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New Pathways to Mt. Diablo

Author: Bike East Bay

Date: June 26, 2019

Updated July 9, 2019 

On Wednesday afternoon, Novato resident Maayan Jones was tragically killed in a head-on collision on Mount Diablo Scenic Blvd, near the point where the road meets the Path (“Easement”) to Alameda Diablo. Our hearts go out to Maayan’s family and community as we mourn this loss, and members of the community will be erecting a ghost bike near where the fatal crash occured. A multitude of safety improvements are needed on the roads leading up to Mt. Diablo, and this tragedy underscores that swift, comprehensive safety measures cannot wait. More details are still emerging, and we are prepared to advocate for the necessary additional safety improvements. As we detail below, you may continue to bicycle through Diablo Country Club for a safer route to and from Mount Diablo.

Want to take action and make Mt. Diablo better for bicycling?

Over the past several years, Bike East Bay has been working to ensure safe bicycling along the Diablo Road corridor between Danville and Mount Diablo in two ways. Last year we joined a lawsuit between four Diablo homeowners and Diablo Community Services District to declare Calle Arroyo a private road and close off the Path (“Easement”) for bicycling between Alameda Diablo and Mount Diablo Scenic Blvd. 

At the same time, we are working with the town of Danville and Magee Preserve project to build a paved pathway and bike route on the southside of Diablo Road, connecting the existing trail along Diablo Road, which terminates at Calle Arroyo and Blackhawk Road (see map below). Together, these efforts will ensure safer bike routes to Mount Diablo and to neighborhoods along Blackhawk Road.

Latest on the Lawsuit
The lawsuit is winding down and unfortunately the court has ruled that Calle Arroyo is a private road, granting each homeowner quiet title, from the width of their property to the center of the road. Diablo Country Club owns the other side of the road. Most homeowners on Calle Arroyo have indicated they are fine with people walking and bicycling on Calle Arroyo, and Diablo Country Club has provided no indication they want their half of the street private. Guests can use Calle Arroyo to get to the clubhouse or visit residents. However, there are a few homeowners on Calle Arroyo who want to ensure their street is kept private and you will see their signs posted. Thus, if you bike on Calle Arroyo and are asked by a homeowner not to use the side of the street in front of their house, please comply and use the golf course side of the street.

More recently, the Diablo Community Services District passed “Resolution No. 19-01”, which says the public is entitled to use Calle Arroyo for many reasons, including accessing the US Post Office in Diablo, accessing Diablo Country Club, when instructed to do so by traffic conditions and to avoid any hazardous conditions on Diablo Road. The Diablo Community Services District is also using your public taxpayer money to maintain Calle Arroyo and provide neighborhood security along the road. The Court also ruled that the Diablo Community Service District has no authority to enforce privacy on Calle Arroyo. In addition, the County Sheriff has indicated that they have no intention of conducting enforcement on the road.

However, one or more homeowners may hire private security to enforce the privacy of their property—the side of the street in front on there house. Please respect their privacy. The Diablo Community Services District has also said that all other roads in Diablo are open to the public, including Alameda Diablo. As always, ride safely and be respectful. If anything happens, according to the Sheriff, “call (925) 646-2441 to report the incident.” Please also let us know.

To get you up to this area, we encourage you to ride on the paved ½-mile “Diablo Road Trail,” starting at Green Valley Road and extending to Calle Arroyo, and stay off dangerous Diablo Road. See map above.

Public Easement Path
The path is a public easement (photo below) connecting Alameda Diablo and Diablo Scenic. It was dedicated to CA State Parks and Recreation and recorded in Contra Costa County Records Office in 1979. The homeowner at this easement has said he is happy keeping the path open to the public and the many people who use the path regularly and have done so for years. Bike East Bay is working to ensure this public easement remains, and is codified as permanent. We will update you on this issue as our efforts proceed.

New Paths Coming 
On the southside of Diablo Road, efforts are well underway to plan for a multi-use paved path, which would extend to the east the existing path along Diablo Road that terminates at Calle Arroyo. Magee Preserve development is constructing half of the new path and dedicating an easement to the Town of Danville to build a multi-use paved path for everyone to safely bike, walk, hike and stay off Diablo Road (CIP No: C-055). In addition, this project will create 2 miles of new public trails for mountain bikers and hikers, connecting Sycamore Valley Open Space Regional Preserve, Magee Preserve, Mount Diablo State Park, and Danville. The Town of Danville has committed in their capital budget over half the funding needed to build the path along the easement portion and Bike East Bay will work with Danville, the county and regional agencies to secure the remaining funding. 

Some residents in Diablo who want no bicyclists on publicly accessible streets are opposed to Magee Preserve, and are using bicycle safety on Diablo Road as their legal argument to stop the project. Bike East Bay does not support their efforts. Ostensibly, these Diablo residents argue for a 4 foot shoulder on Diablo Road along the windy, high-speed section of Diablo Road, claiming such a narrow space immediately next to high-speed traffic would be adequate. Bike East Bay disagrees, and supports a separated path where you ride far away from such traffic conditions and are much safer.

With public access ensured through Diablo and via the easement pathway, and a new separated pathway on the southside of Diablo Road, people will be able to safely and comfortably travel by bike along the Diablo Road corridor. This is our goal.

Continue supporting safe, public access to Mt. Diablo: write your elected officialsign up for updates, and become a member today!

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