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COUNTY BEGINS 18-MONTH PILOT PROGRAM FOR SHARED-USE TRAILS IN TWO DESIGNATED PARKS

Irondequoit Bay Park West and Tryon Park now host shared-use trails

County Executive Maggie Brooks today announced that Monroe County has begun an 18-month pilot program for shared-use trails, to assess the effect of off-road bicycling on non-paved pathways. Trails in two Monroe County Parks have been designated to host the pilot: Irondequoit Bay Park West and Tryon Park. Bicycles will be allowed on specified off-road trails located in these two Parks, only. Bicycling remains restricted to road shoulders, bike paths and other designated paved surfaces in all other County Parks.

“The most recent Park Master Plan, approved by the County Legislature in 2009, recommended a study of shared-use trails, designed for both hikers and off-road bicyclists, be conducted in Irondequoit Bay Park West and Tryon Park,” said Brooks. “With extensive public input, the County has developed a pilot program that embraces the goals of user safety, environmental conservation and quality experience. We look forward to closely monitoring this new program and evaluating the results.”

For the pilot program Monroe County Parks’ staff and volunteers designed and constructed or improved shared-use trails in Irondequoit Bay Park West (five miles) and Tryon Park (three miles), using sustainable trail practices. Trail heads have been established and informational kiosks display trail system maps, trail designations, trail difficulty and rules. All trails have been blazed to correspond with mapping.

In order for the trail systems to be enjoyable for everyone, user safety is a top priority. All bicyclists are required to wear helmets and must yield to hikers. Bicycling is also restricted to designated shared-use trails and is not allowed on footpaths or other non-designated areas. Individuals participating in off-road bicycling should do so at their own risk. Trails will be patrolled by volunteer members of the National Mountain Bike Patrol.

The Monroe County Parks Department will monitor the effects of shared-usage

throughout the pilot program, conducting evaluations every three months. Trail evaluations will use base-line data at known GPS reference points at regular predetermined intervals to assess changes to trail conditions. Additional criteria will include user conflicts, adherence to rules and impacts on other County Parks that are not part of the pilot program.

An outline of the Shared-Use Pilot Program, as well as trail system maps for Irondequoit Bay Park West and Tryon Park are available at: www.monroecounty.gov/parks <www.monroecounty.gov/parks>

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