A bird's-eye view of San Jose, Calif., through our trail-finder website, TrailLink.com, reveals a busy network of trails and bike paths,
lines snaking through the city like healthy arteries. During the past decade or
so, the managers of this growing metropolis have understood that as the
population grows, so too must the transportation system, particularly options
for walking and biking.
The latest addition to that growing network is a new section
of San Jose's five-mile Highway 237 Bikeway, which was opened to the public on
Although not as scenic as most of the 54 miles of trails in
San Jose, the nation's 10th-largest city, the trail is a key commuter route for
workers at important Silicon Valley employers like Cisco Systems, Cadence and
The newly paved section of about .8-mile improves what
for years was an "unofficial" connection. The public had long perceived that a
former construction access road along the north side of State Route 237, built
15 years earlier, was also part of the system. Even in is deteriorated state,
commuters appreciated its location and linkage to the Coyote Creek Trail, and its
alignment permitted bicyclists to avoid a busy highway off-ramp intersection
"For years, city staff received periodic calls seeking an improved
facility," says city of San Jose Trail Manager Yves Zsutty. But there was
technically no agency responsible for the maintenance road, and property
ownership questions and funding prevented any work being done.
But during the past five years, city trail staff worked to
resolve the property issues, sought financial contributions from the contractors
that had further damaged the pavement, entered into a management agreement with
the state of California for the overall bikeway, and secured the financial
resources for design and construction of the proper paved 0.8-mile addition.
Zsutty says the Highway 237 Bikeway project was an
opportunity for the city to investigate a number of innovative construction
"The project represents the first use in the South San
Francisco Bay Area of warm mix asphalt," he says. "This pavement uses a more
viscous oil to bind stone, which in turn requires less energy to mix and
produces fewer hydrocarbons."
Existing asphalt pavement was recycled on site and poured into
the new surface, and compostable blankets and other materials were used to meet
stringent stormwater measures. A light-weight bollard was developed to reduce
the danger of heavy lifting injuries, and the centerline striping used highly
reflective and low-profile thermoplastic markings to permit winter commutes. A
new, smaller informational sign includes a QR code to direct interested users
to construction updates on the city's website.
The new bikeway section now becomes part of the region's San
Francisco Bay Trail and the multi-state Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic
"An annual count and survey indicates that over 50 percent
of north San Jose trail users are commuting to and from work," Zsutty says. And
that pattern is behind the city's drive to develop a 100-mile trail network by
For more information about San Jose Trails, visit www.sjparks.org/trails/
Before and after photos of the Highway 237 Bikeway courtesy of City of San Jose.
I think it's only fair that those who use these many trails pay a fee nominal fee for the maintenance and up keep.
What say thee?
The former trail was destroyed by demolition trucks which used it for doing the site prep to build a new power plant. The trail was always in use since bikes were kicked off Mt. View Alviso Rd. which was turned into freeway 237. CA Caltrans has policy that bicycles are to be provided access along corridors where new roads ban bicycles. It is called Routine Accommodation DD-64. The Power Plant builder provide some funding to fix the trail. San Jose was able to fix the trail after more than 10 years later. This was a San Francisco Chronicle Watch issue.
it wasnt that bad for the last 10 years as the article suggests i used to ride it all of the time, every few years i would email Yves Zsutty saying that the bushes on/in the trail were getting pretty big, and sooner or later the bushes would get ground off. there are a lot of places that could have used the trail more than this being redone.
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