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A Few 'Squeaky Wheels' on Our Shared Trails

September 24, 2002

Thanks for the thoughtful Sept. 21 editorial on sharing trails with bicycles. I'd be careful about overestimating the level of user conflict, though. I've been hiking and riding the trails of the Santa Monica Mountains for 20 years. Most of the people on the trails get along just fine. There's an abundance of research that says that perceptions of user conflict are exaggerated by the frequent, multiple complaints of a small number of people. On the bike issue, I've seen this time and time again.

Building a trail community presents the same challenge as building a community in the city. How do we discover our commonalities while respecting and managing our differences? We shouldn't let strident, anti-bicycle extremists occupy more than their tiny place at the table. Shared trails benefit the most people, are most environmentally friendly, are most cost-effective and function as a shared community resource. Reasonable people can work this through.

Jim Hasenauer

Woodland Hills

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