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Is biking through "private property" ok?

Old 08-10-21, 11:26 AM
  #26  
ClydeClydeson
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GhostRider62 So if one passes through unnoticed or without bothering anyone (your strongly held position on the intrinsic value of the rule of law notwithstanding) there is no harm?
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Old 08-10-21, 01:59 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by ClydeClydeson View Post
I don't get your thought process - if a person passes through a property and leaves without incident, who is harmed and how are they harmed?
That's kind of like saying, "I paid insurance premium, but didn't use the insurance. Do I get my premium back?" Same difference. You keep people off your property on the off chance something happens.
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Old 08-10-21, 02:13 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Reading OP's post is not 100% clear. I would cut thru school property, that is not private. Privately owned Condo complex? No. It is obvious why they do not want strangers there.
It would depend on whether it is a private school or a public school.

As far as schools, it would depend a lot on whether school is in session and kids are around. For example in Portland, I've found a route that gets me off the main highway, but goes through a school ballfield. I'd probably avoid it if it was actively in use.

There is also a bike path that cuts through a park, and terminates in a apartment complex driveway that I've cut through a few times.

Closer to home, I've crossed logging gates. In one case, it specifically said "No Motorized Vehicles" (which didn't include me).

One of the problems with logging gates is that one might not discover them until one is already committed to the route.
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Old 08-10-21, 02:26 PM
  #29  
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If it's indeed publicly-funded and -maintained property, then it shouldn't be a problem. Also such places shouldn't have "Private Property" or "Private Road" signs around.

IMO, if it's labeled "private" then, well, that's pretty much it. Might well be that the asphalt continues onto that road. Well, sure, it would. Then again, there are dirt/gravel roads that are publicly maintained and paid for. But any given road so labeled is providing fairly clear notice it's private. Wouldn't be much different than somebody's driveway or private road up into the property. The "Private Property" signage ought to be a dead give-away; it would be for me.
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Old 08-10-21, 03:34 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by ClydeClydeson View Post
GhostRider62 So if one passes through unnoticed or without bothering anyone (your strongly held position on the intrinsic value of the rule of law notwithstanding) there is no harm?
If I take your bike out for a little spin every day when you are not home and return it, are you harmed?
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Old 08-10-21, 03:38 PM
  #31  
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Insurance does not always pay for a claim nor do the pay the entire amount. The landowner can also be on the hook. And, if there is a payout, the landowner's policy, if they can then get one, will have a premium increase.

I can't believe people think it is "OK" to trespass on clearly posted property. Crazy world we live in.
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Old 08-10-21, 06:30 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
If I take your bike out for a little spin every day when you are not home and return it, are you harmed?
Are you going to reimburse me for the wear and tear?
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Old 08-10-21, 06:32 PM
  #33  
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I know this is getting a little off topic, but when I worked on the Nat'l Forest it was surprising how many 'hunters' put up "Private Property" signs. I use the term 'hunters' loosely.
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Old 08-10-21, 07:29 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Bigbus View Post
Are you going to reimburse me for the wear and tear?
Ok, if you reimburse me for using my property.

I think there is a word for that.

Rent
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Old 08-10-21, 07:42 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Ok, if you reimburse me for using my property.

I think there is a word for that.Rent
You are missing the point of mutually beneficial policies. I am sure there are walkers and cyclists in the condos I bike through who do the same thing as me.
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Old 08-10-21, 08:28 PM
  #36  
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If the roads are publicly accessible and mapped on google, they are generally considered easements and using them is not trespassing. There are a few roads like that in my area that I ride regularly. And many dirt roads that I could ride if I were on a different bike.
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Old 08-10-21, 10:02 PM
  #37  
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On a property like you describe, I'm super polite and friendly, and ride slow. If the manager ever calls me on it (no one has yet), I would apologize profusely and walk my bike the rest of the way. Depending on their attitude, I may strike up a conversation in an effort to get permission to ride. YMMV, of course.
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Old 08-11-21, 07:24 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
If I take your bike out for a little spin every day when you are not home and return it, are you harmed?

Funny you would mention this. I lived in a town on a river that was popular for canoeists. I bought myself a canoe and inquired about the canoe racks near the public marina, and was told that if there is a space I am welcome to use it, but it is acknowledged that the canoes left on the rack are often borrowed by others in the town, and if I ever go to the rack and my canoe is not there, come back in an hour or two and it will have been returned. I kept my canoe there for about three summers, and there were I think two occasions that my canoe wasn't there when I looked, but was always returned by the next time I checked.

I have no problem with this arrangement. It carries a small cost, but a far bigger benefit to the community as a whole.
Your insistence that any private property is solely for the enjoyment of the owners of the property, and any others deriving enjoyment are committing a crime, is sad and leading to an objectively worse community.
And many property owners, myself included, disagree with you. My residence has no or few 'trespassers' because it isn't near a trail or a convenient cut-through to anywhere, but my recreational property is regularly visited by strangers, and I have no ability or reason to try to stop them - they aren't harming anyone and, except for maybe sometimes a few extra ashes in the fire pit, generally leave no trace, and it doesn't bother me.
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Old 08-15-21, 07:42 PM
  #39  
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In the words of Woody Guthrie:
Well I was walking and saw a sign there
And on that sign it said “private property”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing
That side was made for you and me!
Anyways while Woody was probably right about the morality of private property in general, the law disagrees. And you don’t want to invade someone’s space. There’s a private road a couple miles up the road from me with a number of homes off of it that provides a much safer and prettier way to access the reservation than the state highway you otherwise must take. The notion that this safer riding route should be reserved for the exclusive use of the small handful of people living in the multi-million dollar homes accessed by this road should offend anyone of good taste. We do, after all, live in a wider society. This road is ungated and the homes are set well back from it; there’s no need to ride through anyone’s driveway. So I don’t feel the least bit guilty about using it.

The same would go for condo developments and the like, in my opinion. The private property zealots have a strangely black-and-white view of a socially and legally complex tradition with a lot of variation. Public access to private lands is a very longstanding question and the concept of public right-of-ways and easements on private land to which the public must be allowed unfettered access is neither new nor unusual. In the USA things do tend to be more restrictive, but there are exceptions here. In Britain, public access to footpaths and trails on private land is enshrined in law. In no case has this resulted in the meltdown of society or an orgy of vandalism and murder. In my view it is in fact a lot better for society if landowners are not allowed to imagine themselves as petty emperors but instead must reckon with their being part of a larger society with riches to be shared by all.

So. Use your best judgment. Don’t go through someone’s yard. Don’t go somewhere one of those petty emperors might shoot at you. Be respectful and quiet. All that stuff. Just my opinion.
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Old 08-15-21, 07:56 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by ClydeClydeson View Post
Funny you would mention this. I lived in a town on a river that was popular for canoeists. I bought myself a canoe and inquired about the canoe racks near the public marina, and was told that if there is a space I am welcome to use it, but it is acknowledged that the canoes left on the rack are often borrowed by others in the town, and if I ever go to the rack and my canoe is not there, come back in an hour or two and it will have been returned. I kept my canoe there for about three summers, and there were I think two occasions that my canoe wasn't there when I looked, but was always returned by the next time I checked.

I have no problem with this arrangement. It carries a small cost, but a far bigger benefit to the community as a whole.
Your insistence that any private property is solely for the enjoyment of the owners of the property, and any others deriving enjoyment are committing a crime, is sad and leading to an objectively worse community.
And many property owners, myself included, disagree with you. My residence has no or few 'trespassers' because it isn't near a trail or a convenient cut-through to anywhere, but my recreational property is regularly visited by strangers, and I have no ability or reason to try to stop them - they aren't harming anyone and, except for maybe sometimes a few extra ashes in the fire pit, generally leave no trace, and it doesn't bother me.
It is called trespassing.

Your refusal to accept common law is rather sad, too.

I don't want to live in your world.
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Old 08-15-21, 08:38 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by duke_of_hazard View Post
You are missing the point of mutually beneficial policies. I am sure there are walkers and cyclists in the condos I bike through who do the same thing as me.
I get trespassers all the time through the trailer court I live in. I live at the end of the drive and only have enough room to barely park my car between the fence and my front door, yet everyone thinks it’s ok to squeeze past my car on their bikes just to take the shortcut to the bar. These same people have the nerve to yell at me about my dog chained up to the front door.
there are clearly “No Tresspassing” signs posted throughout the trailer court. I had one guy kick my dog who in return ate his tire, bit the guy on the leg, and pushed him into my car causing $1,000 damage to the car. Cops showed up and booked the cyclist on Tresspass charges. And he ended up paying the damages to the car.

my point being… private property is just that… private… that doesn’t give any one else the privilege of being on the property.
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Old 08-16-21, 07:11 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
It is called trespassing.

Your refusal to accept common law is rather sad, too
What 'common law' am I refusing to accept?

Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
I don't want to live in your world.
My world? Where 'seeing another person' () doesn't make me feel like I cannot enjoy my property? That a person passing by enjoying their day will ruin mine?
Au contraire, mon frere, it is 'your world' that is not a good place, and it is made that way by your own paranoia and greed.
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Old 08-16-21, 11:26 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
It is called trespassing.

Your refusal to accept common law is rather sad, too.

I don't want to live in your world.
It's not necessarily trespassing, depending on where you live. In some places, land must be marked with "No Trespassing", otherwise it is legal to go on it.

Title 17-A, §402: Criminal trespass
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Old 08-16-21, 11:49 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by duke_of_hazard View Post
You are missing the point of mutually beneficial policies. I am sure there are walkers and cyclists in the condos I bike through who do the same thing as me.
The big difference is that those residents of the condos are likely to be paying members of the homeowners association (or similar entity) that manages and maintains the property. In other words, they're owners. Even if they are renters, they are still paying for the right to be on and use the property.
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Old 08-16-21, 12:02 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
The big difference is that those residents of the condos are likely to be paying members of the homeowners association (or similar entity) that manages and maintains the property. In other words, they're owners. Even if they are renters, they are still paying for the right to be on and use the property.
I believe duke_of_hazard was referring to residents of condos and apt buildings cutting through the grounds of other condos and apt buildings, not through their own.
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Old 08-16-21, 12:04 PM
  #46  
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Before I had retired my former employer with a large parking lot for employees was located at the corner of two very busy streets. One of the streets was a diamond lane for buses, bicycles, taxis, commercial vehicles and private vehicles with three or more people.

Every morning when I entered the parking lot from the diamond lane at the north east with my bike, I would see the same car trailing behind me and then it would exit the parking lot at the south side westbound. Being a car, it would sometime speed up and pass me while other employees were getting out of their cars and into the building.

Once I had called security to monitor trespassers because they would pose a risk to other employees.

They basically said no.

On another occasion, one of the bike trails I take has and entrance/exit through private property. It's marked on the map that that was an entrance. One winter, the snow clearing had piled up all the snow right in line of the bike trail. I called the city, who called the owners but basically the response was that it's private property and there's nothing that can be done. Nevermind, that blocking an entrance to a bike trail would force cyclists to use the adjacent road instead of the trail.


So it all depends.
If it's an apartment building complex, who can determine if other residences cycle through there too? If it's commercial property, who can determine if other employees cycle through there?

And finally, what property owner can go through the process to ban its own patrons and employees from bicycling?

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Old 08-16-21, 12:48 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
It is called trespassing.

Your refusal to accept common law is rather sad, too.

I don't want to live in your world.
Interesting discussion! Let's look a little closer at some of the terms used:

Trespass. According to my old Merriam-Webster dictionary, "tresspass" is, in one sense, "1a : a violation of moral or social ethics : TRANSGRESSION: [i]esp [/]: SIN" and in another sense "TREPASS implies an unwarranted, unlawful, or offensive intrusion." (all this on p. 944 of a 1969 edition). OP is clearly trying to be inoffensive, so I am not convinced that he is trespassing. I would need to see the specifics of what he's referring to, before I could voice an opinion.

common law
According to the same Merriam-Webster (p. 167), Common Law is "the body of law developed in England primarily from judicial decisions based on custom and precedent, unwritten in statute or code, and consisting of the basis of the English legal system in all of the U. S,. except Louisiana." Which is interesting (particularly the bit about Louisiana; does Common Law not apply in Louisiana, but it does apply in other states in land acquired through the Louisiana Purchase? weird!), but does not actually tell us anything useful to this discussion. As I read it, OP is specifically asking what is common law regarding use of thoroughfares that are publicly accessible but not publicly owned, and the answer (assuming all respondents are experts) seems to depend on location.

your world
This whole discussion seems to be U. S. based, and several posters have revealed a distinctive US understanding of Common Law. To be clear, I too am an American and I am not a lawyer in any sense of the word, common or otherwise. so I am clearly not an expert. I have spent some time in foreign countries, however, and am pretty sure other countries are much more relaxed about trespassing. In remote areas of Europe I believe land owners do not have the right to prevent travelers (hikers, bike tourists, &c) from camping on their property, provided there is no harm. So, for example, you can camp in an apple orchard, but you can't cut apple branches for firewood and you can't eat the apples. Alpine hikers regularly climb over electrified fences and cheerfully greet the cows (and the farmers) they pass as they travel over private land; they have been doing it as long as anyone can remember and no one complains about the practice. A certain amount of etiquette is required, of course; you have to treat other people's property respectfully. Though you could probably hang a hammock between two of the apple trees in the orchard without harming them, I don't believe anyone would do so; that would seem against the rules.

right-of-way
I may have missed it, or can it be that no one has mentioned right of way? My dictionary defines it as "a legal right of passage over another person's ground" and that seems to be at the heart of the question. Who has right of way over the property in question? I don't know, and it seems to me no one who has posted on this thread does, so... who knows.
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Old 08-16-21, 01:28 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Interesting discussion! Let's look a little closer at some of the terms used:

Trespass. According to my old Merriam-Webster dictionary, "tresspass" is, in one sense, "1a : a violation of moral or social ethics : TRANSGRESSION: esp [/]: SIN" and in another sense "TREPASS implies an unwarranted, unlawful, or offensive intrusion." (all this on p. 944 of a 1969 edition). OP is clearly trying to be inoffensive, so I am not convinced that he is trespassing. I would need to see the specifics of what he's referring to, before I could voice an opinion.

common law
According to the same Merriam-Webster (p. 167), Common Law is "the body of law developed in England primarily from judicial decisions based on custom and precedent, unwritten in statute or code, and consisting of the basis of the English legal system in all of the U. S,. except Louisiana." Which is interesting (particularly the bit about Louisiana; does Common Law not apply in Louisiana, but it does apply in other states in land acquired through the Louisiana Purchase? weird!), but does not actually tell us anything useful to this discussion. As I read it, OP is specifically asking what is common law regarding use of thoroughfares that are publicly accessible but not publicly owned, and the answer (assuming all respondents are experts) seems to depend on location.

your world
This whole discussion seems to be U. S. based, and several posters have revealed a distinctive US understanding of Common Law. To be clear, I too am an American and I am not a lawyer in any sense of the word, common or otherwise. so I am clearly not an expert. I have spent some time in foreign countries, however, and am pretty sure other countries are much more relaxed about trespassing. In remote areas of Europe I believe land owners do not have the right to prevent travelers (hikers, bike tourists, &c) from camping on their property, provided there is no harm. So, for example, you can camp in an apple orchard, but you can't cut apple branches for firewood and you can't eat the apples. Alpine hikers regularly climb over electrified fences and cheerfully greet the cows (and the farmers) they pass as they travel over private land; they have been doing it as long as anyone can remember and no one complains about the practice. A certain amount of etiquette is required, of course; you have to treat other people's property respectfully. Though you could probably hang a hammock between two of the apple trees in the orchard without harming them, I don't believe anyone would do so; that would seem against the rules.

right-of-way
I may have missed it, or can it be that no one has mentioned right of way? My dictionary defines it as "a legal right of passage over another person's ground" and that seems to be at the heart of the question. Who has right of way over the property in question? I don't know, and it seems to me no one who has posted on this thread does, so... who knows.


OP said the property was posted. It was thru a private complex.

There is not much more to know. You don't post if there is a right of way.

In my state, if a property is posted, it is more likely to be a criminal trespass but probably just a disorderly persons type of offense at the worse.

Isn't it obvious that a residential community would not want strangers cutting thru their property? Isn't that their right? So, it is posted. When you knowing go onto that property knowing it is posted, that action makes you a defiant trespasser. That makes it a criminal trespass in principle. I deal with this all the time with hunters. My neighbor was dumping garbage onto my property because he has a small property and I have a much larger one. I never made it a legal issue but was prepared to if he did not stop and did not clean up the junk he threw on my property. I am quite clear on the law in my state. You cannot go onto a property that is posted without permission. That is the law in all states, more or less

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclope...ssing-law.html
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Old 08-16-21, 01:38 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by duke_of_hazard View Post
... Some have signs saying "private property" but make no mention of anything else...
Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post

OP said the property was posted.
A sign that says "private property" isn't equivalent to one that says "no trespassing" in some states.
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Old 08-16-21, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by cuevélo View Post
A sign that says "private property" isn't equivalent to one that says "no trespassing" in some states.
Not to my knowledge. It is identical.

Can you name a single state where a "Private Property" sign on a private way thru a private property gives you right of access. I doubt you can find one but it is possible.
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