A Hiker's Liability
Seems that the City holds the property owners liable for any mishap the befalls a hiker on a trail running next to an owner’s property, even if the right-of-way is technically the City’s.
One property owner, claiming to be fearful of liability, has blocked off access to the right-of-way to hikers. He has also torn out steps that were installed to make passage easier. In their place, the owner has planted juniper bushes, making passage nearly impossible.
Now other property owners are raising similar concerns about liability associated with trails next to their properties.
On Dec. 2, the Pedestrian Office of the City’s transportation department is holding a meeting to address the issue.
So far it has been framed so that the liability gets batted back and forth between the property owners and the City.
How about this? The hikers assume the liability. They might carry an endorsement on their home owners insurance or even on their auto insurance. Or they might get insurance by joining a hiking club like The Mazamas or SWTrails. It shouldn’t cost more than a buck or two for an entire family. If a property owner stops them, they can simply pull out their insurance card and say, “Not to worry. I’m covered and so are you.”
I’m going to suggest the idea the meeting. I’ll let you know how it turns out. In the meantime, let me know if you see any problems with the proposal.