Union County Freeholders Chairman Offers Amended Watchung Reservation Resolution

Signs indicating no biking allowed Credits: Jennifer Popper
Screenshot from City of Summit Facebook page noting addition of Watchung Reservation resolution to Freeholder agenda. Credits: City of Summit Facebook page

ELIZABETH, NJ - The Union County Freeholders will hold a Regular Meeting on Thursday, April 13th, and a resolution on mountain biking in Watchung Reservation is on the agenda.  Currently, bikes are not permitted.

A draft copy of the agendapdf has been uploaded to the Union County Freeholders website, stating:

2017-329:  CHAIRMAN BRUCE H. BERGEN: Amending Resolution 2016-166, which approved the Watchung Reservation Trails Master Plan, to reflect this Board's disapproval of those portions of the Watchung Reservation Trails Master Plan recommending and providing for mountain biking in the Watchung Reservation.

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The Watchung Reservation Trails Master Plan includes a proposal to add 13.5 miles of new biking trails within the Olmstead designed reservation.  Many hikers, birders and wildlife enthusiasts, as well as residents with homes bordering the reservation expressed their concerns about the new trails, and the lack of communication on the topic by Union County officials, at a public meeting held in March

Since then, proponents and those who oppose the plan have clashed in both public comment sessions and on social media.     

At the April 6 agenda setting meeting, Chairman Bergen (around the 15:45 mark in this video) noted that a "resolution concerning Watchung Reservation" will be added onto this week's agenda.

A post also appeared on the City of Summit’s Facebook page on Monday night, stating that Mayor Nora Radest, who plans to attend Thursday's meeting, was told action will be taken.

VIDEO: Hikers Meet Mountain Bikers in Public Comment at Union County Freeholders Meeting on March 23

Hikers, Mountain Bikers, Neighbors of Watchung Reservation Continue Debate On Adding Bike Trails

The meeting will take place at 7:00 p.m. in the Freeholders' Meeting Room in the Administration Building on the 6th floor, located at 10 Elizabethtown Plaza in Elizabeth.

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