Follow the easy steps help save the trails
INSTRUCTIONS TO EMAIL THE COUNCIL
- Copy Paste the either of the email templates below
- Copy 1 of 3 email names
- Copy the relevant email addresses
- ALTER the first paragraph to personalise the complaint
- SEND IT! and do the same for the other contacts in seperate emails.
Fiona Hammond – Email: email@example.com
Vicki Howard – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
James Mackay – Email: email@example.com
FOR DETAILED MAP OF THE PROPOSED TRAILS
Scroll down to Alex Pope’s Letter
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BEN FORBES EMAIL TEMPLATE
My name is ____, I’m a daily user of Mt Coot-tha and It has become of urgent concern that about 2km of multi use single track on the Eastern side of Mt Coot-tha to Chapel Hill is planned for destruction, to make way for a ‘walking trail’. This multi use track has been here for 8+ years and is a great asset to the Brisbane community, especially the Mountain Bike Community.
The main points that I really want to express are –
- This is not just another trail we’re trying to save – destroying this trail is going to have a major effect in many different ways.
- This has come at a sensitive time when the mountain bike community has actually recently put some faith in the council, which has dramatically stopped illegal trail building in the last 6 months. This trail closure will completely change that respect and unfortunately lead to an influx of illegal trail building.
These trails known as ‘Triple Treat’ are used co-operatively between mountain bikers and walkers already, but markings indicate that the trails are being destroyed along with surrounding trees to make way for the ugly, wider, street pathway style track which has been seen many times before in the Mt Coot-tha area. I urge you to please stop and to reassess this HUGE MISTAKE for the reasons below.
Destroying these connecting trails (Lookout area to Chapel Hill) will push the mass of the mountain bikers onto the road along the top, ‘Sir Samuel Griffith Drive’, and down ‘Kokoda’ fire road to get to Chapel Hill. Obviously putting riders onto the road will create a huge safety problem.
‘Kokoda’ is also the steepest fire road on Mt Coot-tha and as we all know that fire roads are where the most mountain bike crashes and deaths occur, for both beginner and experienced riders.
Traffic on trails
This will push mountain bikers to the south-west side of Mt Coot-tha aka ‘Gap Creek Reserve’. Due to the ever increasing popularity of mountain biking in Brisbane there is already a huge traffic problem on these trails – we are a friendly bunch and co-operate with each other when giving way, but this still causes unexpected head on meetings quite frequently. I can’t imagine what the extra traffic on the trails will be like after destroying the longest mountain bike trail on the mountain.
IMPORTANT – Even if you are destroying just the first part of the trail, you are discouraging mountain bikers from not only being able to access the trail but the whole side of that mountain all together – moving them ALL to the overloaded Gap Creek trail network. The 2 parking lots at Gap Creek already fill up, forcing people to park up and down the sides of Gap Creek Road, on both sides, 100m before the car park and 100m past it!
I’m not sure what the Council are trying to achieve here but spending $10,000 or more of taxpayers money to close a mountain bike trail is going to cost even more if this goes ahead, not only in Safety, Traffic issues, Damaging the sport, Damaging Brisbane Tourism, Complaints, Respect to the council but the risk of starting encouragement of illegal trail building.
Discrimination against the off-road cycling community
Under the Mt Coot-tha Forest Management Plan of 2003, MTB is considered as a legitimate outdoor recreational activity for the forest. Why does BCC appear to continue to discriminate against the off-road cycling community, one of the worlds fastest growing recreational activities. Mt Coot-tha has produced many mountain bike athletes that compete on the world stage including myself and Junior World Champion Cameron Wright. At least two other locals have represented Australia also. We depend on these trails for our training, yet the Brisbane City Council are constantly making it harder for us to do so.
People come to the forest to see the forest, not artificial walkways. It’s what I hear everyone saying about the ridiculous 1.5m wide walkways.
There are huge potential benefits for the council here –
Tourism Industry – Brisbane City Council must be completely unaware of the mountain bike tourism industry. Take the little town of Derby, Tasmania for example, a virtual ghost town of just 173 people just three years ago, is now an internationally renowned MTB hotspot that generates $23 million a year for the state, all thanks to the positive and progressive attitude taken by the Dorset Council. Derby is 1.5 hours from the airport, has two cafe’s, limited accommodation, and no other activities nearby. Mt Coot-tha is 28 minutes from the airport – I’ll let you figure out the rest. Brisbane City Council is sitting on an absolute goldmine, yet they’re going out of their way to waste money and avoid the potential benefits. Currently a small part of the tourism market has people from around the world interested in the Mt Coot-tha Mountain Bike Community, but the potential is astronomical.
Loss of respect to the council
This has come at a very sensitive time as there has been a great turn of respect for the council recently with the rumour that the council has pulled back on the idea of closing other trails that are located on the opposite side of the mountain near Gold Creek Road, Brookfield. The rumour has caused a noticeable halt in illegal trail building in the last 6 months, with the Brisbane Off Road Riders Alliance working with council for a brighter future for the growing mountain bike community in Brisbane.
But this destruction will completely ruin the recently gained respect the mountain bike community has for the council. I can’t help but think that this is going to unfortunately encourage illegal trail building more than ever.
Potential gain of respect to the council
It works both ways, if the trails are saved, a great respect will be created for the council knowing that they listened to the people that actually use the mountain. Likely to have less illegal trail building.
Please realise that I’m only one of the few people that will actually write to the council about this when in fact there are 1000’s and 1000’s of mountain bikers who use these trails, that this will hugely affect, who are too busy riding trails!
Please tell me what the council are trying to achieve with this plan and why it is worth all these damaging factors?
ALEX POPE EMAIL TEMPLATE
Good Morning _____
My name is Alex Pope, and I am an avid mountain bike rider and user of the Mount Coot-tha precinct. It has recently come to my attention that there are imminent works planned to create a new walking trail connecting the Mount Coot-tha Botanical Gardens to the Summit through the use of so called ‘informal’ trails referenced under the ‘Mt Coot-tha walking trails, mountain bike trails and access enhancements’ heading at this link – https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/things-to-see-and-do/council-venues-and-precincts/mt-coot-tha-precinct/mt-coot-tha-precinct-projects.
I was only made aware of these works after riding the trail, and seeing pink spraypaint on the ground, clearly marking the intent of imminent and extensive works to be carried out on this trail.
I have prepared two PDF’s (attached) detailing this work. The data for these maps was collected by myself after taking a GPS log of the proposed trail based on the spraypaint markings in the ground. One is an overview of the broader eastern Mount Coot-tha precinct, and the other shows further details the proposed trail.
Here are the images embedded in this email – for higher resolution, please see the attached PDFs
This new walking trail is going to remove MTB access to the trail known as ‘Dental Work’. This trail has been in place for over 10 years, and is a critical link in the MTB trails connecting Chapel Hill and Indooroopilly to the broader Mount Coot-thaprecinct. I personally use this trail every week, and it is one of the few natural (non machine made) single track trails left in the Mount Coot-tha network. It is a sustainable trail that has been built within IMBA guidelines, and this is reflected in the current excellent condition of the trail despite being in place for longer than 10 years with minimal maintenance. It is a challenging and rewarding trail to ride which is a valuable asset to the Mount Coot-tha network. While the name ‘Dental Work’ may sound intimidating, the trail is very safely constructed and rideable by all abilities.
To get an idea of how useful this link is to cyclists in the region, please take a look at the Strava global heatmap, available here https://www.strava.com/heatmap#16.03/152.96182/-27.48668/hot/all. This map aggregates the GPS information collected by cyclists who use the Strava app to log their activities. Rides over the last 2 years are shown.
You may require an account to log in – therefore below is a screenshot of the trail with the filter set to Rides only, where it can clearly be seen as an integral cycling link to Mount Coot-tha.
IMAGE: Cycling heatmap of the eastern Mount Coot-tha precinct (source – strava global heatmap)
Strava is also very useful in that you can easily see usage statistics.
Here is the link to the Dental Work segment going downhill – https://www.strava.com/segments/8559080?filter=overall, and here is the link to Dental Work going uphill – https://www.strava.com/segments/18859913?filter=overall
The downhill segment has 6,214 logs by 811 people, and the uphill segment has 5,784 logs by 753 people at the time of writing this email. That is nearly 12,000 unique rides up and down Dental Work, and this is only logs captured by people using this application. There will be a magnitude more of riders that do not use any GPS logging software. This trail sees thousands of rides every year.
In addition, the southern section of the officially designated MTB trail ‘Frogmouth trail’ (see attached PDFs) has already been bulldozed and turned into a firebreak multi use trail. The northern section (which is also a part of the new proposed walking trail) of this official trail has been neglected for years, and is highly damaged and eroded. In fact, this official trail is in far worse condition than Dental Work, and this can be seen in the above heatmap where riders clearly favour using Dental Work over the Frogmouth Trail.
While Dental Work is primarily a MTB trail, it is and has been shared with walkers and runners for its entirety. I come across walkers and runners on this trail and there is always mutual respect, we simply move to one side and slow down to pass safely and respectfully.
Below is a screenshot of the same area using walkers and runners only. It can be seen that while Dental work is also used as a walking and running trail, the Citrodora -> Frogmouth link is also clearly depicted as a path of choice for runners. Due to the southern section of Frogmouth already being cleared as a firebreak, this trail is now 80% complete as a walking trail / multi use trail. I completely understand the need for a greater walking link between the Botanical Gardens and the Summit, however I believe that using dental work will have adverse environmental impacts due to the widening of the trail and removing numerous established trees, along with severing MTB connectivity in the area.
A better alternative may be some light maintenance to the existing wide CitrodoraTrail (which will require zero tree clearing or excavation works), and then continuing with works to the Frogmouth Trail to complete the link to the summit. This will greatly reduce the amount of clearing and work that is required, providing improved walking access from the Botanical Gardens, while maintaining mountain bike connectivity to the Mount Cootha Precinct.
As you can see, this side of Mount Cootha is already very well catered for walkers with the recent fantastic work to the Summit Trail, and the existing Mahogony Trail – these can be seen as shining beacons on the below screenshot and a measure of the success of the council work done here. Additionally, the Lookout Trail is a very well used link connecting Chapel Hill directly to the Summit However, please reconsider removing MTB access from this side, as it is greatly required. (please see attached PDFs for trail names and designations)
IMAGE: Walkers and Runners heatmap of the eastern Mount Coot-tha precinct (source – strava global heatmap)
Considering the above, it is simply not required. Converting the path to a walking trail will require the widening of the path from the existing 500-600mm to approximately 2m wide as can be seen in the image below. This was taken last week along Dental Work, and the pink paint clearly shows that the proposed trail works are significant and will require the removal of numerous trees along the alignment, and significant ‘cutting’ into the hill to widen the trail. Likewise, as can be seen in the PDF maps that i have prepared, in one section the proposed trail runs directly down the fall line, which will simply create erosion in the long run and require further maintenance. The existing trail switches back and forth down the hill and has proven to be sustainable over the long term.
This is not the first time that it appears that council has had a potential misunderstanding of mountain bike access in Mount Cootha. Earlier this year, a community of cyclists called BORRA (Brisbane off road riders alliance) was formed due to the news that several trails were going to be removed from the network. Due to the huge community response, this work was cancelled and the trails have been left in place due their overwhelming value to the Mount Cootha trail network. The Lord Mayor responded (please see attached letter) by letting the community know that they would not continue with the ‘wholesale removal of unauthorised trails’ and would be willing to work constructively with the MTB community to move forward in improving access without detrimental environmental impacts. The proposed removal of MTB access to dental work, along with the extensive machine work required in widening the trail for use as a walking path appears to be in direct conflict with what was communicated in July.
Please reconsider the proposed trail work to the existing trail. This appears to be a misinformed piece of work.
I am more than happy to discuss this further as the Mount Cootha precinct is something I am passionate about, please do not hesitate to get in contact with me.