Bike lane proposal meets with opposition from homeowners, golf course

Bicyclists (Photo by RAGBRAI/Facebook)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) -A proposed bike path meant to connect bicyclists to more parts of Bakersfield is causing some division among homeowners and a golf course that borders the bike path.

Stan Jones and his wife have lived in their home in northwest Bakersfield for more than 10 years. Now he's concerned his "nice, safe, quiet community" will be exposed to potential dangers, as the proposed north-south bike path cuts across his backyard.

"My biggest concern is the ability of anybody, at any time, to access my backyard," Jones said.

He sent a letter to city government raising his concerns in October, and is still waiting to hear back.

The $8.2 million project also cuts across the Links at Riverlakes Ranch golf course.

"It's a very busy area. You have maintenance workers, you have golf carts, you will have bicyclists, runners, families," Gabriela Gonzales, a government and public affairs manager at Providence Strategic Consulting Inc., said. Her firm has been hired by Riverlakes Ranch.

She's been reaching out to the homeowners who live near the golf course to raise awareness about the bike-path proposal and gather their feedback.

"If something happens where someone is injured on the actual trail by, let's just say, a golf ball – who's liable for that?" Gonzales asked.

Bicycling advocates say there's no reason to be concerned, and insist the city needs this bike path.

"There's a real need for a north-south bike path," Cindy Parra, a board member of Bike Bakersfield, said. "We have this east-west one that we can see people use it every day."

City Council is scheduled to meet with golf course leaders this week.

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