We met with representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers today. On our side we had about 30 people representing the cycling communities, ex-mayors, current mayors, representatives from many other government agencies and a rep from Congressperson's Kay Grainger's office. Our goal was to convince the Corps to rethink their decision and maintain the status quo. What we ended up with was both potentially long term better, but perhaps short term worse.
In short the Corps will be separating campers from cyclists. This is not just in Benbrook, but across the nation. Benbrook is behind most of the other parks in this regard. We gained a short reprieve today and the date is now Jan 1. This date is now set.
That being said, the Corps seems extremely willing to work with us and the other government agencies to achieve some other solution. They have many examples of working with others to achieve desirable results, so there is both precedence and expectation.
Our next steps are to establish a coalition of concerned agencies and clubs to come up with a solution. The Corps would participate. Members of the club will be involved.
Craig has done a fantastic job gathering people together, and finding the right people. It's hard to believe a 2.4 mile stretch of road would garner such interest. The people in the room are a who's who of cycling and Ft Worth government. If you see Craig, thank him for his efforts.
So what can you do??
- Any and all altercations with the gate attendants must stop immediately. Cyclists can't be the bad guys in this scenario. Follow their instructions.
- Stop at the gate, going both directions. Do NOT blow through the gate. Show your pass. Wait in line with the cars if need be.
- Be calm and patient with the gate attendants. Be friendly. These people have infinitely more influence with the Corps than we do.
- Follow the normal rules of the road. Stop at STOP signs, ride on the right, no more than 2 abreast.
- Stay on the main road. Go over Nice hill for now. Walk your bike up the hill if you need to. Stay off of the smaller feeder roads, dont go exploring.
More info to come in the upcoming weeks.
Stephen & Craig