Cyclists, homeowners sound off on popular trail access - Tucson News Now

Cyclists, homeowners sound off on popular trail access

Trail in dispute. (Source: Tucson News Now) Trail in dispute. (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Cyclists want access to miles of trails and homeowners want peace and quiet. The issue between the groups now involves Oro Valley Town Council as they spoke in front of the elected leaders Wednesday night.

Just before a gate blocks access to the Honeybee Ridge community in Oro Valley, there is a small pullout with a steep path that marks the start of many bike paths on state property.

That path is blocked by a gate and a sign that warns against future access after October 1, 2016. The neighborhood HOA owns the path, according to a presentation by town staff at Wednesday's meeting. Without any ownership, the town has no jurisdiction over decisions affecting the path, according to a letter from Oro Valley's former town attorney.

Michael Douglass, board president of the HOA, said Wednesday night that there wouldn't be an issue with access to the trail if there wasn't a small percentage of bike riders who refuse to follow the rules posted at the start of the trail.

The rules prohibit motorized vehicles and nighttime use. 

In a town hall full of crowds lining the walls, several people spoke either in support or opposition to the closing of the trail access.

Those in support of the closure cited concerns over dust, possible Valley Fever, noise and a potential lawsuit from anyone who is hurt while using the unkempt access trail.

Those in favor of keeping the access open to the public claim it's a benefit to the community's health and economy through tourism and property values.

Douglass said Wednesday after the meeting that Honeybee Ridge HOA is caught in the middle of the ongoing issue. He said most of the homeowners affected by the trail live in the nearby Sun City community, so his HOA is simply being a good neighbor.

Oro Valley town staff is currently working with Pima County and the state to find a solution to the issue. 

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