We COWs believe in open pasture for all – whether they be bovine, equine, ovine or something else — all should be afforded the same rights and privileges and all legal pursuits of happiness should be equally supported by Town. That’s why when we herd that the Council has not permitted several bike riding fund raising events to pass through Town as well as opposing bike use on County trails, we were troubled.
We know about and have experienced the “noon ride” for ourselves and admit it’s aggravating and inconvenient. But then again you shouldn’t associate a small number of inconsiderate riders with the entire biking community. We have also had experience with very poor drivers pulling horse trailers, taking up more than their side of the road, blocking traffic etc. and we know on occasion horses have left their pastures and decided to take a walk or run down the middle of the street, creating quite a safety issue, but we wouldn’t think of trying rein in all horse activities because of these instances. So why is it most Council members and the Town Manager seem to be riding roughshod on just the cyclists in our community?
As we understand it, in several instances the Town Council did not follow the advice of the Town’s own Bicycle Committee and probably violated the California and United States Constitutions by refusing to allow the Hebrew Day School bike ride to pass through Woodside. Next they did the same with a fundraising ride to help ALS research. We’ve also heard some moos that the Town cancelled the Woodside Bicycle Committee June 14 meeting and that no one on the Committee knew anything about the cancellation. We hope the Town is not trying to silence a group that disagrees with it. If not, they certainly need to do a better job of explaining this cancellation since a lot of people believe it is just one more example of retaliation.
The Bike Community is outraged. Some folks are advocating a boycott of the Woodside High bike riding fundraiser and local retailers. While we are totally appalled by what happened, we blame the Town Council and not the good people who own or work at Bucks or Roberts Market, the Woodside Bakery or the gas station. We certainly cannot hold the school responsible for anything the Town does. We are concerned that charitable organizations already so under-funded especially this year with so much money going for Hurricane relief will not have enough income to continue their good works. And we can’t believe an event that supports our local High School could now be at risk!
California towns and cities are not allowed to prohibit or unduly restrict usage of public roads. As much as we all dislike traffic and occasionally have a problem with bike riders, they have the legal right to use our roads just as equestrians do.
We don’t want to shoot ourselves in the hoof — we are crazy about our horse friends and fully support the Day of the Horse but how come there is no problem with the Progressive Trail Ride which is part of the annual Woodside Day of the Horse Fair? Both horses and riders will be “fed and watered” at public as well as private facilities along the way. We don’t know how many riders there will be but the web site says that that the first 150 to pre-register and ride for stickers will get prizes. It will require the assistance of motorcycle police and patrol cars to help enforce vehicular speed limits on the roads involved, especially where horses are expected to be crossing busy streets. Mounted crossing guards will also assist participants and the ride could take as long as 3 hours all in town. So what makes this different than a bike ride for charity?
We certainly have the impression that the Council does not deny events recommended for approval by the Trails Committee or other horse involved events even though these cause additional traffic and parking.
Woodside should celebrate and equally support all of these citizen activities. If you feel strongly about these issues, please leave us a comment or email us at email@example.com. Also, we’ve put togther a page of how to get in touch with Town Council and Staff that you can see right here: http://www.citizensofwoodside.com/contact-town.