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March 7/08 11:20 am - Action Call to Prevent Hurricane Ridge Road Closure


Posted by Editoress on 03/7/08
 

Normon Thibault sent us the following note and accompanying information about an upcoming road closure
This road is in the USA but is a popular destination for Canadian riders. Jim Pearson organizes a Canada Day ride up Hurricane Ridge that I think had 80-100 riders last year. As well Roland Green used to take the ferry over and then do hill repeats up this major climb.....it would be a loss for them to not allow cyclists.

Dave Lasorsa in Port Angeles in circulating the following letter to interested members of the cycling community in BC and Washington State.

ONP Bicycle Closure

Hello Cycling Friends!

Did you happen to see the article in the February 15 Peninsula Daily News regarding the upcoming repairs/repaving scheduled for Hurricane Ridge Road?

Slipped into the end of the article was this statement:

During the construction, bicycles will not be allowed on the road,
Maynes said. "It is a safety issue," she said.


So it appears that for the next two summers Olympic National Park is planning to close Hurricane Ridge Road to cycling. We were very disappointed to read this, and felt compelled to write a letter to the Acting Park Superintendent asking her to reconsider this decision. If, like us, you feel that the planned bicycle closure is unacceptable, we encourage you to also share your feelings with the Park. We felt that a paper letter might carry more impact, but you could send an e-mail if you prefer.

Send your thoughts to:

(by MAIL)

Sue McGill, Superintendent
Olympic National Park
600 E. Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362

E-MAIL: sue_mcgill@nps.gov

If you need help getting started, here are a few topics you might consider
addressing in your letter:

a.. who you are and why this issue is important to you
b.. bicycles are a non-polluting, quiet way of enjoying the Park's natural beauty
c.. roads that are open to motorized vehicle traffic should be open to bicycle traffic
d.. the experienced cyclists who ride on Hurricane Ridge Road are very aware of safety concerns
e.. the National Park Service should not discourage human powered transportation
f.. unlike motorized vehicles, bicycles allow park visitation while causing virtually no damage to the roads
g.. most road construction projects are carried out safely without prohibiting bicycles

We're attaching a copy of the letter (from Dick and Heidi Pattee) that was mailed to Sue McGill in case you'd like to read our thoughts on this issue.

Thanks for your consideration of this important topic. Please forward this
e-mail to any other cyclists you'd like to inform of this.

__________________________


Sue McGill, Superintendent
Olympic National Park
600 E. Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362

Dear Sue:
I read in the Peninsula Daily News last Friday about plans to repair and repave Hurricane Ridge Road starting sometime this spring. According to the article, Barb Maynes said that bicycles won't be allowed on the road during the construction. I'm writing to ask you to reconsider the bicycle closure.

My wife Heidi and I enjoy hiking, climbing, and backcountry skiing, and we often venture into the Park's backcountry. We also have performed volunteer work many times in the Park, including trail work and beach cleanups. I currently do trail clearing and repair work with a local group of volunteers that help Larry Lack and his crew. Additionally Heidi and I are avid cyclists. We've ridden our tandem bicycle and single bikes up Hurricane Ridge Road many times.

We were surprised and very disappointed to read that you plan to close the road to cyclists during the upcoming paving and repairs. Whenever the road is open to automobiles, it should be open to bicycles as well. Unlike their automotive counterparts, bicycles are quiet, non-polluting, and allow the rider to connect much more closely to the natural world nearby. ONP, like all other National Parks, was founded to encourage resource conservation and outdoor recreation (as per your Mission Statement on "About Us" on www.nps.gov ).

I've spoken to a number of other local area cyclists who share the same sentiment. We all feel that ONP should encourage, not discourage human-powered transportation within the Park. Those who are fit enough and motivated enough to ride a bicycle up Hurricane Ridge Road tend to be experienced cyclists with a keen awareness of safety. We've all safely ridden our bikes through construction zones, near heavy equipment and flaggers, and through sections of torn up pavement. If the road is safe enough for a car, it's safe enough for a bike.

Please follow the excellent example of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. In 2007 they carried out a major rebuilding and repaving of Trail Ridge Road, a project with far greater scope than that of Hurricane Ridge Road. Not only did they do a great job creating a smooth, bike-friendly asphalt surface, but the road remained open to cyclists despite months of heavy construction and missing pavement sections. Heidi and I enjoyed a glorious day together riding up and over Trail Ridge Road during the peak of construction last summer.

Thanks for your thoughtful consideration.

 


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