Land Manager Update March 2015 - Greater Hobart Mountain Bike Plan

Land Manager Update March 2015 - Greater Hobart Mountain Bike Plan

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Source: Great Hobart Mountain Bike Plan - March 2015 Land Managers Update

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Greater Hobart MTB Plan
Land Manager Update March 2015 - Greater Hobart Mountain Bike Plan

City of Hobart (CoH)

Immediate works
        Radfords Track – Construction work is complete, except installation of replacement signage. Waiting for WPMT to grade all tracks before signs can be replaced.
        Tip Top Track – The track has now been included in the Greater Hobart Trails website.
        Strickland Falls link – The missing link between Rivulet Track to Middle Island Fire Trail has not been pursued as a funding was not received in 14/15. A funding submission will be put in for 16/17 based on track design.
        Chalet Downhill Track. A feasibility study will be prepared for the concept and will then be submitted to the Council for endorsement. The study will commence in April and is expected to be completed by late July 2015.
        Old Farm Track – the lower half of the Chalet DH Track concept is to include an alteration of Old Farm Track from its current bi-directional shared use position to a downhill only track for mountain bike riders.  A planning application was submitted to the Trust in late February. The Trust has advised that it has approved the proposal. Assuming other land managers within the Park approve of the proposal (Glenorchy CC, PWS, TasWater), a Work Permit will be provided. It is intended to build the short extension to Old Farm Track with MTB volunteers by the end of May 2015. Note that the Trust will need to grade all tracks within the Park before the work can occur.
        Middle Track (Radfords Track to Reservoir Trail) – CoH has funding provided in the 14/15 budget to undertake works which will tighten up some sections and help passively manage straight-line speed on this trail as well as works to improve drainage. 
Update - A planning application was submitted to the Trust in late February to install chicanes to manage bike rider speed and to replace signage to advise of shared use. No further track repair work will be undertaken. The Trust advised that they have approved the proposal, pending approval from other land managers within the Park (Glenorchy CC, PWS, TasWater). If the permit is provided, the Council intends on undertaking the works by June 2015. 
Note that the Trust will need to grade all tracks within the Park before the signage replacement work can occur.
The Trust stated that they will work with the Council in preparing the parameters of the shared use trial. The Trust has not prepared a draft of the trial yet.
The Trust stated that they will fund and implement the trial.
The Trust has been advised that the Council has provided funding in 14/15 to install the chicanes and the replacement signage to manage the risks of share use on this track. The Trust have also been advised that if the works are not undertaken in 14/15 as a result of the Trust’s inaction, then given the Council’s internal funding process, funding will not be able to be sourced again until 16/17, at the earliest.
# Continued frustrations were expressed by members of the committee over the Trust’s lack of progress in the development of the shared use trial.
        Fern Tree Park to Pillinger Drive – CoH has funding provided in the 14/15 budget to undertake works which will tighten up some sections and help passively manage straight-line speed on this trail as well as works to improve drainage.  
Update: Same details as Middle Track above.
        S56 – CoH will receive funding in the 15/16 budget to undertake work to repair and formalise this track.
        Twin Bridges – The decking of the Twin Bridges is being widened and the handrail height increased to cater for shared use. Construction commenced on 2nd March and is to be completed by 28th March.
        The Slides Track – Funding has been gained in 15/16 to build The Slides Track. It is intended to work with MTB riders to design and build the track, along similar lines to the method used for Tip Top Track.
        Queens Domain Summit Loop – Funding has been gained in 15/16 to upgrade a number of track sections below the summit of the Domain. This work is being undertaken in accordance with the Queens Domain Master Plan 2012 and the GH MTB Master Plan. It is envisaged this will form a loop for beginner to intermediate bike riders.
        Crossroads to TCA – Western and Eastern Side– Funding has been gained in 15/16 to upgrade the tracks that lead from the Crossroads area to the TCA, on the western and eastern side of the
Athletics Centre. This work is being undertaken in accordance with a recommendation from the Queens Domain Master Plan 2012. It is envisaged this will form a loop for beginner to intermediate bike riders.
        Wishing Well Bridge (Pipeline Track) – Funding has been gained in 15/16 to remove this narrow concrete culvert and replace it with a footbridge that caters for shared use.
        Cascade Land Strategy – Carlton & United Breweries, Cascade Brewery and the City of Hobart are undertaking a collaborative project that examines the values of the 250Ha Cascade Brewery estate as a whole, and then develops a long-term plan that progresses the shared objectives for the estate. The recreational values of the estate are a critical issue that is being examined, particularly as a number of popular mountain bike tracks and connections are located on Cascade land.
Once a draft plan has been prepared in the second half of 2015, it will be presented to key stakeholders and community members, and additional comment on the draft plan will be invited at that time.
        Track Care Group - CoH are in the process of creating a Track Care Group which will come under the umbrella of the Council’s Bushcare program. The intent of the group is to formalise the system for volunteer bike riders to work with the Council in designing, building and maintaining tracks for bike riding. 
Riders have been contacted to ascertain their level of interest and quite a number have responded positively.
It is envisaged that this group will be asked if they are interested in working on an extension to the Old Farm Track in 14/15 and the design and construction of the Slides Track in 15/16.
        Pipeline Track Shared-Use - CoH have been trialling shared use on the section of Pipeline Track between Halls Saddle and McDermotts Saddle for just under two years, and have been undertaking surveys of track users during March. A report will be submitted to the Council shortly with the outcomes of the shared use trial for their consideration to adopting shared use on a permanent basis.

Kingborough Council (KC) 

   Kingborough MTB Park – Work is being done to ensure that the park remains in good condition with funding submissions being prepared (to Council) for regular maintenance and materials for the parks ongoing upkeep.   

Clarence City Council (CCC)

 Immediate works
        Pilchers Hill - The Meehan Range Trail Groomers are working on a new single direction descent track in Pilchers Hill Reserve as the Pilchers Hill Track is one-way uphill only and the Caves Hill Track will be made one way uphill only.
        Clarence MTB Park – The Caretaker Program, in conjunction with the volunteer trail builder program, have been working hard in the park and surrounding area.
o   New signage has been installed at trail heads at the park entrance and further signage will be installed at intersections over the upcoming months. (photo)
o   Smooth as Butter (beginners) – The first stage of this 2km beginners loop track by the Tasman Hwy has been constructed and is now signed. 
o   Corkscrew Climb & Descent (Intermediate) – The Green Corps built trail has been rerouted in the lower sections and new trail constructed to improve the experience. 
o   A new track has been constructed by volunteers to provide a link between the CMBP and the PWS Redgate Section which bypasses Belbins Road roadway.
o   The Meehan Monster event was held in the park last October. 
        Risdon Vale Tracks
o            The Risdon Vale Bike Collective has constructed a new loop track on Council land near the Grasstree Hill Rivulet (photos)
        Tangara Trail 
o       Clear Lagoon Track - The boardwalk on the Clear Lagoon Track over the boggy section between Farnaby Place and Deeprose Way will be elevated so it isn’t submerged after heavy rain
o   Dirty Bridge Creek Track - A trail connection has been provided between School Road and Germaine Court in Sandford.
o   Mortimer Bay Coastal Trail - Approval has been given to extend the track from Baragoola Lane to Palana Court. Construction will commence later in the year
Planning works
        Pilchers Hill - A new track connection is being planned from Pilchers Hill, around the back of Caves Hill, to join up with tracks from Belbins Rd. Waiting on a licence agreement with landowner.
        Meehan Range – A draft Meehan Range Strategic Plan is being finalised (which is being coordinated by Dirt Art). Once it has been approved for consultation by PWS and CCC it will be presented to stakeholders for feedback. It includes Clarence MTB Park, Belbins Rd area, Pilchers Hill area and Risdon Vale.
        Clarence Mountain Bike Park - A budget submission has been made to extend the dual direction section at the top of the Corkscrew Track to the start of the downhill track which will bypass a steep section of fire trail (approx. 300m). There are plans to turn the downhill track into a descending track because of the lack of shuttle access to the top and a desire to make it cater for a wider range of riders.

Glenorchy City Council (GCC)

Glenorchy MTB Park  
o 4 x new park benches and a water filling station to be installed in the MTB Park before June 2015
o Currently undertaking tree assessment of all Glenorchy MTB Park trails to manage tree fall risk to riders
o   Maintenance work undertaken on the North South descent into the MTB Park from the 5 ways junction
o  Reroute of the Access track from the main park hub up to the Water Fire Trail adjacent to the lower pine section of the National Downhill Track
o   Persistent drainage issue on North South descent at the park hub fixed o    We are 17 days short of having a years worth of data on some of the track use in the Glenorchy Mountain Bike Park. Quite impressive, an opportunity to compare this asset to other recreation facilities around GCC. Here are some of the stats as at yesterday 11/03/2015:
o   Counter 1 (on Fire Trail leading up to park hub) TOTAL COUNTS: 27,380 AVERAGE PER DAY: 78.7 including dog walkers, riders, Taswater and GCC staff etc.
o   Counter 2 (XC ascent to Water FT) TOTAL COUNTS: 5031 AVERAGE PER DAY: 14.5 Single track 1 direction XC riders
o   Counter 3 (XC ascent from Water FT to 5 Ways Jnc) TOTAL COUNTS: 4569 AVERAGE PER DAY: 13.1 Single track 1 direction XC riders
o  Counter 4 (North South/XC descent below Water FT) TOTAL COUNTS: 7847 AVERAGE PER DAY: 22.5 Single track 1 direction XC riders

Wellington Park Management Trust (WPMT)

        Track Conversions o            The Wellington Park Management Trust has approved a proposal from Hobart City Council to convert Old Farm Track from shared use to single use (mountain bike only) and the works required for the conversion, including a new section of track to connect Old Farm Track directly to the Main Fire Trail (see attached).
o   The Trust has also approved the conversion of the Lower Fern Glade Track and the upper portion of Middle Track from single use (walkers only) to shared use on a trial basis.  The conversion will be part of an assessment of the environmental and social impacts of the Track conversions recommended in the GHMBMP.  
        Monitoring
o  Bikes on walking tracks:  fair bit of school holiday activity on FingerPost track between Pinnacle Road intersections and below. Crossing O’Grady’s Fire Trail and high speed (and ignoring my imposing presence). Also reported low usage of Lower Sawmill Track;  Increasing usage of upper Luge again.
        Track Grading project o       WP is re-grading all track sections according to Greater Hobart Trails system Very Easy – Easy – Moderate – Difficult- Very Difficult, ahead of new signage in HCC area.  There will be separate grading for mountain bikes and walkers.
o   Input on some sections is being sought by long time walkers and riders. 
o   I would like this group’s input and will be showing relevant sections on ARCGIS online at the meeting (iPad probably)
        Track Care program o          Ranger IDing prospective building and maintenance projects on WP bike/shared use tracks for HCC TrackCare program under development by Lisa Cawthen –
§     Eg N-S Track: Paving short sections (only where erosion is an issue). Also looking at replacing/improving/restoring/upgrading TTFs.
        Questions for the group o   Discussion on how to monitor or gather information about the effects of the Northern/North Eastern track impacts on local and regional and even state economy/environment/community? Generally existing data is used rather than collecting new data.

Other Business

The GH MTB Master Plan recommends a part-time project officer to fully realise the objectives of the Master Plan such as implementing the recommended regional approach to trail development and marketing and attraction of mountain biking events to greater Hobart. The Hobart City Council requested that the committee consider this initiative.
The steering committee agreed that there would be a potential need for a project officer to undertake this role for a defined period of time, likely to be focussed on seeking external funding once the planning for a number of significant projects has been progressed (i.e. WPMT’s Epic, CoH Chalet DH, CCC Meehan Range Strategic Plan) however the ideal timing would not be until the 2016/17 or more likely the 2017/18 financial year. The committee agreed that it was important for significant projects to be implemented on the ground prior before employing a project officer.

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