Bad News in Santa Fe NM, "ATV turf war includes nails&q


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Local time
7:27 PM
Sep 30, 2006
Alabama Holly Pond
Southside: Arroyo nails plague riders

(there was a picture here of a guy staring at his bicycle flat)

Larry Vargas is shown repairing a flat tire that his son received when biking through an arroyo in Tierra Contenta in Santa Fe, NM. The family believes that the flat tires were cause by someone dumping an box of nails in the arroyo to discourage the use of ATV's. (Ramsay de Give/The New Mexican)

By Tom Sharpe | The New Mexican
July 18, 2007

Cyclists say they're become victims in an apparent bid to discourage ATV use

Somebody has been dumping roofing nails into an arroyo near Tierra Contenta, apparently to discourage all-terrain vehicles and other off-road vehicles.

But the main victims so far have been bicycle tires.

Larry Vargas, his wife Paivi Panttila and their two children, Joel, 10, and Josephine, 8, found out about the nails when they ended up with flats on their bicycles this week.

"My kids were just really irritated that somebody would do something like that," Vargas said. "There were at least three boxes of them spread around in various places."

The roofing nails have large square heads that cause the pointed ends to stand upright when tires roll over them.

Vargas said the person who spread the nails in the southwest-side arroyo probably was trying to puncture the tires of ATVs or motorcycles that have plagued open space around Santa Fe for years. Besides puncturing bike tires, the nails could also injure pedestrians, dogs and other animals.

"There was another guy I saw riding a horse, and the horse reared up, but I don't know if the horse had stepped on something or not," Vargas said.

Santa Fe Police Capt. Gary Johnson said he doesn't recall hearing about anyone putting out roofing nails before. But Councilor Carmichael Dominguez recalled other police talking about the tactic during a recent neighborhood meeting.

Dominguez, who represents the far southwest end of Santa Fe, is sponsoring an ordinance that would prohibit the use of off-road vehicles within the city limits, except in a "designated off-highway motor vehicle course, track or trail."

A companion resolution would direct city staff to look for areas to designate as off-highway vehicle trails, such as the U.S. Bureau of Land Management acreage adjacent to the Municipal Recreation Complex, west of N.M. 599.

Dominguez said he expects the ordinance and resolution to be heard at the City Council meeting Wednesday.

City ordinance already bans motorized vehicles on city open space, parks and trails, with fines beginning at $51. Earlier this year, city crews put up five road signs between Airport Road and Interstate 25, warning that riding on trails, parks and open space is illegal.

State law also bans the use of ATVs near private dwellings.

City police recently bought several ATVs so they could chase down errant ATV drivers in Tierra Contenta, along the Arroyo Chamiso Trail in south-central Santa Fe and in other parts of town. Dominguez said some of police ATVs had their tires punctured by the roofing nails.

"The complaints (about ATVs) have decreased," he said. "There's been some enforcement and some measures that have helped alleviate that. Part of it, I think, is that residents realize that there's only so much that can be done right now."

But as for spreading out roofing nails, "We encourage residents not to do tha" Dominguez said. "It puts the people's safety at stake, especially the police."
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Ahh yes the ATV's... They do the same crap behind my house. They nonstop all day everyday drive around making all kinds of racket... There is a nice park for them just down the road it boggles my mind why they wont go there :/

Annoying I tell ya.

But then again I do not complain because I do not want people complaining about my bike :)

Not to mention Santa Fe is by far more uptight than Rio Rancho sadly :/
This is an international problem.

We have a regular article in our local newspaper about motorbikes in our local parks but the crew here ride two wheel thumpster style 110cc and 125cc bikes.

The police here have also purchased similar bikes to catch offenders breaking the law regarding riding these motor bikes in our parks.

The problem is that crew do not have anywhere to ride these bike around here so they are now considering opening a park just for people to ride motorbikes without having to be in a club.

I fully support this type of local council funded park and hope it happens soon. The motorcross clubs around here seem to be very 'clicky' so you need the very latest bikes and gear and that would put the weekenders off.

All this makes motored bicycles more attrictive as you avoid all this crap and just ride :D

I am typing this while watching a song on the tv by Madonna - music makes the people come together....I am thing MBc makes the people come together!
Well you know another problem people have is that these ATV's or Dirtbikes have no silencers on them they think its "COOL" to rev them up and down up and down making the gawd awful racket they do all day. If they put a silencer on there I doubt people would be half mad at them and they could play in silence. Instead they like to be a nuisance thats the problem in my book.
Santa Fe really looks bike pro-active

From: (lots of comments after the article)

Bicyclists persuade panel to spread sharrows

(24 comments; last comment posted Yesterday 05:53 pm)

White symbols are stenciled onto the pavement on some Santa Fe streets to remind drivers to share the road with bicyclists. The city is considering whether to pay a company to install more stencils when there is controversy from the drivers.

By Tom Sharpe | The New Mexican
October 1, 2007

Many drivers blind to pricey street decals that aim to raise awareness of bikers

Sharrows - white decals to designate streets frequented by bicyclists - generally make bicyclists feel safer, but many motorists aren't sure what they mean.

Two years ago, the city began using sharrows.

Last month, the Finance Committee balked at installing 270 more on 13 streets after Councilor Rebecca Wurzburger said some drivers are confused by the symbols depicting a bicycle and arrows.

But after seven bicycle enthusiasts spoke in favor of the sharrows at a public hearing Monday, the committee unanimously recommended letting the $92,395 contract to the sole bidder, Highway Supply Co. of Albuquerque.

Wurzburger questioned whether it might be more cost-effective to give away free bicycles than to continue spending more than $300 per sharrow. She said she would like to see the city educate motorists about what the symbols mean and collect data on how effective they are.

Rick Devine of the Public Works Department said a study in San Francisco, where sharrows have been used for years, resulted in no empirical safety data.

But bicyclist Jim Harrington said the San Francisco study proved cars reduced speeds and gave more clearance to bicycles. "This is in marked contrast, for example, to the bicycle lanes which have never been shown to improve bicycle safety," Harrington said.

Steve Hield said he has noticed the difference riding bikes on Camino Cabra since sharrows were installed. "I'm treated with more respect," he said. "People give me more room. They don't try to pass me on the blind curve. ... They work because they are telling motorists that they can expect to encounter a cyclist on this road."

Gary Schiffmiller said drivers also have improved since sharrows were put on Baca Street. "Psychologically, the drivers feel like it's more legitimate for me to take the lane, which I always do now," he said. "I get honked at and swore at a lot less frequently. ... I think it's the best bang for your buck you can get."

Most people interviewed Monday along Marcy Street, one of the first places to get sharrows, said they aren't sure what they mean.

Josh Riebsomer and Amanda Mather, clerks at the Mira clothing store, had noticed the decals on other city streets, but not those in front of their shop.

"They're supposed to be a biking lane," Riebsomer said.

"Sort of semibiking lane," corrected Mather. "It doesn't seem to me that it's a technical biking lane."

"We don't have very good biking lanes," Riebsomer added.

At Video Library, owner Lisa Harris knew the symbols designate lanes that bicycles and motorized traffic are to share.

"I interpreted that, 'Be careful. There are bicycles, and we are weasels and don't have a bike lane, so we're putting this on to make it your responsibility that they pass through safely,' " she said. "I'm really not sure people notice them without being reminded. I noticed the day they put them down, but I truly have just become blind to them."

Robert Rael, who was loading flattened cardboard boxes onto a truck in front of Design Warehouse, had to have the white decals pointed out to him. "Oh those? Yeah, I've seen those a lot," he said. "I thought it was like a bike lane or something."

Even Police Chief Eric Johnson said he hadn't heard of the sharrows and had no idea what they mean.

Alicia "Cease" Martinez, who usually rides a bicycle to her job at Video Library, knew right off that they mean "make room for bikes" but added, "people don't notice people on bikes here either. ...

"It would make me feel safer if people started paying attention to them. There are so many (bicyclist) friends I have that have been almost hit."

Contact Tom Sharpe at 986-3080 or

Streets up for sharrows

These are the portions of city streets that would have sharrows installed on them this fall:

Henry Lynch Road, from Richards Avenue to Agua Frà­a Street

Palace Avenue, from Otero Street to East Alameda Street

Grant Avenue, from Palace Avenue to Paseo de Peralta

Don Gaspar Avenue, from Paseo de Peralta to Coronado Road

East Alameda Street, from Palace Avenue to Camino Pequeño

Washington Avenue, from Paseo de Peralta to Artist Road

Paseo de Peralta, from Cerrillos Road to East Alameda Street

Old Pecos Trail, from Coronado Road to Old Santa Fe Trail

Old Santa Fe Trail, from Old Pecos Trail to East Alameda Street

Gonzales Road, from 200 feet above Cerro Gordo to East Alameda Street

Second Street, at the Hopewell Street intersection

East Alameda Street, from Water Street to Delgado Street

Camino del Monte Sol, from Old Santa Fe Trail to Camino de Cruz Blanca

I'd paint those things on pavement at $300 per, thats for sure !!!


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Like anything else the government contracts out, the low bid is still ridiculously high.

Personally, I think that sharrows, special markings, and bike lanes are all a waste. Instead, why not widen shoulders? That way, cyclists, joggers, and cagers alike can all see the benefit of their tax dollars hard at (overpriced) work.