AL had some problems signing up so sent me an email. Here are his comments:
The forum won't let me register (says its flagged me a spammer), so I'll just reply directly...
Thanks for putting this all together. Both options look good, I've a slight preference for option 1. Here are a few thoughts from someone who rides and runs the ridge at least twice daily (its on my commute
I like the new little link from the bike path entry in option 1 and new access options around the caravan park. Nice one.
I like the existing density, its one of the best things, especially for runners. There's an infinte combination and I can time a run to whatever window I have available, and change route to side tracks to avoid groups of riders - this is also a real safety issue as most bikers really don't expect to see me but I'm usually able to avoid them by knowing the trails, staying alert and occasionally going hard to stay ahead until the next sidetrack/junction. I'm sorry to say that mtbikers aren't as nice to runners are they are to each other. In the last 8 years I've only encountered a couple of dicks while I've been riding Bruce, but I cop shit at least every couple of weeks out running.
As for density and conservation value, surely if we really cared about that as a society then the two massive roads framing the reserve would not have been approved and the strong smell of chlorine when the tanks and treatment works outgas (i.e. large infrastructure installations) might also be looked at. I don't mean to ridicule the fact that the ACT Government attempts to manage already disturbed land as if it were wilderness, but hope there's some wiggle room on the perceived density issue.
If there is any wiggle room on density, the closure centred on F5 would be a pity.
There's a trail that crosses a firetrail at J/K4, with the north side of it marked to be closed. This'll leave a trail spitting riders onto firetrail and break continuity, which will increase the risk of someone just re-building a link to the trail immediately northeast (which wouldn't take much effort, maybe a few minutes because the bush is thin there). Perhaps realigning it to join another trail (although this might trigger that density issue) or just building the shortest possible link would be sensible.
On a similar note, is there any scope for a few short links to form sub-loops when the network is consolidated? There are a few spots where very short sections of extra trail could be used to increase options for runners' safety again. Am I the only voice so far for runners or other users besides mtbikers?
Anyhow, that's my 2 cents worth.. for what its worth.. Either of the options would still be great, and I'll happily keep helping implement them when my bones knit enough to swing a pick again.