Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Stevens Creek Trail Inches Forward

The Stevens Creek Trail is inching its way from the San Francisco Bay toward Stevens Creek Reservoir.

On Tuesday April 28, the Sunnyvale City Council removed a ban in the Sunnyvale General Plan that specifically prohibited the Stevens Creek Trail from any creekside alignment within Sunnyvale City limits (the former section 2.2.C.5). While much of the creek that is in Sunnyvale is very unsuited for such a trail, there are some short sections that are quite reasonable. Removing the ban was necessary because it was out of character with what should be in a general plan and it tied Sunnyvale's hands so that it could not participate in some important regional planning efforts.

Currently there is a four city task force (Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, and Cupertino) that is reviewing trail options and coming up with plans on how best to proceed.

For an unofficial map of the current trail along with some speculative possibilities for future routes, please see a map I've drawn in Google Maps.

Please note that while I've tried to make this map as accurate and realistic as possible, this map is speculative and may have numerous errors. It is primarily for discussion and educational purposes. I am currently just a private Sunnyvale citizen and not officially part of any planning efforts.


Sunday, May 03, 2009

The Amazing Mary Ave Bike/Ped Bridge!

The new Sunnyvale-Cupertino bicycle-pedestrian bridge at Mary Avenue is wonderful and beautiful night and day. This is one amazing bridge!

However there are at least 3 issues that need correction to let this masterpiece achieve perfection:

1) The bollards at each end of the bridge are a bit hazardous to bicyclists.
2) The main approach paths to the bridge are a bit narrow leading to more conflict than necessary between bicyclists and pedestrians.
3) The Sunnyvale intersection at Mary and Homestead has a problem because there is no safe and natural way for bicyclists traveling north bound onto Mary to get across this intersection.

#1 & #2 could be solved simply by making the approach paths wider:
The extra width would allow both bicyclists and wheelchair users to go to the right of each bollard in their direction without catching a wheel on the edge of the path in the dirt.

As for #3, the Mary and Homestead intersection in Sunnyvale, I think the easiest solution is to open the gate to allow northbound cyclists to pass through the Homestead High School parking lot and into the right lane heading north on Mary.