Local News

'No trespassing' signs don't stop bikers, walkers on RDU property

Posted June 8

— Biking groups held a meeting Thursday evening on the disputed land along Old Reedy Creek Road.

Raleigh-Durham International Airport owns the property, and RDU officials say bikers and walkers need to stay off of it.

No trespassing signs are posted around the area, but officials claim the number of people using the land is increasing. Cyclist, hikers and walkers frequent the area every day.


Biking groups are concerned RDU will move to develop the land.

Patrice Hughes is a dog-walker, who doesn't want to see that happen. She said she has been walking her dog in the area for 10 years.

"I like it just the way it is," Patrice Hughes said. "It is a great kept secret because the deterrent is the sign that says no trespassing. But the bikers are out here. The dog walkers are out here."

“Where else can you take your dog off of the leash and have great exercise?"

There is also a study proposed by county officials to explore creating a destination biking facility in that area.

Dave Anderson belongs to "Triangle Off Road Cyclist." His group and others are behind a push to make this land a place people can visit.

"It is trespassing, and it's unfortunate," Anderson said. "We are trying to solve that problem to help people come out fo the shadows and it not be an illegal activity."

But RDU officials said that coming on the property is illegal activity, and it's getting worse. Websites now promote trails made through the property.

A RDU spokesperson told WRAL that federal guidelines require the property be used to support the functions of the airport or create revenue for it.

"Our organization is not anti-airport," Anderson said. "We are not anti-business."

Anderson and others think a destination park or cycling center could be a positive for everyone. They are worried the land could be developed in other ways, and it could be lost.

"I think they should just leave it alone," Hughes said. "That's why I come out here. Why ruin a good thing?"


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  • Ed Barnes Jun 9, 6:38 p.m.
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    The land was originally purchased by the federal government and then given to the local governments. So I do not mean "public" in the sense we are entitled to trespass but this land is a public, not private resource. The public should have a voice in how it is used.

  • Ralph Savary Jun 9, 2:09 p.m.
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    View quoted thread

    Kind of a broad characterization of cyclists Thomas! Using your reasoning I’d have to assume that you text while driving, run red lights and disobey the speed limit just because you’re a motorist. That being said, not all cyclists are the same.
    Just to clear up any confusion the vast majority of cyclists DO pay a fee to use the roads (or did you seriously think they don’t own vehicles, homes or pat taxes).
    They DO have a right to be on ALL public roads except divided highways. As per the state of North Carolina “It is important to note that North Carolina law defines a bicycle as a vehicle with all the rights and responsibilities that are applicable. [§20-4.01 (49)] Thus, every law that refers to “vehicle” can apply to a bicycle.” Perhaps you should familiarize yourself with state law.

  • Kiara Babel Jun 9, 1:08 p.m.
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    There is a word for people like this, they are called anarchist.

  • Henry Cooper Jun 9, 12:11 p.m.
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    We have more parks, green-ways, and trail systems than most area's by a long stretch and their is proof of that in that one of the reasons the area is always ranked high for places to live, work, start a family.

    There is no reason for this except lack of respect. The place is marked for a reason and it is not up to you, me, or anyone else to try to "fix" that because "we think" it should be different. We are known as an arrogant population around the world and it is stuff like this that shows we are, we always know what is best no matter how little of the story we actually have.

    I amazes me hear continually how people go all in on news stories. Everything from this, to LEO issues, to Mosa Hamadeesa with nothing more than a few paragraphs that can't in anyway tell the entire story.

  • Tim Orr Jun 9, 12:03 p.m.
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    Where else are you going to walk your dog off leash? If you don't know the answer to that you don't deserve the dog. Do that dog a favor and give him to someone with enough brain cells to rub together. There are places all over the Triangle called DOG PARKS. They are called that for a reason.

  • Steve Faulkner Jun 9, 10:33 a.m.
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    Just declare the trespassing on airport land a "national security issue" and shoot the trespassers on sight.

    Seriously, RDU has its own police department-why aren't they out there enforcing the law?

  • Kelly Thornburg Jun 9, 9:33 a.m.
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    Ed Barnes - where in that link does one conclude "this is public land"?

  • Clarence Drumgoole Jun 9, 9:10 a.m.
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    What's the joy of walking on property, that's not posted?

  • Ed Barnes Jun 9, 8:16 a.m.
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    Note this is public land. Read the history of RDU at: https://www.rdu.com/airport-authority/history/

  • Dean Morron Jun 9, 8:06 a.m.
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    Ahh, Mr. Pete Knowles ..... you're just too, too funny, almost sophomoric. I wonder what words you would have for me in person ?
    As for the the people that " want " or believe this land has dual or multi- purposes for " the good of the people " ..... It is STILL private property. There are some that are treating this land as if it belonged to the public .... WHY ???