New regulations come after six years of frequent use of the road by bicyclists and pedestrians. The club cited member complaints and safety hazards as reasons for the need to enforce against trespassing.
Bicyclists are no longer welcome on the private road near Weston (Mass.) Golf Club, the Boston Globe reported.
Despite six years of no complaints to bicyclists traveling along the windy Meadowbrook Road, frequently used as a cut-through, two Weston police officers working private detail for the club began intercepting riders May 19.
“The bottom line is, this is private property,” one of the police officers, Lieutenant Danny Maguire, told the riders. “We’re not here to hassle you, we’re here to inform you.”
The club hired the detail due to complaints from members. No-trespassing signs run along the road, warning that violators will be prosecuted, though Maguire does not believe it will come to that.
Weston is a popular place for bicyclists with its winding hills and friendly terrain. Cyclists pose potential liability issues if a biker gets hurt, particularly on weekends when more golfers use the course.
“Meadowbrook Road will have police detail for the purpose of checking automobiles for Meadowbrook Road stickers, and to prevent the groups of cyclists that are using the private road,” Weston General Manager Bryan O’Connell wrote in a letter to members.
Mark Pasnik, a recreational bicyclist, described the new regulations as “mean spirited.”
“I think they certainly have the right to keep people off their property, but there are a lot of things people can do that are legal, but aren’t necessarily positive or helpful to a sense of community, and this is one of them,” Pasnick said.
Another rider, Andrew Steinhouse, said he would like to attempt a dialogue with the club to understand the nature of the problem, particularly since residents had used the road without incident for so long.
“If we’ve been using the road with their permission for so many years, it would be good to know exactly the number and type of complaints and issues they have experienced that would make them change their mind now. Certainly as a cyclist, I’ve seen no safety issues, and have only encountered warmth and hospitality from people at the club,” Steinhouse said.