Huntsville resident concerned over John Hunt Park bicycle trail safety

Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Since it already feels like summer outside, many people are starting to take advantage of the warmer temperatures and hit the trails.

Along the newest John Hunt Park bicycle trail where the City of Huntsville cleared away some trees, sharp stakes are left behind. One Huntsville resident is concerned that kids are going to fall and get seriously hurt.

“Sharpened sticks and stubs sticking up out of the ground that, anywhere from six inches tall to two feet tall, that are adjacent to the bicycle trail, right along the edges of it,” said Bob Lewis. He lives near the newest bicycle trail in John Hunt Park.

Lewis started noticing sharp stakes back in January while out walking the trail and has since identified around 50-60 problem areas.

“I approached the City Council and told them that I thought there were some problems out there,” he added. “That was when I first started dealing with it. That was 15 weeks ago.”

Lewis addressed the City Council on January 28 and says the initial response was great.

“They sent actually three people from the City and two people from the bicycle club out to talk to me about what I considered dangerous and they spent 2 hours with me, which I admire them for doing that,” said Lewis.

He says unfortunately, little has happened since then, and he is concerned for the children that spend their days riding the trails on their bikes.

Many of the stakes are hidden by overgrowth so when riding along, kids may not notice them. One wrong turn or wrong jump on a bike, and a fall could be seriously dangerous.

Now, Lewis just wants the problem resolved and he’s even offered to help.

“I’ve volunteered every time I’ve met with them to come out with them and not only work on it, I’ll bring my own clippers too… but I’ve volunteered to go along and show them,” he said. “If there would have been a response, I would have been out here with them before now, today, but there hasn’t been a response yet.”

News 19 reached out to Huntsville City Councilman Bill Kling about the issue. He said he will see what can be done, and added that bringing the problem to his attention could help avoid someone getting seriously injured.

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