Trail closure policy for construction and special events

The city of San Jose, California has a formal trail closure policy for construction and special events. How about your city?

Temporary traffic control on the Guadalupe River Trail San Jose California   #cycling #ttc

Ten years ago, construction along a trail in the city of San Jose meant the trail was closed with no advance notice, no signage, no detour and no apologies. The first annual trail survey and count eight years ago, however, confirmed what staff had already suspected: city trails are an important facility for bike commuters, with several thousand people using them daily for their trips to and from work.

What gets measured gets done

The survey data supported implementation of a formal trail closure policy. Today, any closure must have community outreach, advance notice, a reasonable and well-signed detour, and standardized signs similar to what is required for road construction. If construction occurs off-trail but requires short-term construction equipment access that may be a hazard to trail users, flaggers like this man are used instead of closing the trail completely. This morning, we waited less than five minutes for the trail to re-open after a water truck passed through.

All construction related trail closures are listed on the city of San Jose Trails web page.

Do you need a trail closure policy for your city or county? If so, start by surveying trail use so you have hard numbers to present to the agency that manages your local trail system.


  1. My city already has one: bicyclists are not allowed to use the trail in order for stadium patrons to drink…

  2. I wish my city had enough bike lanes to have a closure policy. Trails are for loops around parks.

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