GROC Genesee Regional Off-Road Cyclists

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GROC Genesee Regional Off-Road Cyclists

Advocacy Action Alert!

Dear Members,

GROC recently presented a proposal to the Monroe County Parks Advisory Committee outlining the need for a trail that exits the far north end of Tryon Park, offering safe connectivity to Irondequoit Bay Park West. The presentation was clear and concise, but as expected, was met with resistance from a few of the neighbors living near the proposed trail.

HOW YOU CAN HELP THE PROJECT SUCCEED: 

1. Take a moment to write a few words in favor of the connector trail – especially those of you that live near the parks! As is the custom with the Monroe County Parks Department, a comment period is being provided for the next three weeks for people to offer their feedback regarding the proposed project. Below are a few points to include when writing:

- The Connector Trail is essential for safety reasons (crossing Empire Blvd is very dangerous)

- With very limited access to shared-use trails, many people like to frequent both parks in a single visit, so a logical option for connectivity is important

- The proposed trail will be entirely built on Monroe County land, is in accordance with town zoning requirements

- Great care has been taken to place the trail in such a way as to make it sustainable, environmentally harmonious with the landscape, and is considerate of the sight lines of neighboring houses

- This project addresses several of the priorities listed in the Ellison Parks Master Plan and is in alignment with Irondequoit’s Active Transportation Plan favoring micro trails and connectivity

2. Send a letter not only to the MC Parks Department, but also to Legislator Joe Morelle. Morelle is the District 17 legislator who is working with the Town of Irondequoit residents living near the proposed connector trail.

3. To significantly improve our chances of being successful, consider writing to your own representative as well.

 

Contact information for your comments:

Monroe County Parks: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Joseph D. Morelle, Jr., 17th District - Irondequoit: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Complete list of County legislators: http://www2.monroecounty.gov/legislature-legislators.php

 

Thanks for your continued support! 

Jeff Wright, GROC President

 

 

GROC & IMBA: What IMBA's Restructuring Could Mean for Our Organization

Dear Members,

IMBA has determined that the current Chapter Program is not economically viable and must be restructured. The reason for this is the loss of Subaru as a sponsor and the very poor chapter retention rate of 51%. Though not all the details are known, the retention rate is most likely due to the 60/40 revenue sharing split in which IMBA receives 60% of membership dues and the chapters receive 40%. For the 60%, IMBA provides numerous services to chapters that help them operate, provide advocacy support at a local level, and representation at the state and federal levels.

For GROC this has been a good partnership, and sharing memberships with IMBA has been a win-win. However, the recent revisions to the Chapter Program needed to make it sustainable may not be in our best interest. The GROC board have been discussing the pros and cons of this newly proposed setup and we want our members to be informed of the situation, to ask questions if you have them, and provide feedback before we make a decision to stick with the program or leave and go our own way.

GROC has relied on IMBA in several key ways. First, IMBA as a professional advocacy organization, has given GROC credibility with local land managers and County/Town officials. Second, they have provided us with membership services which handle all of our membership data, money transactions, communications revolving around membership, and the use of an online membership database which we use for online communications. Third, we have access to a Regional Director who is there to provide support in a wide variety of areas from advocacy to non-profit legalities. For our Chapter, this is what 60% of our membership dues pay for. This roughly equates to $4000 - $5000 per year. Of the 40% that we get, about half goes to paying for our insurance, and the other half pays for tools, materials for trail work, awards, communication expenses, legal expenses, and miscellaneous items associated with events and meetings.

Under the new chapter program IMBA will retain the 60/40 revenue sharing model, increase the base membership fee from $35 to $49, replace Regional Directors with Subject Matter Specialists, and will update membership services software.

Of concern to us is the increased membership fee and how much we are spending for membership services. After some initial research, we now know that these services can be found elsewhere for much cheaper. The catch is that GROC would have to find a “membership coordinator,” a position which may require a stipend in order to make it feasible.

All that said, if we do decide to leave the Chapter Program, GROC will still continue to support IMBA by becoming a supporting organization. This arrangement would cost $500 per year, keep us connected to IMBA to help support the advocacy work they do at the state and national levels, and keep the door open if we ever needed the occasional fee based service/expertise. Under this setup, we would also encourage our membership to join IMBA, separately.

It is also worth noting that GROC does not deem IMBA to be in opposition to our organizational mission or our goals at this time. The decision we are faced with is based on wise use of finances and what will be best for the local riding community.

Finally, for those members considering whether to renew their memberships, we would encourage you to do so if you wish to continue to support IMBA and their efforts. However, if you are only concerned with supporting GROC specifically, we would advise you to hold off on your renewal until further notice. We will be making a decision on this matter in approximately 2 weeks.

Please feel free to contact us with questions and feedback at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Sincerely,

Jeff Wright
GROC President

 

Tryon West Bay Petition

Support For Trail Connectivity Between Tryon Park & West Bay Park

Tryon and West Bay Parks have become a very popular destination for off-road cyclists since becoming the only parks in the area that offer shared-use trails. Both off-road cyclists and runners tend to cover longer distances and often choose to visit both parks during a single outing since each are rather small in area and limited to just a few miles of trails. Connectivity between these two parks is very important to trail users.

While these two parks are in close proximity to each other, they are separated by Empire Blvd, a busy multi- lane highway that experiences significant automobile traffic during the evening commute, which is also the most popular time for trail activity during the week.

The trail that park users currently follow to connect the parks passes through private property northwest of Tryon Park and exits onto Empire Blvd approximately halfway down the hill east of Winton Road. This is problematic for multiple reasons. Although we are not aware of any complaints from the private property owner, GROC does not condone the use of trails where legal access has not been granted. More importantly though, this trail presents a significant safety concern. The point where the existing trail connects to

Empire Blvd is on a dangerous blind curve. In order to exit the trail travelling north or enter the trail when headed south, trail users must cross four lanes of high-speed traffic with limited visibility.

GROC has proposed a new trail solution that will safely and legally connect the two parks through public property. This proposed trail will also provide safe trail access for residents of other neighborhoods in the immediate area. GROC met with Monroe County Parks personnel and walked the proposed trail layout in May 2014. At that time GROC was told that the Parks Department would consider allowing construction of the proposed trail. Despite multiple inquiries, GROC has not received any additional feedback from the County Parks Department regarding the proposed trail.

Trail Proposal

The proposed trail is the only sustainable route that can be done based on the extremely steep descent from the neighborhood into the Park property. GROC has taken great care in the design of the trail locating the trail well within the county property and below visible sight lines from the yards that are along the park's edge. There are 4 houses that are on Club Drive where the trail would start to exit the Park. The trail is well out of any site line from the 4 houses and only the last house where the trail would exit could see any trail user from their yard. The land from where the yard's end is extremely steep drop and at least 30 to 40 feet down from Yards. The only way a neighbor could see trail or trail users is to walk to end or off their property and look down the steep grade.

The trail would exit at the last house on Club Drive and come out 50 feet from Irondequoit Blvd. There is a sidewalk that runs along Irondequoit Blvd that exits the neighborhood and continues up to the traffic light at Winton and Empire. This would allow safe crossing of Empire to Orchard Park Blvd, which takes you to West Bay Park. This trail is not in any way meant to be a trailhead; it is only a way to safely go from one park to another using County-Owned Property.  

GROC’s POV on these questions

  • Trail Locations is the best and only sustainable option to traverse the elevation
  • GROC does not want or think that that Trail exit should be a trail head. It is only for connectivity between the parks. Maps should not call out this trail exit as a trail head.
  • GROC would also be vigilant about communicating that parking or using that area as atrial head is not appropriate.
  • See Exhibit A for basic trail location

Please Sign the Petition by giving your name address, email, and trail activities you are interested in. This petition is to demonstrate the desire of the trail user community to safely connect these two parks.

 

Dryer Road Park Fundraiser

GROC is running a fundraiser to build a new bike park at Dryer Road! 

As the technology and culture of mountain biking evolves, GROC is committed to supporting great riding experiences -- across all off-road disciplines. This project will help those looking to progress their riding skills by providing a safe, well designed and well constructed facility. By offering a couple different jump lines for different ability levels, riders will be able to refine their technique on features that help inspire confidence and progression.

GROC is also committed to supporting the next generation by offering push bike riders features to develop their budding skills. The fun push bike track will help create enthusiasm and confidence in young rippers, and possibly inspire a lifelong passion for cycling.

 It's important to note that success with this project will not only inspire riders, but the land managers who offer us opportunities like this. As the GROC community steps up to support projects like these, there will be more and more access and progression!

Fore more information, or to donate, visit the GoFundMe page!

 

Volunteer Recognition: Paul Knerr

 

GROC would like to thank Paul Knerr, a die-hard trail worker, for all the time and effort he has put into building and maintaining trail this year. Paul does a lot of work at OCP, but is also a regular in the other 3 parks GROC stewards. He has also been a consistent face on the Trails Committee, offering his support and perspective on all things trail related and acting as a right hand man for Peter Landre, Park Manager of Ontario County Park. Paul has received awards from GROC in the past for his great work, but he is truly a volunteer that is vital to our organization’s mission. So, next time you’re out riding, thank Paul, because whatever trail you’re enjoying, his hands have most likely worked on it in some way!

 
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