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Spreckels bike path shows wear, rough spots

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Spreckels bike path shows wear, rough spots

A cyclist has to swerve to avoid hitting low hanging branches along the Spreckels Park bike path on Thursday.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED February 22, 2013 1:30 a.m.

With her boxer-mix Dexter in tow, Julie Kraus traversed the dedicated bike path along Spreckels Avenue like she does every day.

As part of a big loop that she and the nimble canine have carved out, Kraus said that she has come to love the landscaped accents along both sides of the paved path as well as the rolling grass entrances to some of the corporate businesses that call the same stretch of road home.

“I think that it’s really nice,” she said – Dexter pulling at the end of his leash. “I think that having it here is something that’s good for the community as a whole.”

But who exactly is in charge of making sure that it stays up to the standards set by the city isn’t exactly clear.

Earlier this week a neighborhood man took it upon himself to clear garbage out of a section of the landscaped area that was set-up by the developers of Spreckels Park – AKF Development – to operate much like a homeowners association.

Businesses that call Spreckels Business Park home pay into a fund that covers the upkeep and maintenance on the joint areas in front of the businesses – the grassy and hedged areas that run from the street up to gates and fences – as well as the bike path and other accents that were added to give area homeowners and residents something to enjoy.

The only problem is that segments of the actual bike path have fallen into disarray. Paved sections are showing their wear. And while the landscaping gets regular attention bushes some have died off completely. There have also been complaints about low hanging branches that come to within five feet of the ground hanging over the bike path.

And while jogger Marcel Mendoza says he doesn’t want to have to fight his way over to the Tidewater Bikeway for a run, things get tight with people avoiding some areas because of the uneven surface.

“You have the driveways that you have to watch out for, and there’s the big open field that seems out of place with all of the development around,” Mendoza said. “But the path isn’t as nice as it used to be. The businesses and their landscaping add to the aesthetic, but it would be better for runners and I’m sure riders if was overhauled.”

City Manager Karen McLaughlin said that staff is researching the Spreckels Park Development Agreement to see if there are any minimum maintenance requirements for the bike path and if the city has “any hammer” on enforcing the maintenance.

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