Opinion: Why I love the Truckee River Legacy Trail | SierraSun.com

Opinion: Why I love the Truckee River Legacy Trail

I live across the street from one of the access points to the Truckee River Legacy Trail. I walk my two dogs there every day and often more than once a day. I’ve seen the poop and yellow snow.

I know of the “ice-way” mentioned in Michael Golden’s opinion piece in the March 2 Sierra Sun, “The dirty secret of the Truckee River Legacy Trail.” I’ve even landed on my derriere on that very ice-way.

In fact, I’ve just returned from a lunch-time walk along the river’s edge. During my walk today I met a man running with his two dogs, a woman walking her two dogs — one of them an old timer.

I said hello to a family picnicking by the river with their new baby. They accessed the trail via a bike pulling a Chariot baby carriage. I counted at least two bicyclists, saw another couple running, and watched a young woman with her Chihuahua walk off the Legacy Trail down to the river and back.

I even witnessed a few runners negotiate the ice-way carefully planning each step. Today I counted more people than dogs, as often is the case.

In the past I’ve watched fly fisherman, dogs swimming, people sunbathing, bicyclists, people walking, running and skateboarding.

I use the Legacy Trail to walk downtown and to the concerts in the park, and, this summer, should the river allow it, I will use the trail to walk home after I float down the Truckee to Glenshire.

The town of Truckee plows the Legacy Trail in the winter. It remains one of the only walkways in and around Truckee that is accessible during winter months.

I’m not going to disagree with “brown land mines” — I’ve even stepped in one or two of those! Instead of bashing a bunch of dog owners for leaving poop behind, perhaps the better alternative is to remind folks that in the winter this trail is used excessively and ask dog owners to be mindful, bring a bag, pick up poop and deposit it into the garbage receptacle.

Ask that the poop bag stations be checked more frequently for bags. Unfortunately, (or fortunately) plastic bags are not readily available. I know that I used to buy my groceries using one plastic bag and one reusable bag. Then I’d reuse the plastic bag to pick up poop.

This does not diminish the responsibility of dog owners to buy or have plastic poop bags — it’s just another example of an unintended environmental consequence of political decision-making.

We’re all “entitled” to use the trail. As of yet, I have not seen a single sign that says no dogs. I cannot even imagine the outcry of such a sign. My best guess is that there are more dogs than bicyclists in Truckee.

The Legacy Trail is very well maintained — much better than our pothole-checkered streets. The yellow snow will melt and the poop will eventually degrade.

In the summer, other trails will lure dogs and their companions further into the woods. The only “consequences of inadequate maintenance and unintended uses that limit the intended potential” I see are lack of cooperation among its users.

Bikes ALWAYS yield to pedestrians, and both yield to horses. I don’t like horses, but I still yield to them. I don’t care to hike where people mountain bike and I’ve had to literally jump off a trail to avoid a collision.

I can’t count on my hands and feet the number of times I’ve held by dogs to give a mountain biker or road biker — ironically on the Legacy Trail — the right of way.

But you won’t find me running after them shaking a fist in the air because I’m right and they should have yielded. I’m getting out the way because it’s easier for me to do so.

If you look hard enough, you will find a problem with everything. Don’t look so hard. Just enjoy the trails we have in this amazing place we call home.

Samaara Robbins is a Truckee resident.

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