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O Captain my Captain, you had me at "Gangs. Rivals. Hazards." Other than also sounding like my gramps, you sounded hil-AIR-ious.

Maybe some of the club members feel that the club officers allowed Arlington to take advantage of them. Think of all the great bike paths we would have if more government agencies awarded permits in return for public easements.

CSX: You want to build a bigger tunnel in DC? We want a bike trail along your ROW from DC to New Carrollton.

PEPCO: You want to modify that facility? We want a bike path along your high-voltage wires from Laurel to Gaithersburg.

Georgetown U. You want a bigger boat house? We'd like a public bike path accross the campus.

Joe, you want a new shed in your back yard? Give us an easement along your back property line for a new sidewalk. You too Dave.

Jim, this kind of horse trading goes on ALL the time. It is the norm, not the exception.

From the tone of some people quoted, you'd think the path ran THROUGH the clubhouse!

I grew up biking on trails alongside a local country club, and oddly enough I never got hit by a golf ball or got assaulted by gangs.

@Jim Titus, the critical difference here is that the golf club operates on landed gifted to it by our government, smack dab in the middle of a divided highly urban county. To turn its back for years on a community request (is this some sort of requirement for golf clubs?), particularly one as completely unobtrusive as this, means I'm VERY happy to see my elected representatives using every ounce of leverage they've got. They think I'm a gang member who will open fire on their tee shot. I think they're the very definition of bad neighbors.

@jordan retro 11, sure, why not.

I loved the gratuitous Iraq war reference that appeared in the WashPost article. 'They risked their lives in Iraq and can't even get a vote at their own country club.'

Well, I'm a taxpayer and I risk my life on the road every day, so why can't I have a safe route to work?

"Gangs. Rivals. Hazards to pedestrians coming in and out. . . . I can see The Washington Post: 'Golf Ball From Army Navy Country Club Fifth Hole Hits Baby.' "

What, you can drive an aircraft carrier and/or fight a messy insurgency, but you can't avoid hitting a baby with a golf ball or deal with some teenage punks? If that's true, the military is in sadder shape than I thought and we're all screwed.

The club members might be right. Club management might not have the legal authority to authorize the easements. That'll be for the court to decide. But since the county approved the variance in return for the path, it seems that the variance should be held up if at all possible until the suit regarding the paths is decided. The club shouldn't have it both ways.

What's to stop my from using that cut-through right now?

I just thing it's great that he says "younger generation" ...I feel like he said that with a wink and an elbow to the reporter.

'Golf Ball From Army Navy Country Club Fifth Hole Hits Baby, Club Implies Fault Lies With Baby and Other Trail Users.'

"They risked their lives in Iraq and can't even get a vote at their own country club."

I risk my life to potentially be sent to war, but I can't get a vote in congress without other people sticking their gun needs into my constitutional voting rights.

I guess country clubs are more important for some people than freedom for everyone else.

The ridiculous thing is we have at least one trail (Paint Branch) that runs along the edge of a course, and one (CCT) that runs through one and I don't believe either has a gang or golf-ball magnetic baby problem. Langston successfully argued the same thing about the ART ("Golf course and bike trails don't mix") I think we could probably find hundreds nationwide where they do.

Getting a say - that's internal club stuff, but I understand it. But throwing a hissy fit about a few square feet of unused land makes these soldiers look like a bunch of kitties (but I don't mean kitties).

Hi Dave: You are correct that these exactions happen all the time. But they also are rejected all the time. See e.g. Nollan v. California Coastal Commission where the US Supreme court said it was a taking to require an easement along the beach in return for a permit for a larger home. And Dolan v. City of Tigard where the US Supreme Court said that requiring land for a bike path in return for a building permit requires a substantial nexus which in that case had not been demonstrated

Arlington has the authority to condemn the land for a bike path and pay the club fair market value. Has anyone noticed that eminent domain happens for roads all the time, but seemingly never for bike paths or sidewalks

Darren, I'm not sure I see the difference you are talking about. Once someone owns land, they own it. The railroads got alot of their land for free too. Pepco is a utility guaranteed a rate of return and not really harmed by trails along their property

I would not be surprised if some people take a dim view of a larger clubhouse being built mainly to bring in revenues and outsiders, and the easement is just the last straw. The people who run nonprofit clubs always want to make the club bigger, while there are usually alot of members that like it the way it is.

In Bowie the WB&A trail borders a gun club. No babies have been shot yet.

Captain is less drill sergeant and more victim of pedestrians and cyclists.

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