Mountain Biking and CME

By John Bury | April 20, 2017

It is still an open question as to whether there will (or should) be mountain biking in Watchung Reservation as the issue will be explored again at tonight’s freeholder meeting, possibly in open session, but definitely in closed session:

To the extent known, the following items will be discussed in Executive Session:
1) Attorney-Client privileged communications and discussions relative to potential litigation, possible violations of law and potential contract negotiations with CME relative to issues relating to the Trail Master Plan.
No clue as to what this might be about but we do know a few things about CME, based on some observations from a friend:

Union County talks about having CME Engineers preparing a master plan for Watchung Reservation though, according to their website, they can build all kind of things but the sad fact is they are Engineers… even their best recreation projects some LA still in school could do a better design. It’s like if you have a dental problem but you get an optometrist working on you… not a pleasant thought.  

Sad but this is what our Union County government is doing to your Olmsted Park System.  Frankly, it’s a disgrace. It’s a real life Olmsted Park system and should be lead by historic preservation landscape architects and civil engineers brought in as a secondary role.  The fact the organization doesn’t see this simple fact is why Union County’s Olmsted Park System is so messed up.  Sadly probably the most mismanaged and destroyed Olmsted Park System in the entire USA.

Historic Preservation Landscape Architects should be guiding the process and Civil Engineers should be playing a secondary role.  Union County with the ‘Pay to Play’ system as the main criteria has the whole thing reversed.  You are aware of the Watchung ATB fiasco, but more damage is happening to the Union County Park System than you can imagine.  

And oddly our $500 million a dollar a year government won’t do anything about it! Strangely (as has happened all across the USA already in other Olmsted Parks) it comes down to individual American Citizens who somehow recognize the problem, organize, form a conservancy, register the parks, figure out a Preservation management Plan and lead the restoration of the Olmsted vision. Seems to happen again and again across the USA with Olmsted Park System and now the seeds seem to beginning to be sown here in Union County.  It’s not an easy task. It will take years of tenacity and dedication but the Olmsted ideal will prevail in the end… again the same process has already happened in many other Olmsted Park across the USA.  Union County should be no different.  
Our $500 million dollars in taxes a year has failed to provide an appropriate and sustainable Olmsted Park System (something we inherited at great expense and effort of our ancestors) and again it comes down to only individual American citizens and the rights and opportunities provided us by our founding fathers to correct the problem.  

CME Associates campaign contributions to Union County freeholders and their cronies: $303,025

CME Associates payments from Union County from 2004 through 2016 according to the check registry: $1,089,456

32 Responses to “Mountain Biking and CME”

  1. Email says:

    The bikers are hyperdefensive about the mini-escavator the county ordered.

    But someone at the county called up the JORBA leads and told them “the mini excavator is in” according to message boards.

    I don’t understand how the county let this happen.

    There are unique habitats in the reservation.

    Didn’t the freeholders throw a guy out for yelling “that’s a lie” when the freeholders said no trail had been built?

  2. Marybeth Garry says:

    Good morning, I was hoping to add to the discussion , but can’t seem to find how to get to 16 responses , regarding Mountain Biking and CME. Would someone kindly clarify? Thanks

  3. Email says:

    Not sure.

    What I don’t get is why there was so much confusion and drama over whether people were building the bike trail in the woods.

    I don’t get why they pushed this false narrative that no one was building trail.

    It was indisputable. I mean smartphone cameras exist. Eyeballs exist.

    Who had the idea to dispute It?

    Bikers “taking over” and behaving recklessly toward our environment is exactly what many citizens are worried about.

    I just don’t get the aggressive biker mentality…

    Hurling insults and vague threats is no way to charm the citizenry if you ask me.

  4. Mike says:

    15 responses are not viewable anymore. Apparently the software here is grossly inferior. The same thing happened to another biker thread a few months ago due to volume. Please correct. Not holding my breath but am smh.

  5. John Bury says:

    Among the reasons that this site might soon be gone forever. Something with malware at the server (or some such thing). In the next month or so this blog will move to another address

    If this site ever goes down you may want to try that site. We are keeping track of everyone who signed up as a subscriber and will be sending emails out when the changeover happens. All the blogs are backed up theres (though some recent comments may be lost). Here is the link to the Mountain Biking and CME blog:

    Still have work to do on the appearance but comments unlikely to be lost there.

  6. Email says:

    Search Watchung on

  7. Mike says:

    Went there. Zero comments at this time.

  8. Marybeth Garry says:

    Trying to repost lost comments

  9. Marybeth Garry says:

    I have all the lost comments in my email follow ups. How can I help you repost? Thought if I were to reply to posts, the original might show up also. Any thoughts?

  10. John Bury says:

    I have all the comments too and they say they are approved but the earlier ones are not appearing. Will check to see why they are blocked and if can’t get them back here will put them on

  11. Email says:

    Just post the old comments on the reddit threadw.

  12. Marybeth Garry says:

    Thanks for the reply. I did notice the header of these comments might have been under”bury pensions” and all the pension comments had been removed

  13. Mike says:

    It is outrageous that the Union County Police willfully refuse to enforce the county ordinance prohibiting mountain biking in Watchung Reservation. Single bikers and groups of bikers continue to ride with impunity as they have for years right up to the present time. The NO BIKING signs at several entry points are laughed at and ignored by bikers, knowing they will not face any consequences. It is also a fairly well-known fact that several area cops are themselves mountain bikers. It’s a sad state of affairs overall. Bikers are zipping along the trails at a time when foliage is fast filling in, often making them unnoticeable until they’re right upon you, and they’re being aided and abetted by the very people who are supposed to be stopping them.

  14. Email says:

    I agree.

    If UCPD is willfully unenforcing, that is wrong.

    I do wonder – what if all these bikers were people of color. All riding under the same green bike shop logo.

    Imagine brown or black people aggressively chainsawing the woods without county authority?

    Slapping their green freewatchung stickers everywhere? Attacking local women activists verbally on social media?

    Theyd have the FBI in here! Talk about white privilege…

  15. Email says:

    What is the mountain biker behind this Facebook page below referring to?

    He thinks that oil pipeline owners are plotting against Union County mountain bikers? Unhinged.

  16. Mike says:

    To Email: Thomas Dunn is the mountain biker behind “Friends of the Watchung Reservation” Facebook page, which is a cheap, deceptive knock-off of the “Friends of Watchung Reservation” Facebook page as it’s entirely devoted to bikers gaining access to trails. Dunn owns Hilltop Bicycles. Yes, he is unhinged. I feel sorry for him. He stands to gain financially if the reservation is opened to biking trails, so his behavior is understandable but in no way excusable. Last summer he created and posted memes defaming three longstanding trail stewards with actual photos of those stewards.

  17. Email says:


    In other news the legal eagles at rhe county need to ask selves – if the local cops and retired cops are getting a hall pass to go chainsaw the woods for bike jumps, and if the county cops “look the other way” on enforcement because bmx bikes are cool, what does that do to our insurance coverage and lack of negligence defense?.

    It seems we are creating an attractive nuisance.

    There are Facebook photos of some meathead chainsawing jumps in the watxhung woods earlier this year.

    There are tons of illegal rides recorded on on gps.

    All of this evidence is now public record, because people are outraged thanks to the hamfisted way this was handled.

    If tomorrow a ten year old breaks his neck trying out the jumps, leaving asidr the moral horror, what kind of verdict are we looking at?

    There is a clear record of former cops building jumps in the woods.

    There is a sense in the area that county cops dont enforce (see for evidence).

    The lead Jorba guy from westfield seems have the parks dept by the balls judging from his comments.

    This is OUR money here.

    Taxpaper money.

    It isnt there to help a few guys build their business.

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