Pages Navigation Menu

Tucson's two-wheeled news source

Update: Photo: Another attempt to keep bikes off Urban Assault trail

 

Update: After digging into the Pima County plat maps it appears the trail cuts through private property including at the section of trail where the new sign and fence appeared.

Using the county’s GIS map you can follow the trail from it’s start to finish. As commenter 3Wheeler points out, there are more than 20 pieces of private property that the trail cuts through.

Just north of where this sign appeared, the county does own a section of the trail for access to the sewer, but that isn’t the case for the whole trail.  10462647_10102929195111412_4578194790631195197_n

It appears someone who lives along the Urban Assault trail in the foothills of Tucson still isn’t happy about people using the trail.

Several months ago someone placed nails along the trail and now a resident in the area has put up a fence and a no trespassing sign at La Espalda Road. The trail cuts between Alvernon Road and Pontatoc Road from River Road to Skyline Road.

According to several residents in the area, the trail isn’t along private property, but rather an easement along the sewer line that serves the neighborhoods.

One neighbor who walks his dogs along the trail daily said he owns a house that backs up to the easement and homeowners property lines do extend to the trail.

It’s clear frequent users of the trail are now crossing the street about 100 yards to the west where there is another opening.

Some residents has complained about how fast some riders come down the trail.

The neighbor I spoke with said it seemed like a bigger problem in the afternoon, but it wasn’t hard to share the trail.

9 comments
Deputy Riprap
Deputy Riprap

The location where this barricade was constructed is within a FEMA floodplain, and unless the homeowner applied for and received a permit from the County Flood Control District (I suspect they did not) then this construction is unlawful.  The barricade creates quite a bit of liability for the homeowner if it shifts flood flow onto adjacent property, and there is the possibility that the telephone poles could be dislodged during a flood event and be sent downstream.   

Matt Sinclair
Matt Sinclair

If you call pima county at (520) 724-6410 and file a complaint, they will send a right of way inspector out to and determine if it is private or public ROW. and have the blockage removed if it is public. Often easements are private property with a utility easment granted. and just because it is a public easement does not mean that we have the right to ride on it.  

Steve Bohn
Steve Bohn

I also reviewed the Pima Co. Mapguide link and there is a lot of private property along the trail.  However, the majority of the owners have never complained or fenced off an portion of the trail until now.  Also a lot of residents use ALL of the trail to run, walk their dogs, ride bikes with their kids and horseback. It is easy to avoid this "blockade" by going the the north 50+ to the left to utility easement that runs parallel to the trail.

alex
alex

@Steve Bohn According to the map at this link - http://tucsonvelo.com/news/video-urban-assault-trail/11183 the picture and no trespassing sign are not blocking the trail. The trail is shown 50 ft to the west of the sign along the urility easement. Whoever designated the Urban Assault trail to cross private property made a big mistake. The general public does not have the right to trespass or use a property owners land without permission.

IraGetraer
IraGetraer

I used the Pima County Mapguide map and it seems very clear based on the aerial color photogrpahy (which is detailed enough to actually see the trail), that the owners of property within the parcel boundaries where the trail runs, according to the Pima County Assessor's Office, are the Homeowner's Associations, and not individual property owners.

3wheeler
3wheeler

The majority of the land the trail is on is privately owned.  I haven't looked at subdivision plots to see if the trail runs along a sewer easement, but that makes no difference regarding trespassing. Utility easements grant utility workers access to there equipment, but no one else are granted any access rights.  I'm surprised that more of the property owners on the trail don't have their land fenced, or at least signed.  As a cyclist, I appreciate bike trails that are open to the public, but how can a trail be kept open that goes across dozens of privately owned properties if any of the owners are against it? 

Tucson Velo
Tucson Velo

@3wheeler The resident I spoke with believed that the private ownership, like his, does not extend to the trail. There is a resident who has put up a fence, but it doesn't interfere with the where the trail. 

Tucson Velo
Tucson Velo

@Tucson Velo @3wheeler I'm starting to look at the plat maps and you are right. There is a mish/mosh of ownership along the route. 

3wheeler
3wheeler

@Tucson Velo @3wheeler 

I count 25 pieces of private property.  That does not include the 3 at the Northern end which are owned by 3 separate HOAs. (but even that is private property).  It also doesn't count any of the many private lots that the trail actually crosses that are next to the long, winding, piece of county owned land along the wash. Honestly, if I owned land that a trail ran thru I would speak to a lawyer about whether I was ceding my rights by allowing the public to cross it.  I'd also be concerned about whether I had any liability for accidents on the trail.  The property owners are all paying property taxes for land that is being used free of charge by strangers.  It's a wonder that there isn't a 'No Trespassing' sign at the edge of every property along the trail.  The reason this has gone on as long as it has is because the whole area is a "no fence district."  The owners can fence around their homes, but can't fence in the whole property.