Three years ago, Marines were ticketing and confiscating bikes from people caught riding or walking the trails on the eastern border of the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar's property. Now, MCAS Miramar says they will continue to do so coming this January.
F-35's are expected to arrive on base in January and that is when MCAS Miramar is expected to increase security on base.
"We will start again citing anyone west of the [Stowe] trail but we are going to ramp things up so that we give some time to the public to get used to things again," said Captain Gregory with MCAS Miramar.
Mission Trails Regional Park Citizens' Advisory Committee has tried to buy property and easements to open those trails to the public. They were able to get part of the tail done but now they are stalled after three years for the final part of the trail.
“Our long-term plan was to always have the trail follow down and go along the west side of Santee lakes, but we have not yet signed that area, we’ve been waiting for a last piece to fall until we can open that side up,” said Kristin Camper with MCAS Miramar.
Three years ago, dozens of people had their bikes confiscated for unknowingly riding on federal land. They said they were confused because the trails had no signs saying they were trespassing on government property.
Since then MCAS Miramar said they have posted signs and warnings across their government property to increase awareness.
For now, MCAS is providing permits for people who wish to access part of Stowe trail that is on eastern side of MCAS Miramar that leads into government property.
The permits are free to obtain, you just need to visit the MCAS website.
MCAS says they will start with verbal warnings, then move with citations but come January with the aircraft's coming on the base they will start citing people and start confiscations.