Multi-use path raises concerns from residents right next door

MEDFORD, Ore.- A segment of a 16-year-long Medford transportation plan is set to be complete within the year.

However, a multi-use path next to several housing complexes in East Medford is causing some concern. It’s part of the second segment of the Larson Creek Trail project which will allow bikes and pedestrians to cross from Ellendale Drive to Black Oak Drive without having to access Barnett Road.

The path is set run right next to several apartment complexes including the Barnett Townhomes, a low-income housing complex, where some residents are upset and concerned about safety.

Residents NBC5 News spoke with voiced their concern the path could attract transients and the homeless as the Bear Creek Greenway has done. Some at the Barnett Townhomes also pointed out the drug problem and criminal element they’ve seen on the greenway and the risk to children living in the apartments.

Their final concern was this path would give people easier access, putting their homes and property at more risk to theft or burglary.

“I see several places, many places where the fence has been wire cutted open,” said Nancy Sweithal, a resident at the Barnett Townhomes. “So just to have that type of traffic right in our backyard is a big concern.”

The city has held many public meetings about this section of trail and have notified residents of the construction. The public works department says fencing will be put in to separate the trail from homes and other private areas.

The City of Medford has also acquired the land where the trail is being built over a period of years. It is set to be complete by fall of this year.

Still, some residents are working on a petition to reconsider building the trail so close to their homes.

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