Mon09012014

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Residents examine Los Altos trail options


Photo By: Photo by Diego Abeloos/Town Crier
Photo Photo By Diego Abeloos/Town Crier

Ross Heitkamp, right, third from left, reviews trail options with residents.

Nearly 200 area residents – including many from Los Altos – packed the Grand Ballroom at the Sunnyvale Community Center Jan. 30 to discuss potential options for trail alignments as part of the Stevens Creek Trail Feasibility Study.

The study is a joint effort among residents, staffers and consultants from the cities of Los Altos, Mountain View, Cupertino and Sunnyvale, with the latter serving as the lead agency.

At the Jan. 30 meeting, the group sought public input to connect the multiuse trail – which currently ends at the corner of Dale Avenue and Heatherstone Way in Mountain View – to a 0.7-mile section of multiuse trail in Cupertino.

The four-city group seeks community input to plug gaps in the Stevens Creek Corridor trail between Mountain View and Cupertino. Completing the trail would connect Shoreline Park’s Bay Trail to the 29.5-mile Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail, which ends in Boulder Creek at Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

Cedric Novenario, Los Altos transportation projects manager, said he was pleased with the turnout and interest shown by residents of the four cities. The meeting, he noted, was particularly vital for Los Altos.

“It’s important, because the trail is truly a regional trail, connecting the Bay to the Pacific Ocean,” he said. “To not have the opportunity or potential to have that trail coming through our city – it could be a lost opportunity.”

During the two-hour working session, residents examined and offered their opinions on three potential alignment options with possible access points for neighborhoods in south Los Altos, as well as portions of Mountain View and Sunnyvale.

Consultants reported a potential east alignment running partially through Sunnyvale’s Bernardo Avenue and other roads winding south toward Cupertino.

Similarly, residents were presented with a west alignment that featured potential routes and access points along several Los Altos streets, including Fallen Leaf Lane and Fremont and Truman avenues. A third alignment along the Stevens Creek corridor parallel to Highway 85 also offered various access points and routes. Residents considered several alternative path treatments, including multiple classes of bike paths with varying features.

Following a brief introduction, residents spent the bulk of the meeting working in groups and individually, examining color-coded maps and rating the various alignments and treatment options presented. Results of the work session will be presented at a later meeting, according to organizers.

Ross Heitkamp, a Mountain View resident who serves as a member of the Friends of Stevens Creek Trail community group, noted that each option presented by the group offered advantages and challenges.

“It’s kind of obvious that each of the routes asks the neighborhood to give a little something, whether it’s parking or just a change in the character of their street,” Heitkamp said. “Everybody’s being asked to kind of give something to enable this to happen.”

A presentation of the final trail feasibility report is scheduled for next January, following six additional public meetings.

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