Opinion: Bicycle riders prohibited and cause major damage at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park
Published - 02/05/18 - 03:41 PM | 1019 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bike riders use the trails at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. / Photo by Scott Mac Laggan
Bike riders use the trails at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. / Photo by Scott Mac Laggan
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Dear Editor:

Thank you for the lengthy article in the recent Beacon regarding Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. Gene Berger, chairman of the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Council, told us about all the dog walkers and activity which is “pretty detrimental,” but not once was the word bicycle or bike mentioned. One bike tearing up the trail does more damage than a hundred dogs may do in a year. Bicycles are prohibited from Sunset Cliffs Natural Park yet they are there daily.  

 “Bicycles prohibited on all jogging, walking paths or other park areas not designated for vehicle use.  S.D.M.C.  63.02.19”  

I was surprised that apparently you did not speak with anyone from SD Park and Rec. or the park rangers. The San Diego Police told me that they cannot cite the bikers or enforce the code because the existing signage is insufficient. They say there must be adequate signage to properly notify the public. This means a sign at every entrance or access point to the park. 

There are at least 11 south of Ladera Street alone. Most of the existing signs cover alcohol, glass containers, smoking, noise, fires and dogs, but not bikes. The few existing no bike signs have been vandalized and are unreadable. San Diego does not maintain its park signage properly so the rules are not enforceable.

Bikes are not only tearing up the trails and other areas, but are a significant safety hazard to all who use the park. A biker roaring down a single-track trail is a serious danger to anyone on the trail. 

Due to social media, more and more bikes are using the park all the time and it is getting worse. San Diego Magazine in its annual Trails issue mistakenly urged its readers (referring to Sunset Cliffs Natural Park) to, “Join the packs of bikers on this path and do some people-watching. The park is away from traffic with a network of trails for further exploring.”

Without proper signage and enforcement, this problem will continue and grow worse. It is only a matter of time before there is a serious incident or tragic accident if nothing is done. I urge you to help to correct this situation by making your readers aware of your oversight in this article. Seniors, mothers and children are at serious risk, but so is Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. 

Scott Mac Laggan
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