by Aaron Grossman
Stevens Creek Trail opened a key new extension on April 12. It continues the trail from the former terminus on Yuba Drive on to the south side of El Camino Real, avoiding a very busy and dangerous street crossing by Grant Road and Highway 237. The entire trail now runs a bit over four miles from its start near the bay at Shoreline Park and alongside the edge of Old Mountain View.
The new underpass is very attractive and user friendly, with a gentle slope going under El Camino. The bright and architecturally inviting construction has glass ceiling blocks to let in daylight from above, and light colored tile with gray stone accents. The new landscaping will consist of many different kinds of plants native to the Stevens Creek watershed.
The project cost was about $3.5 million total, with around $2 million covered by outside grants. Although not very long, this extension plays a crucial role in continuing the trail towards MV High School. The next stretch of trail to Sleeper Avenue is fairly flat and will be much easier and less expensive. It should be completed by spring of 2009. After that it gets tougher. Two ambitious pedestrian-bicycle bridges over highway 280 will be needed to get it out to the high school. Initial design work has begun, but funding is yet to be secured.
The purpose of Stevens Creek Trail is to serve as a healthy and safe way for kids to get to
school, adults to get to work and shopping, and for everyone to get outside and get some fun and great exercise while enjoying and appreciating our local environment. This work and related projects in Sunnyvale, Los Altos, and Cupertino is the focus of the Friends of Stevens Creek Trail. Their mission is to continue the trail all the way through to the hills above Cupertino. See www.stevenscreektrail.org for maps, photos, and more information.
Aaron Grossman is the Executive Director of the Friends of the Stevens Creek Trail