By Karen Carlson
I am writing in response to last week’s article in the Sentinel that informed Ramona about the intent of the County Board of Supervisors to “review” the County Trails Plan, again.
It is difficult to get all information included in one little article in the newspaper, I know. From a trails advocates point of view I would like to share with our community of Ramona that it is never the intent or wish of trails advocates to make any project more difficult either for a residential lot split or major development or any other property owner.
Let me also make it clear that there are “trails” requirements and “pathway” requirements according to the Ramona Community Trails Plan. A trail is a meandering trail that is away from any roadway, and a pathway is along a road as an alternative to a concrete sidewalk. Trails advocates would never try to impose that a property owner put a trail right through their property, either.
A Trails and Pathways Plan is designed as a guideline to create a means of nonmotorized travel and recreation for a community. A Trails and Pathways Plan is created to connect areas of town with one another and to connect communities as well.
The plan has trails and pathways marked on a map, and those trails and pathways can be in the general area of a project that would allow for current or future connectivity. The Ramona Community Trails and Pathways Plan creates connections within Ramona and to Poway, Lakeside, Alpine, Santa Ysabel and surrounding communities as well as open areas such as the Cleveland National Forest lands.
I know in Ramona we have worked very hard to create a cohesive trails and pathways plan and being involved in that process has taught me so much. Not only does a pathway create a means of getting from one place to another without using a car, thus diminishing pollutants, it saves property owners money on pouring a concrete sidewalk, and we all know how expensive concrete is.
Pathways can be used by folks walking, riding bicycles, equestrians, moms with strollers, friends visiting one another and many more people in our communities. A concrete sidewalk is only supposed to be used by pedestrians. That is very limiting, especially in a town such as Ramona where so many people have horses and there are currently no bike lanes to speak of.
I am hoping that the County Board of Supervisors thinks very carefully about this upcoming “review” and remembers that each unincorporated community submitted updated Trails and Pathways Plans, which the planning groups approved and the County Board of Supervisors just approved, unanimously, in June of this year. I am looking forward to the day that I can get around Ramona safely without my vehicle, and enjoy the outdoors and will continue to work hard and be involved in the process of making this happen.
Karen Carlson is president of the Ramona Trails Association.