City Government

Greenbelt Bikers Seek State Help

Gary Segers, the hard pedaling proponent of opening the Garden City stretch of Greenbelt to bikers, is taking his case to the top elected officials in Idaho–the Land Board.
He will make a presentation to the Idaho State Board of Lands Commissioners on Tuesday, August 19. The GUARDIAN is not certain if the board has jurisdiction of the riparian area (for non-library types, that’s the land next to the river used mostly by birds and critters), but if they do he could have a lot more clout than just having a few people push their bikes through the area.

Segers and his CITIZENS FOR AN OPEN GREENBELT group zeroed in on Garden City after the city failed to honor an agreement from 30 years ago with the State of Idaho. Having the mayor involved in a high end housing development along the river added a major bump in the bike route when the Garden City closed it to the two wheelers. This could be a political “balancing act” for the Statewide elected officials.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. I don’t know who techically has jurisdiction over the land, but I can tell you this: The easements to the land in Plantation that have (or had) an easement over them for a path appear to have been signed away by Governor Andrus. If I was this guy, I would do a search of all those homes on the river through Plantation and see who and how the easements were signed over to the property owners. I have a feeling that the correct answer to this overall question is on the side of the bikers, but it is a messy and convoluted issue.

  2. Some walkers say they like having a stretch of Greenbelt not shared by bikers.
    Fair enough — providing some stretch (of equal length) is for bikers, not shared with walkers.

    C’mon, people: Didn’t your mama teach you to share?

  3. Tom Anderson
    Aug 13, 2008, 9:41 am

    I have noticed a HUGE upsurge in bicycle traffic in the ‘dismount zone’ in Riverside Village. The cyclists have decided, and they will ride, not walk.

    Word is the cops tried giving tickets, but nobody has identification on them. I guess they can’t write a citation without ID, and can’t force the issue since it is only an infraction.

    When our temporary little dip in oil prices is over, and oil prices restart their march for the heavens, our streets are going to be clogged with bicycles and it will be the car people whining.

  4. Tom Anderson: “… the cops tried giving tickets, but nobody has identification on them. I guess they can’t write a citation without ID, and can’t force the issue since it is only an infraction.”

    A correction is in order. Actually, it is a MISDEMEANOR to ride your bicycle on that stretch of greenbelt, since the Garden City Fathers passed the ordinance sometime last summer. (Overkill? YOU be the judge.)

    I have some empathy for pedestrians who feel terrorized by cyclists. Some cyclists are rude, and are riding too fast for “greenbelt conditions.” But some pedestrians are clueless, too. “Can’t we all just get along?”

    I have more empathy for cyclists who would ride into Boise from Eagle, but for the legal obstacle that has been arbitrarily thrown up by Mayor Evans and his cronies.

    It is RIDICULOUS to have a dismount bottleneck on a path that was/is envisioned as a multi-modal transportation corridor stretching from Lucky Peak to Eagle. I hope the Land Board sets Garden City straight, and tells ’em to join the party.

  5. The Guardian may want to review the Land Board’s vote sometime within the last 1-2 years to take away the public’s access along waterways. The Governor voted yes and he owns land that fronts the Boise River. Was that not a vote on a subject of conflicting interest?

  6. Tom Anderson
    Aug 13, 2008, 3:20 pm

    Bikeboy… The info I had came from a resident that talked to one of the cops about this issue. Supposedly the cop said they tried giving folks tickets but nobody had ID, so they gave up.

    I would love someone to challenge a misdemeanor ticket in court. It would likely be thrown out.

    Typically, an infraction is a violation of a rule or local ordinance or regulation.

    A misdemeanor, or misdemeanour, in many common law legal systems, is a “lesser” criminal act.

    Could it be a criminal act to violate the rich folks private sanctuary with a bicycle? Mayor Evans and the Garden City Council need a good spanking.

  7. The state quit claimed their interest in the greenbelt strips to Garden City back in 1998 for the purposes of a greenbelt or park for the benefit of the public. Segers is wasting everyone’s time because Garden City has not violated the covenants part of their contract/deed.
    The bikers are going to have to win this case by convincing the city to change their minds or through some other legal recourse.

  8. I agree with the spanking but I don’t think you’re accurate there Tom. 1) On what basis would it be tossed? You are forbidden from riding there. If you are caught riding there what’s the defense? 2) An infraction is typically a violation of a traffic rule and only involves a fine. No intent need be proved to show a violation. 3) A misdemeanor is absolutely not a lesser included of an infraction. The maximum penalty for a misdemeanor in Idaho is typically a $500 (?) fine and/or 6 months in jail. Likely you wouldn’t get that but you could.

    Mark, I think you hit on the crux of the issue.

  9. The state may retain some rights as the 1996 agreement states a change in purpose or ownership may be cause for breach.

    Maybe the solution would be to fight a ticket in court. Bring in the prior signed agreements as your defense. Hope the judge has some compassion and may even rule a precedence for Garden City to comply or else. (wishful thinking )

  10. Clancy, that was the original plan. But the COG leadership felt it was a battle better fought above board and within the system. If it works, they will be heroes (justifiably) if not, we can all start going to jail.

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