Decision Support and Geographic Information Systems for Planners: Mountain Bike Trail Conditions in Hunters Creek Trails Park
Hunters Creek provides the most varied and exciting mountain biking in Western New York. John Jennys "Mountain Biking: Where and How on the Niagara Frontier" says Please be very careful, be in very good condition and ride with friends. This is a vast and dangerous area. To get a sense of this read Juan Banzais experience at the most notorious trail - the Widow Maker! For him the ride is a RUSH!!!! Even our careful Planning Department Chair has left an imprint of his head on a large tree at the bottom of this descent. The area is an Erie County land bank basically former farmstead that has reverted to "undeveloped" nature - long used by hikers and cross-country skiers from nearby East Aurora. Bike trails have been carved largely through the hard work of a famous individual called "Good John" who is hereby nominated for the Nobel Trail Prize.
Unfortunately, and not surprisingly, each year more bikers appear raising the specter of ruined trails or worse, active control of use by the relevant authorities. Many trails that were narrow footpaths/singletracks only a few years ago are now much wider and considerably wetter. The parks soils are poorly drained. Trail use during wet periods leads to "mud hole" formation, which widen as users seek to avoid the mud. Trails are wettest in the spring from snowmelt until mid-April. Conditions can also suffer after heavy summer rains, and during cool fall weather. There is no official organized maintenance of the trails at Hunters Creek. Upkeep appears to be undertaken mainly by Good John and his merry men.
GIS for Planners (PD560)
In this course students use a selection of GIS techniques, such as importing data bases and data manipulation, selecting and querying data, thematic mapping, location and shortest route analysis. They also learn how GIS applications may be speeded to meet deadlines and circumvent institutional bottlenecks. For their final project students select a challenging exercise that reflects critical issues in Western New York and elsewhere. Under duress students make even undertake projects especially close to the professors heart such as the state of mountain bike trails at Hunters Creek.
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