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Council considers Fremont bridge, creek trail

Photo Joe Hu/Town Crier

A wooden pedestrian bridge flanks the existing Fremont Bridge near Loyola Corners but may not have a place in the citys $1 million renovation plans for the auto bridge.

The Los Altos City Council largely deferred or delayed decisions at its Nov. 10 meeting, with council members discussing the Stevens Creek Trail and the Fremont Bridge.

Stevens Creek Trail

The council agreed to delay planning for the Los Altos leg of the regional Stevens Creek Trail until after a joint meeting Dec. 18 to coordinate trail plans with representatives from Mountain View, Sunnyvale and Cupertino.

The council directed the Stevens Creek Trail task force to evaluate and respond to residents' concerns about the draft recommendations. Specific criticism focused on the recommended route along Fremont Road. Neighbors objected, citing safety concerns, particularly for cyclists.

Task force co-chairman Curt Riffle said the committee expected to reconvene to prepare for the council's first meeting in January and would include input from the December joint meeting. He noted that staffs from the other three cities had already contributed to the draft recommendation the task force presented earlier this fall.

The council expressed interest in learning precisely where Mountain View and Cupertino proposed ending their legs of the trail. The task force identified Foothill Expressway as the most likely place to connect to Cupertino's trail, while Mountain View is expected to end its trail in the vicinity of Mountain View High School.

Fremont Bridge

Residents urged the council to consider alternatives to the plan for a single pedestrian, bike and auto bridge to replace Fremont Bridge near Loyola Corners, praising staff for considering neighbors' concerns and drafting alternate options.

City staff hired an arborist to assess preserving several trees near the bridge renovation area, and are evaluating whether to include a sidewalk on the auto bridge, Associate Civil Engineer Terry Greiner reported.

Designing a narrower bridge to preserve the wood pedestrian bridge and, possibly, one oak tree would increase costs and cause a project delay of approximately one year, according to staff.

Councilwoman Megan Satterlee noted that replacing the aging pedestrian bridge, which some neighbors sought to preserve, would cost the city approximately $100,000. Funding from federal and state grants is expected to cover most of the approximately $1.58 million project.

"While I would love to keep something as quaint as the footbridge … there could be a high likelihood that we couldn't afford it," Councilman David Casas said.

He cautioned residents that the city would likely build a single bridge as designed.

The city has scheduled a public workshop 7:30 p.m. Jan. 7 in the Grant Park multipurpose room as a last chance to solicit neighborhood input before presenting a final design plan to the council.

Other council news

The council deferred a vote on setting uniform closing hours for Los Altos Parks. Police Chief Tuck Younis backs a suggestion to establish 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. as year-round closed hours for parks, with the exception of the McKenzie Park tennis court, which would stay open until 10 p.m.

Contact Eliza Ridgeway at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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