City Government

No Bikes Past River McMansions

We have heard from Gary Segers who uncovered Garden City bike path info in records at the State Lands Office. Segers claims the intent of the riverside path is for mix of bikes and pedestrians and a GC councilor says otherwise.

Seems the money folks lead by developer/ John Evans want to keep the two wheelers away from their private playground. There was a problem with intrusions of the river bed at one time as well.

The River Run crowd pulled the same stunt on the east end of Boise. The gimmick is to declare the area near the McMansions as “no bike zones” and claim it is for safety, etc. We KNOW why it is done and it is the folks with political clout who do it.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. And some of us (OK, most of us) just bike right on by the sign and down the River Run path…

  2. Gary shared some of this info with me, as well.

    According to Gary, he has documents which indicate the Idaho State Land Board required the Riverside Village developers to construct a BICYCLE path adjacent to the river, as part of the approval for their subdivision.

    Then in 1994, when there still wasn’t a BICYCLE path, the State sued the development. The lawsuit was settled when they agreed to rectify the situation.

    Until recently, the status quo seemed acceptable. (Dirt path, “officialy” closed to bikes, but not strictly enforced.) But then last summer, the Garden City Council made it a misdemeanor to ride a bike on that path.

    Don is a brave man to ride that stretch, when you consider he could end up with a big fine and some time in da joint. However, it would be an interesting test case. And furthermore, it would be interesting to see if Mayor Evans would press the case. (If indeed Riverside Village has had 27 years to construct a BICYCLE path, and they still haven’t come up with one.)

    It’s sad to see bicycles as “the problem,” rather than “the solution.” What’s wrong with those Garden City mucky-mucks?!?

  3. Clippityclop
    Feb 8, 2008, 2:38 pm

    Flyfisherman encounter this on various rivers and have to remind landowners of the rules regarding the high water mark and public access.

  4. Lib.Redneck
    Feb 8, 2008, 5:53 pm

    I sometimes wonder about that high water mark rule regarding the Boise River. Would it be high water before the dams or high water after the dams? I would like to think it is the high water mark before the dams. That would open up a lot of public land to me. It would be great during migratory bird season. I could set up decoys and my blind in the backyard of all those Eagle folks. I guess we’ll find out where the high water mark is this spring. It is going to be nasty. Prepare for more reporters standing in the water, again…

  5. Mr Guardian
    Speaking as a person that doesn’t live in a McMansion ( I live in Golden Dawn), I am thankful for the gravel, walking path only between Barber Park and River Run. I walk it almost every day. I get to see Eagles, Deer, mink, sometimes right on the path. And I don’t have to fight bikes whizzing by me. The gravel path is used heavy by runners and walkers. I see many folks parking cars at Barber Park( parking is free during non tubing times) and running or walking… so I doubt that they are residents of Wood Duck or River Run

    As you should know there is a paved bike path between these area… It goes through Barber Park, Wood Duck, along the side of Parkcenter, and then through River Run…. and ends up at the same place. It is also used by many non residents of Wood Duck and River Run

    I hate having to fight the bike traffic along the paved path on Warm Springs, through Harris Ranch. Its a long straight stretch and most of the bikers have their head phones on and are riding side by side. I have been hit several times.

    So Mr. Guardian what is wrong to have a few gravel non bike paths for us older walkers and runners?… as long as there is a paved path that gets you to the same place.

    I am hoping Harris Ranch puts in many a non paved walking only path for us older folks….

    Just saying…

    EDITOR NOTE–Can’t argue with you porc. It is sort of like “fly fishing only” areas. I personally favor equal rights rather thn equal, but seperate. Imagine if the stretch you mentioned were “bikes only” and folks walking on the public path were ticketed for violations! We gotta share our stuff and play nice.

  6. The sad thing is the people who are against the bike path want the Garden City Police Department to spend time enforcing the ‘bike riding violations’ rather than focusing on the real crime problems in Garden City. Apparently the City Council does as well, since they made it a misdemeanor to ride a bike on path. What a waste of resources. Hopefully the new city councilman in Garden City will provide some much needed oversight to this City Council.

  7. I was always told that the high water mark is established as the criteria for a “navigable waterway” If a 14″ log can be floated down a waterway at normal flow, it is then designated a navigable waterway and falls under the jurisdiction of the Army Corps of Engineers. It is protected from closure inside 50’of the high water mark. I would hesitate setting up decoys and totin’ a shotgun, as it would probably draw an interest from the Garden City police and/or the Ada Countuy Sheriff, thus hurting an arguement for allowed access. So, even though they can’t prevent a presence on the river, they can, and do, make it difficult to access. I agree with Don, just go ahead and ride through and dare them to make an issue of it.

  8. The messy path laid out for bikers that detours around the River Run stretch has poor signage – mingles with cars, takes you out on to ParkCenter. I remember the first time I tried it, I got completely lost. Now I brave the dirty looks from walkers and just buzz down the gravel path.

  9. Sounds like it’s time for a “critical mass” ride.
    Get a hundred or so (or, better yet, a thousand) bikes rolling back and forth on that stretch, and see what happens.
    Would the GC police really have the guts to try to arrest that many people? And, if they did, what would they do with them? Send them to Guantanamo? Sure no room for them in the local lockups — especially if they all refused to pay the fine and demanded jail time instead.
    Yeah, yeah, I know; it ain’t gonna happen. Not that many gutsy people around.
    If I still lived in that area, though, I’d sure be willing to ride in such an event; sometimes such extremes are the only way to get the matter straightened out.
    And, as one who both rode and walked the Greenbelt when I lived in the area, I understand the frustration of trying to walk among idiotic and impolite bikers. So, if the G.C. cops have time to go hassle and cite or arrest people for riding there, better they should use that time to stop and hassle and cite or arrest riders who don’t pay attention to where they’re going, don’t obey the rules (speed limits, yielding to pedestrians, warning when you’re going to pass walkers, etc.).
    I got hit only twice while walking the path; one was total accident with no real fault (or both of us at fault, depending on how you look at it) — both riding near the center around a curve, and, obviously, not being as careful as we should have. The other one was an idiot rider — he sent me spinning a bit, but he crashed big-time. Dunno whether he or his bike got hurt, and don’t care — didn’t care then, either, so didn’t stop to see how he was, just regained my balance and went on strolling along.

    If a biker traveling real fast hits you, I hope you can react quickly enough to grab a handlebar and hold on– it’ll help you keep upright, and it’s fun to watch the rider go flying through the air and maybe do a face plant. 🙂

  10. Now I brave the dirty looks from walkers and just buzz down the gravel path.

    well Don I guess your the kind of a guy that if he doesn’t like a rule or a law you just break it.

    But keep this in mind, I have seen the police give tickets on the walking/running path to bikes. I’ll make sure the mayors hot line gets a call about the bikes on walking only paths this Spring just for you 😉

    And Mr. Guardian your a big travel kind of guy, I’m sure you have seen the bike only… and the walker only lanes in Amsterdam. It not that big of a deal or a equal rights issue to them. It has to do with safety.

  11. Gordon said: “Would the GC police really have the guts to try to arrest that many people?”

    I think you missed my point. The GC Police may not have a choice on whether or not they enforce the stupid ordinance on that bike path. It isn’t a matter of them having time (they don’t) it is a matter of WHAT the City Council and the mayor mandate the Chief to do. Trust me, NONE of the GC Cops think it would be exciting or fun to mess with bikers along a path who aren’t actually hurting anyone.

    Garden City has the highest crime rate in Ada County (based on population of course) and the cops definately would spend their time in other spots when given the choice. The problem is the leadership of the city who have their own agendas to pursue.

    By the way…anyone know who the developer of Riverside Sub was?

  12. Don is correct. The so-called bike route on the south side in southeast Boise is a labyrinth from Hades, to say the least. Meanwhile, over here by the Clocktower Pond, it’s anarchy. The gangs that hang out on summer afternoons monopolize the dock, break glass bottles, leave tons of litter and have repeatedly vandalized the docks. Oh, did I mention the speeding on Pleasanton and the burnouts in the lovely gravel parking lot?

    And the city of Boise enforces a no bike rule on the Greenbelt. Give me a break! I can’t tell you how much litter I’ve picked up around the Clocktower Pond and also on the river with the Boise River Volunteers Group. I should be given a special license to ride on those no-bike sections.

    Maybe the guardian would be kind enough to do a whole bit about the problems over on the west end, the poor part of the greenbelt, the Rodney Dangerfield part of the greenbelt. At least publish this photo of the vandalized dock.

  13. Gary Segers
    Feb 11, 2008, 9:31 pm

    My thanks to those who have posted some earlier messages on the Garden
    City bike ban in Riverside Village. Allow me to introduce our group.

    We are called Citizens for an Open Greenbelt (COG). COG is a grassroots
    advocacy group dedicated to supporting the stated goal of the Treasure
    Valley Greenbelts… to provide continuous open space along the river
    for non-motorized, mixed use for the citizens of Idaho. COG’s current
    initiative is to open the Garden City Riverside Village Greenbelt to
    bicycles, as well as pedestrians, as these public trust lands were
    mandated to be by the State of Idahoover 30 years ago. We will post more
    information at our website that will soon be available.

    Garden City officials have told the public, residents of Riverside
    Village, and the media that the Riverside Village Greenbelt has
    historically been a “Pedestrian Only” Path? Over 250 pages of public
    documents in our possession and interviews with many key public
    officials say otherwise. The facts are this:

    Riverside Village Greenbelt was mandated by the State of Idaho to be a
    bicycle path as a condition for approval of the Riverside Village
    development in1980. Most startling is the fact that in 1994 the State of
    Idaho sued the developer, Intermountain Forest Industries (John Evans,
    Manager) and Evans Brothers Construction Company for failure to abide by
    the provisions of the “1980 Agreement” mandating the RV pathway be a
    bike path! This is the same John Evans who is now Mayor of Garden City.

    Until our website is up we have posted several documents and pictures at
    the following links:

    The Riverside Village Greenbelt History details at –

    Greenbelt photos”Unsafe and Too Narrow?” at –

    RV Greenbelt “Unsafe and Too Narrow?” slides –

    COG has informally presented this information and supporting documents
    to two Garden City council members – Jeff Souza and Elfreda Higgins.
    Both claim they’ve relied on information about the Riverside Greenbelt
    from Mayor John Evans and residents of Riverside Village. Even after
    providing them with documents they insist they 1980 Agreement is not

    At this time we ask that you do three things:

    1 – Convey this information to others who believe that the Greenbelt
    should be open for ALL non-motorized users without restriction all the
    way from Lucky Peak to Eagle Island State Park. Ask them to send us an
    e-mail so that we can keep them posted on developments –

    2 – Contact Garden City Council Members and Mayor John Evans and demand
    that the RV Greenbelt be opened for mixed, non motorized use. We will
    compile a record of actions and messages, so if you would be so kind as
    to share a copy of your correspondence with us, we would very much
    appreciate it.

    3 – Write letters to the Statesman and Boise Weekly and demand that the
    RV Greenbelt be opened for mixed, non motorized use.

    Ride on!

    Gary Segers
    Citizens for an Open Greenbelt

    Here are e-mail addresses for your reference

    Mayor John Evans

    Pam Beaumont

    Elfreda Higgins

    Jeff Souza

    Mike Moser

  14. Rod in SE Boise
    Feb 11, 2008, 9:32 pm

    The asphalted bike path part of the greenbelt from River Run to Barber Park is not difficlult to follow, unless you are geographically challenged.

    I have even seen a guy on a motorcycle on the walking-only gravel part of the path. Our society, and to some degree, our freedom, are defined by the level of chaos.

  15. It gets more interesting. I suggest anyone who is interested in this, or Garden City in general attend a few city council meetings. You may be suprised about how the elected officials view the changes in the city, specifically a few of the older city council members (Jeff Souza, Pam Beaumont, and Elfreda Higgins).

  16. COG – Citizens for an Open Greenbelt

    Website is up and running with tons of info and copies of key historical documents
    Visit there and sign the guestbook if you would like updates on this issue.

    Also, if you would like to leave comments, there is a new Yahoo Group “IdahoCOG” where there are copies of many messages to and from the Garden City Council.

    Finally, if you are interested… a little birdie told me that you might want to tune in to the Channel Six News tonight (2/17/2008)

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