This sign popped up along the south bank of the Rillito River path between Mountain Avenue and Campbell Avenue.

A story on Tucson Velo documented the county’s plan and the neighborhoods’ objections to the proposed improvement. The plan would pave the portion of the Rillito between Mountain and Campbell, which would allow cyclists to cross the Rillito at the Mountain Avenue pedestrian bridge instead of the more dangerous Campbell Avenue bridge.

The meeting organizers are trying to gather opposition to the plan to prevent the county from proceeding. The meeting will be attended by Nanette Slusser, the assistant county administrator, and someone from Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson’s office.

Cyclists are being encouraged to attend to the meeting and voice their support for the project.

If you can’t attend, you can also send support letters to Sharon Bronson’s office at

The meeting will be held at the community pool at 5 p.m. Click here for directions to Rillito Creek Pl.

Editor’s note: This is my neighborhood and I will be attending the meeting as a resident to voice my support for the project.

16 thoughts on “Residents trying to kill bike path improvements”
  1. I’m not sure what they are referring to with that line. There are several neighborhoods along the route, so maybe it is for some parts.

    For my neighborhood there are fences separating the walkway from the backyard of the houses.

    Perhaps there is a portion of land between the fences and the river path that might be owned by the HOA, but I am not positive.

  2. I love biking the Rillito, but they have a point. It’s a lovely, quiet section. I believe all of the south side from Campbell to the east is unpaved.

    I suggest a better alternative: pave the short section north of the Rillito between the Tucson Racquet Club and St. Philips Plaza, virtually eliminating the need for bike traffic between Mountain and Campbell’s south side. Riders on the north side could be on pavement from Craycroft to at least Chula Vista; walkers and riders could have an unpaved path from Campbell east.

  3. The south side from Campbell to Country Club actually has both a paved and dirt path and then a bridge over the Rillito to the north side

    There are plans to pave the section you are referring to, but there is a problem is erosion in that section, which will take millions of dollars and many years to fix.

    As a resident of the neighborhood and a father who bikes often with my infant, I want as many ways to get where I want to go without the need to get on roads. I would use the Rillito every time over Limberlost if it were paved and bikes were not prohibited.

    I’ve used the south side to get to the mall and other locations along south side of the path. I’ve also been yelled at about it.

    Walkers use both sides of the Rillito, why can bikes use both sides too?

  4. I like it the way it is and am against the ‘improvements.’

    They should just remove the no bike signs and replace them with “go slow for safety/pedestrians” or something of that nature

  5. Two observations:

    1. Many angry people have poor grammar/writing skills.

    2. It seems they (the against crowd) view that section of the path as their own private path/park. I’m not sure if just removing the sign or leaving trees etc would make them happy. I bet they just don’t want anyone else using ‘their’ path.

  6. The land between the townhouses and the wash edge, that is the land with the path, is owned by the townhouse homeowners’ association. It is registered as a common area and as a linear park. The property valuation is at $500 and the tax on it is $50 per year.
    That piece of land is the only one that is privately held along the south river bank between First and Campbell.
    It is clear that the county is giving the HOA a big break on the taxes. It is also clear that the townhouses would be in jeapordy w/out the soil-cement wall that the county installed to keep the wash from eroding the bank.
    I think the county should purchase the land under imminent domaine for the use of the general public as determined by the citizens of Pima County.

  7. There definitely needs to be some solution for connecting bicyclists coming East from Dodge over to Mountain without A) riding over eroding dirt stretches, or B) riding over someone and their dog. The current situation between Campbell and Mountain is pretty unreasonable, and it’s forced me to ride in unsafe conditions every time I bike to and from work. I think paving the southern side is reasonable, but I also think it should be done without removal of the trees that are currently there.

  8. What idiots for opposing. This opens the neighborhoods and area up to accessibility for all types of non-motorized traffic. People are often too selfish and shortsighted to see the true benefits of an improvement like this.

    Maybe I should ride my mountain bike more on the south side to agitate the residents after the decision is made.

  9. Mike, I don’t think that’s the right way to look at it. I actually don’t know much about this particular place, but I can understand people’s desires to have a pedestrian-only path. Bikers can be really rude at times, and there is a recent case in Texas where a pedestrian was killed on a bike/ped path.

    Saying that pedestrians get to use both sides so we should too does not take into account the fact that pedestrians pose only the slightest annoyance to bikers, but bikers can be a severe annoyance to pedestrians. We should respect that.

    All that said, I have a hunch that what is behind this meeting is more about trees and bike-hatred than it is about pedestrian concerns. But still.

  10. Thanks for the comment Erik. You are right that bikers can be total jerks. So can pedestrians, but I get your point and you are right that saying they get both side and so should we is the wrong way to look at it.

    There are several particular issues with this section, which I am of course familiar with because I live there. And obviously it makes it hard to be impartial.

    I think you are right that the biggest issue is the removal of trees, which offer privacy from the path.

    I’ll encourage my neighbors to work with the county on keeping the trees. It is my understanding it isn’t all the trees, but rather just a few.

    I think this piece offers a really beneficial connection for a lot of people.

    I’ve seen too many people try to cross the Campbell Avenue bridge on their bike only to encounter pedestrians and other cyclists going in the opposite direction.

    Someone has to stop and get into the street to pass. The bridge is narrow and the sidewalk is really narrow. I hate walking on and I refuse to ride on it. It is too narrow and too dangerous.

    This connection will fix that and not just for cyclists, I’ve seen skaters on the south side of the Rillito east of Campbell where it is paved and no one seems to get too upset.

    Lost in this is that the county is planning on creating a paved path AND a dirt walking path too, so the pedestrian/bike conflict will be minimized.

    The section east of Campbell has both and I’d say most pedestrians actually use the paved portion anyway.

    There are other reasons I think this is good for my neighborhood and not just the other people I’ve mentioned above.

    We’ve had some breakins in our neighborhood and they often jump the fences from the path. I think the more people on the path, the less likely criminals will be hanging out there. Making the connection will increase the use.

    Currently there is very little traffic on this section of the path, so it really isn’t affecting a lot of pedestrians who utilize the path.

    There are kids in my neighborhood that go to school down the street who could actually be safe riding down there if the path was open to bikes. (The parents at the school do really crazy things trying to park along Limberlost)

    I think the positives outweigh the negatives in this case and it will benefit a lot more people than it hurts.

  11. Boy, this just seems real similar to the Catalina trailhead smackdown. HOA in this corner….citizens of Pima County in the other. My money’s on the HOA.

  12. I run on that path often, and saw the signs yesterday. The sign fits a disturbing trend, where fear-mongering is used to argue against a change. Opinion (about increasing danger) is spun as fact, and fear about tree killing and property taking is used to incite. These are not the practices of good neighbors striving for some common solution, they are the acts of self-centered children.

  13. As an avid bike rider, I want bike paths as much as the next person, but if large trees have to be killed for it, I’m totally against this kind of “improvement.”

  14. I would say if you choose certain important bike parts and replace them with higher quality parts in collaboration with the your needs. You will get the desired results. Before upgrading your bike with different bike accessories, it is important to analyze the purpose of upgrade.

  15. It is frustrating to ride a bike on the River Trail because people with dogs block the trail and refuse to allow a bicycle to pass; in addition, I like to use the Mountain Avenue Bridge because there is no safe way to cross at Cambell Avenue.  The bike path is there for everyone and we all need to share.

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