Update: Santa Clara Valley Water agrees to postpone trail work. San Tomas Aquino will remain open for Bike to Work Day.
We love the Santa Clara Valley Water District and their willingness to open up their right-of-way for non-motorized travel. They can occasionally be a little bit tone-deaf, unfortunately. Take, for example, this notice of a trail closure the week of Bike to Work Day. UPDATE: The Water District has agreed to postpone this work. The trail will remain open for Bike to Work Day.
The Santa Clara Valley Water District will be conducting maintenance work along the San Tomas Aquino Creek Trail between May 12 and May 15. Sections will be temporarily closed between Highway 237 and Walsh Ave. Due to safety concerns, pedestrians and bicyclists will be rerouted as shown in the maps below.
Bike to Work Day takes place on Thursday, May 14. The Water District even approved a permit for an Energizer Station on this trail at Agnew Road. Oops!
The San Tomas Aquino Trail provides north-south off-street travel between El Camino Real and the Bay. This popular trail enables easy access from residential areas in central Santa Clara to the tens of thousands of jobs north of the Caltrain tracks, with major employers including Intel, Great America amusement park, Levi’s Stadium, Mission College, nVidia, AMD, Applied Materials, Citrix, Dell, LG, Marvell, Avaya, Abbott Diagnostics, Palo Alto Networks, Juniper Networks, GlobalFoundries, and more.
The San Tomas Aquino Trail is frequently congested with transportation and recreational bike and foot traffic during the commute and lunch hours, and this congestion becomes especially heavy on Bike to Work Day. For Bike to Work Day 2014, over 500 people on bikes passed the city of Santa Clara Energizer Station on this trail at Agnew Road.
The water district will close the trail off between Central Expressway and Agnew Road on May 14. To get past Central and Highway 101, the water district suggests detouring these hundreds of cyclists to Bowers Avenue and Great America Parkway.
Here’s what northbound Bowers looks like approaching Highway 101. This will have extremely heavy car traffic in the morning. Note the bike stencil in the disappearing bike lane to the right of the high speed merge lane.
Here’s the view of southbound Great America approaching Highway 101, which is the direction of evening commute traffic. Again, there’s a bike lane to the right of the high speed off-ramp to the highway. The speed limit for both directions is 40 MPH.
Nice, huh? The hundreds of people who will try biking to work for the first time will love this unexpected treat, I’m sure. I’m supposed to help at an Energizer Station that morning, but I might instead try to organize a bike sherpa shuttle to help guide people across the highway here. If anybody else would like to help with something like this please let me know.
For further detour information, read the trail closure announcement.