Construction crews have closed off the south bank of the Rillito River path between Campbell and Mountain Avenues.

The project, which has sometimes been the topic of heated neighborhood meetings, is scheduled to take three months to complete.

One completed the section of the pathway will contain a narrow paved path as well as a separated dirt path.

Since Pima County added a paved path on the north side of the Rillito River between Hacienda del Sol and Country Club Road, this southern part is less critical. It does, however, create easy access to the Trader Joe’s shopping center and allows bikes on one of the only pieces of land in Pima County that banned cyclists.

The ban has been in place for more than 20 years.

Some neighbors in another area further west are also upset about the project. A story in yesterday’s Arizona Daily Star says some neighbors weren’t notified and they are angry:

Pima County is hoping folks will share the road on a new paved addition to the south-bank path of Rillito River Park. But the county’s failure to warn neighbors along one stretch that the bulldozers and buzz saws were coming has some hot.

Many neighbors near the river park’s south bank say they were never notified of the project, which they say will lead to safety concerns for the path’s users.

They envision bikes crashing into horses, and horses trampling pedestrians in some narrow sections.

“I’m outraged,” said Jeanne Fearson, a resident of the nearby Riverside Gardens neighborhood.

Construction on the south side of the Rillito between Mountain Avenue and First Avenue is ongoing. Crews are installing a second bridge to make it easier for cyclists, pedestrians and horses to cross a narrow wash along the route.


7 thoughts on “Construction starts on south bank of Rillito River; some neighbors still upset”
  1. They envision bikes crashing into horses, and horses trampling pedestrians in some narrow sections.

    Yay! I can’t wait to crash into a horse!  That sounds fun! 😀 I haven’t crashed into a horse or pedestrian in… uhm… ever.

  2. Rode the new Santa Cruz path north of Grant last night.  It’s all open to Sunset Road.  The section from Sunset to the Rillito path is installed and connected but there is a fence across it at Sunset.  

  3. Why are they still going forward with this now that the north bank between Hacienda del Sol and Country Club Road is paved?  It is entirely unnecessary and a waste of money.  I never thought I would be against a bike path, but this is stupid, folks.  The arrogance the county has shown steamrolling this project through is astounding.
    Preemptive statements:  I own seven bikes. I ride the river walk on occasion.  I am not part of the HOA opposing this.  I live about a half-mile north of the area and WALK to Trader Joe’s and use both banks depending on the time of day.

  4. Dean,
    The county isn’t being arrogant on this issue.  There has been public demand for this work to be done for ages.  I myself wrote the county to request that this be done. 

  5. There has been public demand for this since the decision was made to pave the section on the north bank between Hacienda del Sol and Country Club?  Really?  Why is paving this necessary with the north bank now paved? Sorry, you’ll never convince me that this isn’t a complete waste of money.  If someone can’t ride a quarter-mile on Limberlost or ride down to CC and cross over to the south bank to get to Trader Joe’s, well, I feel bad for them.  If anything, the county is turning more people against cyclists by going forward with this.  We have a difference of opinion of what constitutes arrogance and bad government.  Have a good evening.

  6. Dean,
    Yes we have a difference of opinion.  Also, every time a cyclist inhales it makes someone mad.  I’m not concerned about it.  I’m also not concerned about convincing you of anything.  Many people in this community have been vocal about getting the Rillito, Santa Cruz and Pantano paths continuous on both sides for years.  The government is responding to those requests.  You’re not worked up about the money, come clean and tell us what’s really got you going.  If your going to rant, at least be up front about your true motives.

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