Editor,

In his campaign for Belmont City Council, Pat Cuviello has repeatedly attacked the use of bicycles on public trails around Waterdog Lake. His latest move involves a lengthy “report” which, despite its official appearance, was created entirely by him and contains little to no actual scientific citations. In spite of this he has advanced it as fact in multiple public places, including Facebook, Nextdoor and his own campaign website. Don’t be fooled. It is a work of fiction.

Lest misinformation spread, I wanted to alert the public of another report published recently which is a serious investigation of the impact of cycling on open space trails. Unlike Mr. Cuviello’s editorializing, this report is substantiated by scientific data gathered from around the world and was authored by wildlife biologists, geologists and environmental scientists from the University of California. In summary, the scientific evidence shows that cycling indeed has an impact, but poses no more environmental impact than hiking, jogging or dog-walking.

Like many who ride bikes on Belmont’s trail system, I volunteer extensively to maintain and improve the trails at Waterdog, and have for over a decade. The truth is that all uses cause wear and tear, and consequently parks must be maintained in an ongoing way. Organized volunteers quietly do this year-round. Mr. Cuviello does not.

I am tired of the anger, hate and division. Let’s keep our energy focused on keeping Waterdog an amazing recreational experience for all users.

Erick Burton

Belmont

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