Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Corridor officially to open as a ‘trail’

From page A1 | October 09, 2013 | 19 Comments

It may have looked like belaboring the obvious, but El Dorado County Supervisors on Oct. 1 decided to call the trail that follows the old railroad route from Missouri Flat Road to the county line an actual “trail.” Toward that end, the board directed county staff to prepare an ordinance formally declaring the trail to be open to the public — but with limitations on how the public may use the space known officially as the Sacramento-Placerville Transportation Corridor.

Basically, motorized vehicles whether motorcycles, ATVs or Off Highway Vehicles will be banned along the entire length of the corridor and the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department will have the heretofore non-specified authority to enforce such an ordinance. District 2 Supervisor Ray Nutting, whose district includes much of the corridor, told fellow supervisors that noise from off-road vehicles has become a major nuisance to residents with property adjacent to the route. He described trying to talk to constituents recently but being interrupted by excessively loud motorcycles and dirt bikes. He also said those vehicles are responsible for destruction of some of the roadbed.

Without restrictive legislation, “the sheriff can’t enforce anything,” Nutting said.

Over the past several years, the Board of Supervisors has made a number of rulings to authorize the corridor as a multi-use public facility allowing certain railroad activities, hiking, biking and equestrian use. From Missouri Flat Road east to Camino, the route is mostly a developed Class I bicycle trail, excluding a stretch from Ray Lawyer Drive to Clay street in Placerville. From Missouri Flat to Shingle Springs, the corridor combines excursion rail with the other non-motorized activities. From Shingle Springs to the county line, the board has limited the trail to hikers, bikers and equestrians with a limited number of exceptions for excursion rail events through December of this year.

The El Dorado County Transportation Commission has tentatively won a grant from the California Department of Transportation to conduct a comprehensive study of multi-modal uses for the route, according to commission director Dan Bolster. Excursion trains and equestrian use were not originally authorized in the grant, but Caltrans followed the commission’s recommendation to include those modes as they have already been approved by the county.

Reminding the board and the public that local taxpayers have already spent nearly $3 million to acquire the right of way and recognizing its region of benefit as Sacramento County, city of Folsom and El Dorado County, Bolster asked rhetorically, “What is the best use of the corridor?” The grant, with work set to begin in February of next year, will help address that question.

Unlike meetings in the past dealing with the corridor that pitted the so-called trail people against the “train guys,” Tuesday’s discussion centered on formally establishing and opening the corridor to the public for the uses specified by earlier board decisions.

The transportation corridor and subsequent El Dorado Trail were established partly under the federal Rails to Trails program which encourages jurisdictions to convert former railroad rights of way to “temporary” other uses by the public. The program is intended to preserve the routes and rights of way for re-conversion back to rail use, if  future commercial railroad operations were to become feasible once more. Hence the concept of temporary use for trails. Realistically, a return to commercially viable, heavy railroad transportation is a remote possibility in most areas.

Friends of the El Dorado Trail (trail people) have worked in concert with the El Dorado Western Railroad (train guys), a subbranch of the county’s Historical Museum to carve out areas of responsibility for maintenance and upkeep on the corridor and a recent “Adopt a Trail” assignment formalizes their volunteer activities along the corridor.

Contact Chris Daley at 530-344-5063 or Follow @CDaleyMtDemo.


Discussion | 19 comments

  • 1036-FrankOctober 08, 2013 - 2:15 pm

    This is the problem with the BOS and special interests deciding who and what they want to have using public areas, what special interest group is the "one" to use the trails. Every group from horses to mountain bikes to joggers and walkers want their own experience and public trail for it. Now one group, the ohv people are locked out because of "noise" last I checked a train makes plenty of noise and those are train tracks that a majority want preserved and used which is why the JPA was created, only difference is this BOS thought that train tracks meant a bike trail and tried to tear out rails and they voted to shut down excursion train use on the west end, why? I hope the JPA can veto this idea as the JPA was created to preserve rail lines and routes and noise is part of living near a train route. This really should be a broader issue of why trains are not using these rails now for excursions from the Sac County line east. This ohv noise issue is a newly created one and it is suspect, where are the written complaints? There should have been a public comment period on this before any votes. I know people have been using those routes for ohv's for years and I never heard a complaint, now the Sheriff is supposed to chase down ohv's on public lands? This is poor planning as usual without public input. What this will do is again look like developer influence in action and it is suspect to be more of the same bought and paid for interests at work. These developers don't seem to want our rails for trains used in the west county and don't want any ohv's on the miles and miles of public dirt trails next to the tracks, what's next?

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  • Stalemate Broken on El Dorado Trail | El Dorado Hills Trails - edhtrails.orgOctober 09, 2013 - 4:03 pm

    […] Read the full story in the Mountain Democrat :: click here for full story […]

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  • 1036-FrankOctober 09, 2013 - 4:28 pm

    The special interest group chimes in as if they were given a new bike trail. The JPA was created for the historic rails for trains and need to be used and maintained for trains and the "trail" bike people can use the sides as they have been for many years as should the ohv people.

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  • Judith MathatOctober 09, 2013 - 6:44 pm

    Noise?? This is a rail bed intended for railroads and multi-use, NOT a TRAIL as the BOS designated for the Developers who have proposed Planned Developments (there are many) along the rail-bed that is now designated a TRAIL and can designate it as open space for public use and they will get 1.5 times the rooftop density than what is zoned and originally proposed and more traffic and more houses and more NOISE!!!. Check out the development agreements along the line and multiple them by 1.5 instead of 1 and if you think San Stimo is overbuilt??? Laughable, El Dorado Hills, Shingle Springs... you want more traffic and more rooftops and more NOISE? Well you are well on your way when the BOS designates the rail-bed as a TRAIL!!!! Hooves on the left, wheels and heels on the right and rails in the middle or nothing folks??? Or a whole lot of more of the same losses as other rail-beds sustained (Calaveras County for one) that had supervisors with no foresight for an excursion train and the destruction of the oldest historical rail-bed around. Check each of the Supervisors 460's at the elections department and then check and see who donated to their political campaigns and see if the developer for the PD or their Board officers or associates match up (check out planning dept and county recorders office for owners of the properties) and Bingo you will see that this is only another action of MPG Money Power and Greed. Oh do not let them fool you about this being only a temporary designation. Nothing is temporary when it is development and political cronyism. This has been gong on for many many years. It may have been over a year ago but I checked out ALL property owners along the rail bed from county line to Mother Lode Drive in Shingle Springs and the 460's of the existing supervisors but you may want to recheck as things change ownership and new supervisors take office and the MPG only shifts around. Any supervisor that voted for renaming the rail-bed a TRAIL is suspect and should be checked out. You can check the general plan for the county and also for El Dorado Hills CSD and see for yourselves about what density transfers allow for developing and adding more rooftops. The possibility of the rest of the county having an economic opportunity once funds are available to fully develop an excursion train will be gone and the development community in EDH will once again supplant any possible boost to the rest of the county for tourism and future enjoyment for your children's children. Such is the way of greedy politics and developers who are not satisfied to just make a profit, as they should, but who are too greedy to envision and support the rest of the counties future. I have seen many excursion trains that "Make" the historical ambiance of an area desirable. Believe me with the loss of the rail bed for an excursion train in the future for the area of this country where GOLD was discovered and the state of California's future took a huge turn, to destroy this heritage is criminal and speaks to the lack of principles and integrity through the preponderance of greed!!! An aside is that to those of you who bought a property along the rail-bed and do not like it, you should have had a better investment sense and checked out the easements that your preliminary investigative deed would have informed you. If you do not like it, sell and move, do not try and change it to take away from those who bought knowing that someday this would be a benefit for their use. Property rights? You are lucky you still have some to argue over with the more than over 20yr completion General Plan for the county and for the way our nation is going you will be lucky to own any property at all!!!

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  • 1036-FrankOctober 09, 2013 - 8:00 pm

    As I have said over and over again, there IS a reason why some on the BOS don't want trains on the tracks and even tried to tear the rails out. It has nothing to do with a new bike trail, everything to do with being bought and paid for by developers, any Supervisor who votes for this as a "trail" should be voted out and the sooner the better.

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 09, 2013 - 9:01 pm

    Frank--the money is in the trails--big money.

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 09, 2013 - 9:05 pm Bikes/walking...walkable communities...please read the thesis

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 09, 2013 - 9:07 pm Parks and trails final master...lots of grants available--only nine knew and came to the workshop in Pollock Pines--didnt care that a "community" wasnt there.

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  • Judith MathatOctober 09, 2013 - 10:30 pm

    This is not about getting the money NOW or any grants or government money!! It is about saving the rail bed for what it was historically used for and letting others all have their space also, when and if they EARN and work to put the sections in that will serve them, not some developers pocket. MPG vs VIP

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  • 1036-FrankOctober 10, 2013 - 10:55 am

    There is something very wrong with this picture of a new "trail" concept and very suspect. I seem to recall that Nutting was informed and agreed he couldn't vote as a matter of law on matters that are financial in nature or may have future financial impact through any govt. monies. He now proceeds to involve himself in this issue which appears to involve what he can't vote on. Wonder how many large developers are behind this? This will certainly involve future funding issues from various sources which could include local, state and federal govt. grants for funding. Not to mention the issues of infrastructure trail development for any future development in the area of this sudden new "trail." At the same time no-one who lives near the tracks that I know has ever seen enough ohv's on these routes to complain about "noise" and many of the people take their own ohv's out for family fun themselves, were they contacted? Where are the written complaints of "noise?" Train tracks by their nature involve occasional train use "noise" so the suggestion "noise" is involved is suspect. If the tracks are to be preserved for use then noise is certain as a majority of the county supports the rails as does the JPA that stopped the rails from being removed, not to mention the historical county treasure these rails are that people want preserved.

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 10, 2013 - 12:41 pm

    Judith one is fighting you...there are big bucks behind walkable communities....I love trains....however watch the trails--they will determine what stays and what goes. It is happening all over. and it has been happening over some time now.

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 10, 2013 - 12:49 pm

    And it is about grants--and where they come from...." The grant, with work set to begin in February of next year, will help address that question."

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  • 1036-FrankOctober 10, 2013 - 1:49 pm

    It should be strongly further suggested that all of this rail and trail issue be delayed until Nutting's trial verdict is reached and after two or three new Supervisors are seated because the conclusions will be different then now. People don't want to see suspect issues like a sudden story about ohv "noise" raised by a Supervisor under felony indictment in the first place. My take is the "noise" is from large developers who want nothing to do with county history like the rails which might be in their way, what they do want is more density and more profit and some pay back for their "contributions" before things change and the voters wake up.

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 10, 2013 - 3:02 pm

    Frank...Ray is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. did hit of some interesting items. The advisory boards and "staff" are delaying items...on purpose...because they are being asked to. And now we have Briggs in trouble...who will be next? People do need to wake up. Numbers are being purposely manipulated...emotions towards upcoming ordinances are being as someone has asked...who is running EDC?

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 10, 2013 - 7:43 pm rails to trails...and I bet you thought it was just us....

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 10, 2013 - 7:46 pm

    Nope--nothing to do with grants...or the promise of becoming a "tourist Mecca" (same on line magazine)

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  • Judith MathatOctober 12, 2013 - 1:14 am

    Not to be repetitive, watch the BOS and their cronies developments and keep reminding the people who live in EDH that removing the rails will increase their rooftops by 1.5 times more than will be disclosed for Planned Developments, walkable communities or not and the traffic increases will be overwhelming and then when EDH becomes a city the tax base will go away and the county will become a poorer ghost of itself and eventually Cameron Park will be "annexed" into EDH for more $$$. It is all about the money folks, always has been and will continue to be unless those of us keep reminding like minded and unsuspecting folks that corruption and deceitfulness will never escape KARMA which will most certainly be visited on a current inept supervisor very soon!!!

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 12, 2013 - 8:00 am

    Judith are right on several levels. Bos is doing something. Developers are here. I read more on EDH doing something with Folsom more than CP--but you may be right. Smart Growth is accepted in Folsom--which makes the higher ups in SAC happy....the "powers that be" would like EDH to accept it as well....means more money. Someone came up with the idea that by making certain areas more "Urban"--it would protect the "rural" aspect of the county. Someone has forgotten that population alone can wipe out that distinction. There are groups who want a "Utopian" rural setting...not realizing --or maybe realizing that what they bring in is the Urbanization of the county. Up here in Pollock-- a group talks about higher end restaurants...shrugging shoulders...yet they want camping and trails. One is very is not. More hotels, restaurants, apartments...sounds urban to me. So I am not disagreeing with you at all. And you are right--people are asleep...except for the small groups and a few of the local government people...who are deciding for the rest of us. Do not dismiss the money going into the is the big push for "tourism." To go from SAC all the way to Tahoe...with the rails...most will still be there..remember the president wants his high speed railroad to cover the country. Mrs. Obama...and a Clinton, have given attention to our country not for the apples /wine--but for the "trails." It is nice to see your passion--I hope people listen to you...from my heart-- I really do.

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  • Walking TallOctober 21, 2013 - 5:51 am

    ANYTHING "nutcase" votes on is suspect; he needs to step down and loose his voice on our BOS and yes he will have his day in court but not at our expense. GOB/BOS at it's best....

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