Myths About the Trail
Myth: The local city streets are safe enough without a trail
Both Rodrigues and Blaney, streets that are used in place of the trail, have 30 mph speed limits. According to US Department of Transportation, at 30 mph there is a 40% chance of death or serious injury to a pedestrian or cyclist hit by a car.
Other streets, such as La Mar or Pacifica, are at a 25 mph speed limit and have enough speeding cars that local residents asked for speed monitoring signs. These have been installed in the past two years.
Current routes to Eaton or the library show pedestrians walking in parking lots or cyclists turning across lanes of traffic.
Current street crossings at Blaney at at offset (low visibility) intersections, and E. Estates has no crossing at all from Creekside Park. New crossings at Blaney and E. Estates will include safety features such as high visibility flashing crosswalks. E. Estates will be a raised crosswalk, and at Blaney there will be a pedestrian refuge in the middle of the street, shortening the distance to cross.
Myth: Local neighbors don't support this trail
The overwhelming majority of the over-850 total Pro-trail petition signers are in the Wilson Park and City Center area, with some abutting the trail, and with many more on the adjacent streets. These supporters are very enthusiastic about the trail. Some comments were, “As a pedestrian, I have wished for this access for years”, “Creating safe bike routes to schools and parks is critical to the safety of our kids”, and “Can’t wait!”. The majority of the Wilson Park and City Center signers are parents of school children, from young elementary students up to high school. As one Cupertino High parent stated, “This is great plan. If there was a safe bike [path] to school, I don’t have to drive every morning in the crazy traffic jam near the school to drop them off.” An Eaton Elementary parent stated, “My kids and I would use this to walk to school. I think it's a great idea!” Most comments focused on safety for children, such as, “I support the trail as my kids bike to school. Biking on La Mar is dangerous.“ and “Keeping our kids safe is an utmost priority.”
This trail is also supported by many local organizations with residents on them that live in the local neighborhood: Lawson PTA, Eaton Elementary PTO, Sedgwick PTA, Hyde PTSA, Safe Routes to School, and Cupertino Bike Club.
Myth: The trail is too short to be useful or it won’t be used
It would be a safer and more direct route to schools, without car traffic. Walking and biking students, including 250 Eaton students, 250 Cupertino High students, and 100 Lawson students could use the trail for commuting. Traffic will be improved with more students traveling to school not in a car.
It will provide a more direct route to the Civic Center and Library, and connect three parks (Creekside, Wilson, and library fields). By walking or biking, residents could avoid the congested parking lot at the Civic Center.
With the Creekside Trail, it will be over a mile of an enjoyable off-road recreational path for running, walking and cycling for all residents, including those with mobility issues. It is a key component of the East-West connector between Monta Vista and Cupertino High, and the “Loop” connecting Cupertino using trails and low-volume streets.
Myth: The City Staff has not asked for input from the local residents
There has been a very large amount of outreach to the community. Four public meetings were held prior to the Feasibility Study City council vote to solicit both oral and written feedback from residents, including one held while walking the trail and a focused meeting with the Lozano Lane residents. Since the approval of the study in August 2018, an additional public outreach meeting was held in December 2018, and another community meeting will be held March 30, 2019 on the trail.
At all times during the planning process, residents have discussed their concerns in one-on-one discussions with City Staff, at Bicycle-Pedestrian Commission Meetings, in independent conversations and at Oral Communications at City Council. The Trail Concepts and the Feasibility Study include this feedback. During March and April of this year, one-on-one individual meetings with each neighbor adjacent to the trail and City Staff will be held which will influence design direction.
Myth: The trail will be unfenced against a steep slope of the creek bed
The feasibility plan for the trail includes a fence that will run along the edge of the creek. Residents, including children, will not be able to fall accidentally into the creek.
Myth: It will be too narrow to for cyclists and walkers to pass
The trail will be 10 feet wide, with a 2 foot shoulder. This will allow pedestrians and cyclists to easily pass each other.
Myth: Seventeen trees will be cut down and/or the creek will be harmed
The feasibility plan does not include cutting down any trees, including the portion of the trail that extends along the south side of the library field.
The creek will be unaffected by building a trail, as it is currently paved as a run-off ditch. With the trail, the area will be enhanced with landscaping, so it is less likely to attract litter and refuse.