Residents Unhappy About Bear Creek Greenway Plans

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Mon, November 25 2013 at 7:04 PM, Updated: Mon, November 25 2013 at 7:25 PM

City of Medford officials say a new bike trail will allow people to bypass busy Barnett Road, but some homeowners say they're not on board.

The decision is to connect the Bear Creek Greenway with North Phoenix Road. The proposed trail would begin at Bear Creek extend to Ellendale Drive, then continue near the Rogue Valley Manor's golf course. The trail would be directly behind townhomes largely occupied by single elderly women, said one of the residents.

Judy Kimmons is against the city's plan to run a pathway behind her east Medford home.

"The plans I've heard about is to run the bike path directly between the fence and our back decks here so it would be right on our property line next to our houses," motioned Kimmons.

"None of us like it," she continued.

Daniel Bunn, a Medford City Councilor says the purpose of the trail is to allow people and bikers to bypass busy Barnett road. The plan has been in the works for quite some time. Bunn said a portion of the pathway near Black Oak Drive has already been built.

Whatever the reason for the plan, Kimmons says she and her neighbors have their concerns.

"We are very concerned as far as our safety goes having people coming up and down by our back porches. Things can be stolen off of our porches, very easy access to breaking into our units here," said Kimmons.

One greenway bike rider we spoke with says he's in support of the added trail. As for the safety concerns...

"There's going to be homeless and crime wherever you are so I don't see what they're so worried about," said Justin David who was riding his bike on the greenway.

However back on Hilldale Street, residents are still unhappy.

"I hope they move it back away from our units even having it move back 10 to 20 feet," said Kimmons.

She and other residents are hopeful for a solution everyone can agree on.

Bunn confirmed that officials are looking at potentially moving the pathway 10-20 feet from homes, but it's too early to tell if that will actually happen.

He also said it's unknown when the project will be complete since it depends on the availability of federal grant money.

What do you think? Sound off on our Facebook page and on Twitter, or leave a comment below.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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