. Please see https://flagstaffbiking.org/about-fbo/ for more information.
Our concerns stem from the potential for adverse impacts to bicycle access that could occur if two of four parcels were sold to private ownership.
The first concern is that if the North San Francisco/Elk’s Lodge Property were to be sold, that the necessary considerations and easements for the planned Flagstaff Urban Trail Alignment on this property be maintained. The Regional Plan reflects the eventual establishment of FUTS across this parcel. We strongly support the build-out of the FUTS.
Additionally, there are several concepts that have arisen through our cooperative relationship with local governments, including the City, which would require some level of use or easement across the Schultz Pass property. These might include trails, trailheads and/or a mountain bike skills park. FBO, Coconino County, the US Forest and the City of Flagstaff are partners through a Memorandum of Understanding. The stated purpose of this MOU is to “establish a framework of cooperation upon which mutually beneficial non-motorized trail systems may be planned, funded, developed and maintained.”
This property already has a very high level of social use as the defacto parking lot at the intersection of Elden Look Out and Schultz Pass Roads and is one of Flagstaff’s most publically utilized staging areas for trail use in the Mount Elden/Dry Lake hills area. The cooperatively developed use concepts would provide a better quality recreational experience for the flagstaff community, protect resources, and would be negatively impacted by the wholesale transfer of this parcel of public land to private ownership.
We are not opposed to the sale of other properties as appropriate to fund the City’s needs, but we do need to state our concerns regarding actions the City takes that may adversely affect bicycle access.
We ask that the City Council slow the process on these potential sales in order to more appropriately consider the various values that these properties may have to our community. More time would allow us to provide a better, cooperatively developed plan that could address recreation access as well as providing for the sale of parts of these parcels to fund the new Courthouse.
Thank you for your consideration-
for the Board of Flagstaff Biking Organization