In a meeting with residents and trail users Thursday night, Pima County officials reiterated their commitment to creating a paved and crushed granite path along the south side of the Rillito River between Campbell Avenue and Mountain Avenue.
In the sometimes heated meeting, residents expressed safety concerns about sharing the path among cyclists, pedestrians and horses.
Lauren Harvey, the project manager, said the plan should actually make the section safer because there will be a paved path and dirt path which will separate the users.
The River at North Campbell home owners association (of which I am a member, although my views may not represent the views of the entire board) was particularly concerned about liability because part of the land is owned by the HOA, but the county has an easement to construct a pathway system there.
Bill Saturley is in charge of acquiring property for the trail system. He said the county is having the section appraised and will offer to buy the land from the HOA to remove any liability issues.
Also of particular concern was a gate that allows neighborhood residents onto the path. Some homeowners were concerned that they would open the gate and walk right into bicycle traffic.
Harvey said there are several feet from the gate to the start of the five-foot-wide pedestrian dirt path. The edge of the eight-foot paved path starts at the edge of the dirt path.
Harvey said the dirt path will be a minimum of five feet in the narrowest parts of the path, but will be bigger throughout much of the stretch.
Harvey said the county will begin construction on the path in mid to late June. The project should take three months to complete.