[Note for folks in Glen Park: Rec and Park is currently working to create a trail system that would be one nearly continuous greenbelt, makin git possible to walk from Mount Tustro over Twin Peaks and through Glen Park. See Murray Schneider’s article from 2013. Thus, this is a project that’s been much anticipated by Glen Park neighbors.]
By Tom Borden
I want to make you aware of an unpublicized part of the proposed San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department Twin Peaks Trail Improvement Project.
None of the slides/posters available online or displayed at the recent workshop show the trail closures included in this project.
However, at the preliminary meeting they there was a handout that included a map. See the attachment. I marked the main closures in red. There are some others shown by the faint dashed lines.
By removing those trails and posting the signs “Stay on designated trails.” San Francisco Rec and Park’s Natural Natural Area’s Program will have effectively closed the whole south end of Twin Peaks to the public. If you look at the the Significant Natural Resource Areas, you can see they did not disclose plans to close these trails.
The online survey for the project is open until July 17. If you disagree with the trail/land closure, you can write in a comment in the box near the end of the survey. The survey link is here:
Rec and Park’s preferred “figure 3” plan is probably the best practical option.
The “Figure 8” would be even better because you could walk/ride all the way around to get views in every direction. However, the guard rail is built together with the retaining wall for the road, so the existing guard rail is not going away. For the sake of pedestrian and cyclist safety, some sort of separator from the cars would be needed, either elevating the ped/bike area, or adding a new guard rail all the way around in the middle of the current road. Either would be a major expense.
I did not include it with my survey response, but maybe it would make sense to push for a dirt trail outside the guard rail around the western side of the 8 to complement the Figure 3 plan. There may be some places where the hillside falls away too steeply from the road bed over there, and so the trail may not be feasible. Does not hurt to ask though.
I finally just found the trail closure map on the Recreation and Park Department website, but not by navigating from the Rec and Park Twin Peaks Figure 8 Redesign webpage. It was from a presentation done back in September 2013.
They handed out the presentation packet at a “stake holders” meeting on May 7, 2015 I attended. At that meeting, there was no discussion of the trail closures. At the June 25 workshop, there were no boards showing the trail closures and no discussion of them.
Comment from Connie Chan at SF Rec and Park:
SF Rec and Park has been working very hard with our fellow city agencies on the Twin Peaks Redesign Project and together we have focused our efforts on a robust community outreach. The Department’s main motivation for partnering with SFMTA and SF Public Works is to generate a concept design for the Twin Peaks Boulevard that will provide safe crossings and minimize the interaction of pedestrians and vehicles as well as to improve connectivity for our hiking trails throughout Twin Peaks. In addition, Bay Area Ridge Trail is proposing to reroute the Trail from the neighborhood streets west of Twin Peaks onto the Department’s trails so we are working in partnership with Bay Area Ridge Trail on this project as well.
Moreover, the Department’s Twin Peaks Trail Improvement is currently in design phase, and is funded by the 2008 Parks Bond as well as the California’s Habitat Conservation Fund grants. The Twin Peaks Redesign Project will also help formalizing the Twin Peaks Trails which will keep visitors on the trails and protect our natural areas and wildlife habitat. A good example is the Department’s ongoing efforts of restoring natural areas and the native plant known as Lupine in Twin Peaks, such efforts are to provide a nurturing habitat for the endangered Mission Blue Butterfly. By keeping the public on official trails, it minimizes any disruption for the growth and restoration of the wildlife habitat and the Butterfly.
Currently, as part of our outreach for the project, we are also conducting a survey. To date, we have received a total of 109 responses to our survey, and the survey will be available online through next Friday, July 17th.
For more information, please check out our weblink for the project: http://sfrecpark.org/project/twin-peaks-figure-8-redesign/