Cyclists argue for access to trail on private property - Tucson News Now

Cyclists argue for access to trail on private property

Cyclists are losing access to this private trail in an Oro Valley neighborhood. (Source: KOLD News 13) Cyclists are losing access to this private trail in an Oro Valley neighborhood. (Source: KOLD News 13)
ORO VALLEY, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Enough is enough. So say residents of an Oro Valley neighborhood involved in a dispute with cyclists.

The homeowners association for The Estates at Honeybee Ridge has posted signs warning cyclists and hikers that access to a trail on the property will no longer be allowed starting Oct. 1. President of the board of directors, Michael Douglass, says residents have been left with no choice.

The move to block access comes after years of feuding between cyclists and residents, mainly those living right next to the trail. First a gate was installed to keep out noisy ATVs. Then a sign of rules was posted on the trail, rules to keep the trail open to cyclists and keep the peace for neighbors. The last straw, Douglass says, was when some cyclists were reportedly seen urinating and defecating near the trail.

"It's used by residents, it's used by the high school mountain bike team, its used by retirees," bike advocate Damion Alexander said. He's working with town and county leaders to find a solution.  

Even though the trail is on private property, it leads to state land. There is another entrance that will lead cyclists to that land, but it's so far away from the Rancho Vistoso community that cyclists find it to be very inconvenient.

"As far as where the houses are going to go, where access points are going to go, where trails are going to go," Alexander said. "This trail was written in as a recreational trail 20 years ago." 

Cycling is one of the major tourism attractions in southern Arizona which is often dubbed "bike-friendly." That's why the town of Oro Valley is getting involved.  Assistant to the Town Manager, Chris Cornelison, says officials are researching the issue and trying to meet with the HOA.

Douglass says the decision to block access to the trail is final, but Alexander says cyclists will turn out in numbers at the Sept. 7 council meeting to ask for a designated trail head to give cyclists access to state land without imposing upon homeowners.  

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