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Bike Path Named for Navy Corpsman to be dedicated

By   /   August 15, 2011  /   13 Comments

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Twentynine Palms, CA– Fifteen years ago, a sailor stationed aboard the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center was struck and killed while riding his bicycle to work. Petty Officer 3rd Class Steven T. Collins, 22, a hospital corpsman, was riding eastbound on Indian Trail at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, March 6, 1996, when the tragic accident occurred.


This Saturday, August 20, at 9 a.m., a bicycle path on Adobe Road will be dedicated in his honor. The Collins Memorial Bike Path is a paved, two-way bicycle path that extends along the west side of Adobe Road from the Combat Center’s main gate to the intersection of Amboy Road. The path from the base leading into the downtown area was a component of the $4.2 million Adobe Road Improvement Project of 2010, a city road reconstruction project that received major funding from the Department of the Navy.


Mayor Jim Harris of the City of Twentynine Palms will say a few words at the dedication, which will take place on the west side of Adobe Road at the corner of Amboy Road, and he will unveil one of two monument rocks bearing bronze plaques dedicated to Collins. The second monument is located next to the main gate.


Also attending the ceremony will be Collins’ widow, Amy, who now lives in Las Vegas; and Warrick “Rick” Yeager of MCAGCC, a former riding partner of Collins, who will speak on behalf of family and friends. Following the accident, Yeager and friends of the victim raised money that was later given to the City to be used for a memorial to Collins, and Yeager became an advocate for improving road safety for bicyclists, especially those commuting to and from the base. Since that time, walkways and bicycle paths adjacent to local roadways have been a priority in planned road reconstruction projects throughout the City.


The public is invited to attend the dedication of the Collins Memorial Bike Path on Adobe Road at Amboy Road at 9 a.m., Saturday, August 20.  For more information, contact City Hall at (760)367-6799.


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About the author

Vickie Waite

Vickie is currently serving as the Public Information Officer for the City of Twentynine Palms. Ms. Waite is a long time resident of the Morongo Basin and Founding Publisher of the Sun Runner Magazine. Along with her late husband Terry Waite, Vickie was instrumental in acquiring much of the Public Art you see about town. While we do not always see eye to eye, I value her as a close friend and confidant.


  1. Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

    I imagine that new bike trail is going to really help save another rider who rides eastbound on Indian Trail.

  2. Branson Hunter says:

    A better use for redevelopment funds are bicycle trails, not two theaters in town. Last time I rode my bike, near Indian Trail and MESQUITE SPRINGS ROAD a car passed another car and was traveling a high rate of speed in my lane. This reckless driver saw me and kept gunning it. The three of passed at the same time. He seriously nearly killed me — just missing by a couple of feet.

    I think the bike trail was badly needed. Perhaps it will keep riders off Indian Tr. and on the Adobe Bike Way.

    The City need to do more for public safety, less on Empire Building. The City Council just doesn’t get it. I think they are too old, too fat and too out of touch. Of course Dan Mintz would be the exception. He is neither old nor fat. The Mayor needs to park his Mayormobile and get a bike to ride.

  3. Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

    While this bike trail might serve a purpose and its rather a nice gesture to name the path after the late Petty Officer, but this path does nothing to mitigate the condition that caused his death and are still present on Indian Trail.

  4. Branson Hunter says:

    Dan, I agree. Indian Trail is nearly as dangerous as riding a bicycle on Lear. What draws rider to Indian Trail is that it is one of the most pleasant rural bike riding around in my opinion. I suppose riders will continue using Indian for that reason.

    I think what caught the attention of many was that very recently when Indian was worked on, resurfaced and the shoulder was widened, no bike trail (also walking path and motorized wheelchair path)was put in.

    Using RDA funds for this would benefit 29 Palms as a scenic ride, be safer, save lives, and give Marines and everyone else a really great and safe way to head into town or out of town. If any on the council members rode bikes rather than plunking themselves in their vehicles, they would readily understand the usefulness of using redevelopment monies for town people (e.g., bike way paths etc.) rather than empire building.

    • desertrider desertrider says:

      So let me get this straight? The road was recently worked on i.e. resurfaced, shoulder widened and no bike trail, “also” no walking path or motorized wheelchair path was put in. How many paths are needed? You left out non-motorized wheelchair path.
      Is the walking path to be composed of dirt, bike trail of asphalt and the wheelchair paths (I would assume both types of wheelchairs could coexist on the same trail) of concrete.
      There used to be ohv trails along most major thruways (there must still be, because ohv “damage” never goes away). My brother and I years ago rode dirt all the way from Landers to a liquor store in 29 (for a refreshing soda) and utilized those very trails.

  5. hadenough29 hadenough29 says:

    PO Collins lived in the Chocolate Drop area. He utilized Mesquite Springs and Indian due to the shortest path to the base. Since his death, a bike path has been added to Two Mile and now along Adobe.

    Suggest checking out paths along Adobe and Two Mile Rds between 0500 and 0800. You’ll see numerous bicyclist utilizing these outstanding path to get to the base every work day, myself included. The new path along Adobe is Great!!

    No need for a path along Indian or Mesquite Springs for that matter. If you drive these roads to or from work at the base, you’d know that speeds in excess of 65mph are reached. Totally unsafe conditions for a vehicle traffic let alone bicyclist. Why would we introduce bicyclist into the mix? Unless the City wants to reach out to those in the County and unicorporated areas, I do not see a need to justify the expense.

    As a property tax paying citizen of 29 do not want my tax dollars utilized for this purpose. Suggest if those in the unicorporated or County areas feel the need a bike path along Indian to the corporated area of 29 Palms, they should contact the County Supervisor.

    BTW, I know at least one Council Member who is an avid bicyclist.

    Also, the new GP addresses this issue through it’s Trails Plan to include Safe Routes to school.

    • Branson Hunter says:

      hadenough29, MSR from Two Mile to Indian is one of the nicest scenic routes into and out of the town. If there were a bike way path, riders would not be in co-mingling with dangerous traffic. The road was recently paved and the shoulder significantly widened, but no bike way.

    • Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

      Well as a taxpayer of 29 Palms, I’m not too keen on the whole idea of Bike Paths. I would like to know how many people actually benefit from their construction…. Can you tell me that?

      I never N E V E R see anyone utilizing those Boondoggles. NEVER!!!

      • Branson Hunter Branson Hunter says:

        UPDATE/4:55 PM: It’s true Dan, you don’t see many people riding bikes in and around 29 Palms. Maybe it’s because it’s so dangerous riding bikes on these roadways around here. Bike paths should be part of the future of this town. It’s not but it should be part of the rural experience for the Base, locals and visitors to town.

        That’s a good argument, Dan. How many people would benefit from bike paths? Over time, however, how many people would use it. Visitors to the city could use them as scenic routes and fun paths. These arguments are the same types of discussions that have (and are now) taken place across America in terms of thumbs up or thumbs down on bike paths. I say lets get back to nature and health and encourage safe/healthy sports. And, yes, I support an OHV trail somewhere in 29 Palms too. There are 20,000 Marines in the area, many travelers and adventure-seeking proactive people that visit our area, and given the fact that in the future 1 in 3 kids may develop diabetes, bike paths payoff in the long run. Beats the heck out of another theater at a cost of $4.7 million (that’s a lot of bike paths with money left over).

  6. hadenough29 hadenough29 says:

    Those who utilize the bike path do not have the luxury of going to work on the base at 1000 like you do.

    Suggest camping out at 0530 and you’ll see it in use by several bicyclist. I for one use it two/three times a week. At 1600, long after you’ve left the base, these same bicyclist are headed home. In fact, there has been an increase of bike traffic to the base since it’s construction.

    I see it as an asset to the community.

    Just because you don’t see it dosen’t mean it’s not being used. I never ever see bicyclist on Indian west of Mesquite Springs. So is it fair for me to say a bike path on Indian is a waste of money if I use your methodolgy. No it is not.

    The Adobe Rd & Bike path was not a City Funded Project. It was planned, developed & funded by the Federal & State governments. These entities chose where to put the path. Not City leadership.

    I agree with the OHV trails, beneficial to the end user and our businesses.

    • Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

      I will bet that you have gone to the personal attack mode because all you have is anecdotal hearsay…. Come on… I’ll bet there isn’t 50 people on base who commute to work on base with a bicycle.

      Hey did you read in one of the first statements that I had no problem with the path discussed? My point is it did not mitigate the conditions and loss of life on Indian Trail. You know well that mitigation is more than naming a unrelated bike path after a victim.

      As for who paid for the path… If [i]t was planned, developed & funded by the Federal & State governments.… Why in heavens name is the City taking Credit for it? I mean shouldn’t the “Mayor” be taking a back seat to who ever actually planned, developed & funded the project????

      It now sounds as if this is political opportunism at its absolute best.

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