SDMBA requests the City of San Diego Consider Reasonable and Safe Soft Opening of Trails, Parks and Open SpacesThe San Diego Mountain Biking Assocation submitted the following letter to City of San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, all City of San Diego Council Members and the Director of the City of San DIego Parks and Recreation Department on Apirl 17, 2020.
You are welcome to contact the Mayor and your city council members to chime in on this issue as the City of San Diego discusses next steps during this Covid 19 Pandemic.
City Contact List
April 17, 2020
Mayor Kevin Faulconer
202 “C” Street
San Diego, CA 92101
RE: Recommendations for Reasonable Re-Opening of Parks and Trails as part COVID-19 Response
On behalf of the San Diego Mountain Biking Association, we are writing with recommendations for how to address the public health crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic through managing the need for people to safely get outside. Our recommendation is for the City of San Diego to consider and implement a reasonable plan for soft-opening for some parks, trails and open spaces in a safe manner that allows people to enjoy the mental and physical health benefits that our parks, trails, and open spaces provide.
The County of San Diego has aligned with the recommendations of the National Recreation and Park Association in support of safe use of parks and open spaces during this time. We urge the City of San Diego to consider the same at some or all of the following areas:
Mission Trails Regional Park (with the exception of Father Junipero Serra Trail, Cowles Mountain, Lake Murray )
Penasquitos Canyon and Del Mar Mesa Preserve (with the exception of the waterfall trails)
Black Mountain Open Space Park
Florida Canyon Trails
Rose/Tecolote/San Clemente Canyons/Marian Bear
Otay Valley Regional Park
San Dieguito River Park including trails adjacent to Lake Hodges on City of SD property.
56 Bike Path and other class 1 bike paths
A “soft-opening” for these areas would allow amenities to remain closed while allowing trails to be open. This strategy would allow neighbors to get outdoors close to home. In all instances, we recommend people follow local, state and national ordinances and guidelines regarding the use of these spaces and recognize that these vary by neighborhood and for specific parks or trails. In no way do we aim to encourage group activities with these recommendations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has flagged mental health as a top concern associated with the COVID-19 outbreak. We recognize that physical distancing may take a toll on our mental health, especially during high-stress and anxiety-producing global public health emergencies. We also know that parks provide a connection to the outdoors and green space as well as opportunities for physical activity which studies demonstrate reduces stress and improves mental health.
Our local parks, trails, and open spaces have always served as places where people can find respite and seek peace and restoration. During this time of uncertainty, these places are needed now more than ever.
The San Diego Mountain Biking Association stands by to help in any way we can to facilitate any actions the City of San Diego will take. We want to assist the hard-working city employees and educate our members, followers and partner organizations so we can work together to improve the current situation.
Andrew Field - Director, City of San Diego Parks and Recreation
Council President Georgette Gómez
Council President Pro Tem Barbara Bry
Councilmember Jennifer Campbell
Councilmember Chris Ward
Councilmember Monica Montgomery
Councilmember Mark Kersey
Councilmember Chris Cate
Councilmember Scott Sherman
Councilmember Vivian Moreno