Trail access to Honeybee Canyon

Honeybee Update:

While this message is being written as a result of access being restricted at Honeybee Trails, it is actually part of a much broader messaging that every Mountain Biker needs to hear and share.  Don’t be “That Guy”.

One of my volunteering positions is with the Bike Patrol at Sabino Canyon.   It is a privilege, not a right to ride our bikes in Sabino Canyon.  At any moment, if the rules are being broken, the District Ranger could restrict bike access.  When I encounter cyclist breaking the rules, my message is simple “Don’t be that guy”.  “That Guy” is the one who is going to ruin it for the rest of us.

What does this have to do with Honeybee Trails?  Everything!  The HOA owns the land were the WAPA easement exists and it is a privilege for us to use it.  They set up some rules and some in the community ignored them.  We have been “That Guy”.  The HOA feels they have given us adequate opportunity to change our behaviors and we did not.

This week I met with Kristy Diaz-Trahan, the Parks and Recreation Department Director at Oro Valley as well as the HOA president, Michael Douglas to discuss a plan for a new trail. Pima County is starting to work on access from the Loop up Big Wash and around the North side of Sun City Vistoso.  This is a plan that includes working with the State Land Trust, Oro Valley, Land acquisition from Vistoso Partners, Cultural mitigation (archeological), funding, and building of the trail.  The time frame to complete this may be as long as 3 years.  Because of all of you showing up at the Oro Valley Town Council meeting this trail is now a priority and your continual support may help us move that time frame up, but it leaves us without access as of October 1, 2016.

We asked the HOA to reconsider the closure until we can complete this plan, but the feeling I had from the meeting is that we have done nothing to deserve the access on the WAPA trail to remain open.  They asked for assurances that if they were to keep it open that the rules will be followed.  As we have done for the past few months, we offered to set up volunteers on the trail head and educate cyclist and to share with the cycling community the rules via SDMB, SAMBA, TORCA and The Damion Alexander Team.  The town of Oro Valley offered to have representatives from  OVPD to be stationed at the trail head.  We also asked them to tell us exactly what they would like to see from us to keep the trail open.

The Honeybee Ridge HOA board meeting was yesterday and Kristy Diaz-Trahan and a Lieutenant from The Oro Valley PD spoke to approximately 30 home owners from the community.  The 3 man HOA board decided that they are not changing their position and the access will be shut down.

So what do we do now?  1- Keep attending Oro Valley Town Council Meetings and letting all elected officials know how important a permanent access trail is.  2- Obey the posted rules.  3- Let others know they need to do the same.  4- Don’t make any plans to ride the trail after October 1, 2016 unless a compromise has been reached (I’m still hopeful). 5- Look at protecting the access based on prescriptive rights based on adverse possession.  6- You tell me.

As new information becomes available I’ll be sharing it on my blog www.bikepilgrim.com as well as on Facebook from The Damion Alexander Team.

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