Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Greenbelt to Eagle Road - another update

In February, I wrote about having successfully navigated the Greenbelt downstream to Eagle Island. It was exciting to see that it might soon be a transportation corridor. A few weeks later, I wrote that perhaps I was premature - a gate and "private property" signs were blocking the way a mile or so east of Eagle Road. I was quite disappointed; any path that you ride to a dead end, and then turn around and return on, is of little value except for recreation. And it looked like maybe it was another power-grab by the "NIMBY" property owners who didn't want bike riders, with their crimes and disease and whatnot, in their neighborhood.

Since then, I've ridden to that same gate a couple times, including once with granddaughter Mackie. A bike-riding friend, Paul, suggested I take a close look... 50 yards or so before you get to the gate, there's an obscure "nature trail" that continues off the right side of the pavement.  (He hadn't traversed the trail, at least on bike, but he had noticed it.)

Last Saturday (4/20), I decided I better check out that "nature trail." And Paul was right.

I took to the trail. There are no signs, indicating "private property" or "no bicycles" or any other such restrictions. I anticipated that I might get hollered at, but I've survived hollerin's-at in the past. (But just in case, I was glad Mackie wasn't along; she doesn't take well to getting hollered at.)

Lo and behold, the "nature trail" was pretty easy to ride, even on skinny tires, and 50 yards or so behind the gate it joined up once again with the main (gravel) path. I proceeded on, quietly and cautiously, so as to minimize potential conflicts with other pathway users or difficulty in the dirt... but other than a couple folks fishing and some people off in the distance, I didn't see a soul. And, the path, although gravel and dirt, was no problem. I figure just about anybody on fat tires could do it... and 'most anybody with skinny tires and practice wouldn't have a problem, either.

MORE good news - along the way, there were 20-inch-high wooden stakes, marked with survey flags and bright orange paint and the word "EASEMENT" on them. So, I once again feel some optimism that in time it will "officially" be a path available to the public. In the meantime, I can't see any reason to NOT use it, if one is cautious and courteous. (And realizing that if you continue on Eagle Road, you'll be sharing the pavement with heavy, 55mph traffic.)

(I wrote to the City of Eagle more than a month ago, to get their take. So far, no reply.)

1 comment:

db said...

A number of people have complained about that gate; hopefully the city will listen.