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Davenport neighbors hope that signs will curb park predicament

DAVENPORT -

Just off the 4300 block of N. Marquette Street, Susan McPeters is fed up with off-trail bikers tearing up a nearby park.

"They destroy public property," she said, on Wednesday, May 9.  "They continue to disregard the law."

McPeters and other neighbors want to curb so-called "Fat Tire" bikers in the park.

"They cut down healthy mature trees and just left them there," she continued.  "They created an eyesore as well."

Another neighbor fears retaliation because the bikers return year-after-year.

"In most situations, if you're told that it's against the rules or against the law, you would heed that," she said.  "But they don't."

The makeshift trail extends deep into the woods next to a fenced off-leash dog park.  It includes homemade jumps, turns and even a bridge made from an upside-down staircase -- all without permission.

"I don't know that I could maneuver a bike on that," McPeters said.

The city is responding by posting a series of warning signs.

"We had talked to some people last year, and we thought we had addressed it," said Director of Parks and Recreation Scott Hock. "It grew from there, I guess."

Davenport also plans to clear the debris soon.

"Any time people come in and do something that's disturbing or destructive, it's up to us to try to fix it," Hock continued.

Neighbors applaud the signs and hope it works.

"At least they've got (signs), so they can cite them or arrest them," McPeters concluded.