Setbacks in Diablo Lawsuit

Photo courtesy of Eric Londgren, BARTable.

Updated: November 20, 2018

A judge has ruled that Calle Arroyo is a private road, after having previously ruled earlier this fall that the Diablo Community Services District has no authority to stop the public from using the road. California Civil Code Section 1008 has made it difficult to establish public easements. One cause of action remains in the lawsuit—a request to close the cut thru path, which we will fight to have dismissed. The owners of the cut thru path have said the public is welcome to continue to use the path for safe access to Mt. Diablo, but they may be pressured to change their minds.

What this all means from a practical perspective is unclear—judges sometime issue rulings that complicate matters. The County Sheriff wants no part of this and has told us they have no intention of actively enforcing the privacy of Calle Arroyo—they have other priorities. Most Calle Arroyo homeowners are fine with the public using the street and only a few are interested in banning bikes from the area.

Regardless, Robert Tiernan, the lead Plaintiff in the suit, and other property owners may inform you that you are trespassing if using Calle Arroyo, even though they have no practical way of limiting your access to the street. Each homeowner owns to the middle of the street, while Diablo Country Club owns the other side of the street. We advise you to use Calle Arroyo only if you feel the alternative route on Diablo Road to Alameda Diablo is unsafe or too intimidating given traffic conditions. Otherwise, use Alameda Diablo to access the cut thru path.

If you are told that you are trespassing by a Calle Arroyo property owner, the best course of action is to comply by moving off the person’s private property. Again, the property lines start and stop at the edge of each property and the property line extends to the middle of the street. Do not escalate the situation and please refrain from getting into a verbal debate with property owners. Please let us know if anyone confronts you, especially if it escalates. Email: advocacy@bikeeastbay.org.

Bike East Bay will continue to fight this lawsuit and ensure your safe access to Mt. Diablo State Park. We will update when we have more information.