Santa Clara County’s urban trails offer an important refuge from the city for children and adults alike. For many people living in the more densely populated neighborhoods of the county, these trails offer an important place for connecting with the environment. Often, for families in which both parents are busy with work, a walk on these trails after dinner may be their children’s only exposure to nature.
Bicyclists enjoy these trails for recreation, and they also utilize them as important commute routes. Additionally, people use these trails to access parks where they enjoy outdoor recreation. The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition would like to support the enhancement of the trail network in Santa Clara County.
This program will encourage the development of more trails, and enhance the maintenance of existing trails. It will also focus on providing people with good on-street bike routes with which to access the trails.
Trail Count 2007
This last September, SVBC and the Friends of the Guadalupe River Parks and Gardens teamed up with the City of San Jose to do a trail count on the Guadalupe River Trail. Guess what we found? A whole lot of people are using that trail!
One weekday 12 hour count showed 959 trail users. A full 65% of those were on bikes.
SVBC will use this information to push for more trail funding, better maintenance programs, and fewer trail closures! These trails are commute routes for cyclists and need to be treated as such.
<h4>Advocacy for Funding Wins in San Jose!</h4>
<p>Trail Count 2007 data provided by SVBC and GRPG proved critical in helping SJ City staff to accomplish the following over the past 12 months:</p>
<li>Secured grant from the State of California for $700,000 awarded for construction of the Guadalupe River Trail (Woz Way to Virginia Street). State representatives reported that the Trail Count Fact Sheet influenced the grant panel’s decision to award the grant.</li>
<li>In discussing a $350,000 grant application, State of California (Caltrans) staff said that the Trail Count Fact Sheet data about commuting was impressive and wished other agencies gathered similar data.</li>
<li>The City received a $150,000 grant from the Bay Area Ridge Trail for Penitencia Creek Trail and $123,000 from the State of California for Guadalupe River Trail enhancements. Both applications included the Trail Count Fact Sheet.</li>
<li>The City coordinated with sponsors of the San Jose Grand Prix to minimize impacts from event closures along the Guadalupe River Trail. The Trail Count Fact Sheet helped to document the negative impact of such closures to bicycle commuting.</li>
<p>These huge wins for South Bay cyclists were directly impacted by SVBC’s coordination of the trail count in cooperation with GRPG and the City-thanks again to all the volunteers who performed the count in 2007!</p>
Trail Count 2008
65% of trail users are on two wheels!
During Trail Count 2009, 65% of the observed trail users were cyclists. Of those surveyed, 58% are using the trail for commute purposes.
SVBC partnered with the City of San Jose and the Friends of the Guadalupe River Park & Gardens (GRPG) to conduct the second annual trail count in San Jose. This trail count will help provide the City with additional funding for trail maintenance, expanded hours of trail operation, and new trail development. Thanks to those of you who volunteered your time to make the count possible.
More information is at http://www.sjparks.org/trails.