The city of Cupertino, CA will decide at their city council meeting on June 21, 2016 the fate of a proposed extension of the Stevens Creek Trail between Homestead and Stevens Creek Boulevard. City council has heard vocal and well-organized NIMBY opposition for this proposed bike route.
H/T to Martin Delson, a member of Friends of the Stevens Creek Trail which drafted the action alert and letter below:
TAKE ACTION: The Stevens Creek Trail Needs your Help ASAP!
Dear Trail Enthusiast,
On Tuesday June 21, the Cupertino City Council will consider whether or not to move forward with the next planning steps for the Stevens Creek Trail connection between Homestead and Stevens Creek Blvd. We need your help to make this happen.
After 3 years of work, the Stevens Creek Trail Feasibility study identified a set of feasible routes to connect the existing the Mountain View trail segment to the existing segment in Cupertino. The detailed 100+ page report with maps can be viewed at http://StevensCreekTrail.inSunnyvale.com
The 3 options it identified to get from Stevens Creek Blvd. to Homestead Road in Cupertino are:
1) Homestead / Foothill / Stevens Creek Blvd
2) Homestead / Mary / Stevens Creek Blvd
3) Maxine / Caroline / new bridge or existing tunnel crossing 280 / Madera / Phar Lap
Please note that all of these options use existing public property. The study was explicitly prohibited from considering the use of any private land. Alas a route in Cupertino along the creek itself would require buying private land and so that was not an option. So all options in Cupertino involve existing streets and sidewalks.
The members of the Citizens Working Group who helped develop the Feasibility Study, the Friends of Stevens Creek Trail, and the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition all support the Maxine / Caroline / bridge or tunnel / Madera / Phar Lap route because it is the:
- Safest for kids and families.
- Most attractive and pleasant so people will want to bike and walk it.
- Shortest and most direct.
- Avoids heavy motor traffic found on Homestead, Foothill, and Stevens Creek Blvd.
Just as was the case in Mt View when extensions to the trail were being discussed, lots of local neighbors in Cupertino will raise concerns about strangers on bikes, crime, safety and property values.
Several studies have shown improving bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and access to trails would likely increase property values or be neutral. The Ellen Fletcher Bicycle Boulevard in Palo Alto provides an excellent local example of a street in a beautiful neighborhood that became a major bike route. This popular bike route is well used yet congestion is not an issue. House values were not negatively impacted and it is even an attractive selling point for buyers. The extra biking and walking eyes on the street naturally prevent crime. Strangers are just neighbors you have not met yet.
At http://www.stevenscreektrail.org/SCT2016.pdf is a PDF with maps that describe the overall trail and benefits. The map on page 2 shows the overall picture of what trail segments exist and where the gaps are. The map on page 3 shows the best option for closing the 3.5 mile gap between Mountain View and Cupertino.
Our region needs more trail connections to reduce pollution and congestion and to make our communities more attractive and human friendly. We have plenty of facilities for cars and trucks but many fewer for walkers, runners, and bikers. The Stevens Creek Trail is the only regional trail that connects Cupertino to nearby cities and parks — ultimately connecting the San Francisco Bay to the Santa Cruz mountains with a safe, healthy and fun trail.
Here is what our community (and world) needs you to do:
1) Write a letter or email to the Cupertino City Council (firstname.lastname@example.org) urging them to accept the Feasibility Study and to move forward by requesting Caltrans and the Water District to put the safe and attractive Maxine / Caroline / bridge or tunnel / Madera / Phar Lap route on their radars. Please send this email by June 20 and CC email@example.com
Below is a sample email, please add your own thoughts to it — this will make it much more effective.
Honorable Cupertino City Council,
Please accept the Stevens Creek Trail Feasibility Study and act now to preserve the feasibility of the safe and attractive Maxine / Caroline / bridge or tunnel / Madera / Phar Lap route by advising Caltrans and the Water District to include it in any plans to modify the 85 / 280 / Foothill interchange. We need a trail route that attracts children and families and protects them. This route avoids busy streets and is a great use of existing infrastructure.
This route reduces pollution and congestion, enhances property values, reduces crime, improves people’s health, builds friendlier neighborhoods, and helps reduce global warming.
Thank you for your consideration.
2) If you can, attend the June 21 Cupertino City Council meeting (Community Hall, 10350 Torre Avenue, Cupertino, CA 95014) in person to speak. The agenda for this meeting, staff reports, and supporting materials are at https://cupertino.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=444216&GUID=45BDC229-B534-4912-8568-4B844BFCEF61&Options=info&Search=
Each person must fill out a speaker card at the meeting and will have 2-3 minutes to speak. If you plan to speak or are willing to become part of a coordinated speaking team, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We have a coordinated set of points we would like to make using slides, audio, and video along with spoken words.
Thank you for helping make our community and world a better place!
Friends of Stevens Creek Trail