Cyclists Being Harassed in Paradise Valley

This is a heads up for cyclists riding from the Dreamy Draw area to and through Paradise Valley. There have been recent reports of residents harassing cyclists in this area. The following map illustrates the area of concern:

Dreamy Draw To Paradise Valley

The Mountain View route — the only safe route from the Dreamy Draw to Paradise Valley: From the end of Dreamy Draw at 32nd St and Mountain View, take Mountain View all the way to 37th St. Turn north for a block to Via Estrella, then east to 39th St, south a block and then southeast on the diagonal street of Ocotilla Ln to Fanfol Rd, then east on Fanfol to 44th St. Turn north for a short block and then east on Mountain View Rd again, going over numerous speed bumps. This area is the Rancho Alta Vida neighborhood, and is shown up close later in this post. Turn right at 46th St, which joins Mountain View Rd. At 47th St, you have a choice of staying on Mountain View, crossing Tatum, and continuing on to Paradise Valley, or turning right on 47th St, and crossing Tatum via Berneil Dr.

Warning: Angry driver in paradise valley

One incident in the Paradise Valley area involves a retired judge a driver who thinks cyclists don’t belong on the roads in Paradise Valley, and was witnessed riding too close to several cyclists on purpose, even though the cyclists were riding in the bike lane on Mockingbird, and then the retired judge driver stops to harass them further, apparently completely ignorant of the state’s traffic laws concerning cyclists – “you people” he calls us. Apparently, he cares not a whit for our safety. This is from a retired municipal judge! Check out this first-hand story in www.azroadcyclist.com. To get to the story, click on the “current issue” link in the top left corner of that site.

Update 5/24/12: Turns out the angry driver was not a retired judge at all, but rather, someone who knows a judge, and mentioned his name. Now this story makes more sense. The judge in question was quite upset about his name being tarnished in this way (and rightly so). See www.azroadcyclist.com for more information.

Warning: Angry resident wishing us harm

Another incident involves a resident in the Ranch Alta Vida neighborhood, south of Shea Blvd and west of Tatum Blvd, as shown on the map above. This area is notable because it’s the only safe way for cyclists to get from the Dreamy Draw to the Paradise Valley area. Here is the neighborhood up close:

Rancho Alta Vida

The street at issue is Mountain View Road west of Tatum, (it has speed bumps). Said resident has been harassing cyclists here, even threatening to “booby trap” the street to keep cyclists away. This street is apparently private, and the neighborhood association is apparently threatening to shut down the street to cyclists.

For more information, see this first hand story on the Bicycle Haus forums.

Now, I, like thousands of cyclists, have used this street on a routine basis. I’ve ridden thousands of times through here over the last eight years. It’s the main route I use to get to most of the rides I do. It’s a main route for many cyclists. I never knew this street to be private. To have this street shut down would be a major inconvenience to the cycling community, as there are no safe alternatives to get from the Dreamy Draw to Paradise Valley. Some have suggested we use Gold Dust Ave (located just north of Rancho Alta Vida, near the top on the map), but that would require riding on Tatum Blvd for a block or two in order to get back to Mountain View Rd – and Tatum Blvd is no place for cyclists, not to mention having to make a left-hand turn from its center lane.

Be Vigilant, Be Respectful

Be on the lookout for the angry resident of Rancho Alta Vida, and for the the retired judge angry driver on the streets of Paradise Valley. Be sure to report any incidents you encounter. But most important, be good cycling citizens when passing through private areas like Rancho Alta Vida. The general trend has been for cyclists to lose more and more access to streets, ala Hidden Hills in northeast Scottsdale. Let’s try to keep that from happening here.

Update 5/24/12: A friend of mine checked the city records, and it does appear the road in question (Mountain View between 44th St and Tatum) is private. The HOA (Rancho Alta Vida) has every right to close this street should they want to, as well as all streets in their neighborhood. So far, nothing has happened, and the status quo seems to be prevailing.


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