Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Three Creeks Trail land purchased

Exciting news from the City of San José, the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority and the Parks and Recreation Department of Santa Clara County! The land for the western alignment of Three Creeks Trail has been officially purchased and set aside for trails. When completed, Three Creeks Trail will provide a 2.8-mile east-west link that connects Los Gatos Creek Trail, the Guadalupe Trail, and the Coyote Creek Trail. This will enable travel on trails from Palo Alto to Morgan Hill, Los Gatos to Alviso.

Read more about this project:
And, here's a message from County Supervisor Ken Yeager who has been supporting this effort for many years.
Greetings -

Over ten years in the making, San José’s Three Creeks Trail project took a great leap forward just before the new year. Thanks to combined funding from three public agencies, land for the Western Alignment of the trail has finally been acquired. Having worked on this project since I represented the area on the San José City Council, I am happy the completed purchase will protect the trail from developers. Now we need to get it built.

The Western Alignment of the Three Creeks Trail is 7.5 acres of land that stretch from Lonus Street at the Los Gatos Creek Trail to Minnesota Avenue located in Willow Glen. Many of San José’s trails run north to south. When completed, the Three Creeks Trail will provide a 2.8-mile east-west linkage, connecting the Los Gatos Creek Trail, the Guadalupe Trail, and the Coyote Creek Trail.

The City of San José serves as the lead negotiator and title holder for the land. Santa Clara County and the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority will jointly hold a conservation easement over the property to ensure that it is preserved as open space and open to the public in perpetuity. Advocacy from the community organization Save Our Trails was also instrumental in moving the project forward.

The land—a former rail right of way—was purchased for $6 million from Union Pacific Railroad on December 23. The County contributed $2 million from its Parks Charter fund toward the purchase, while the City provided $1 million and the Open Space Authority gave $3.25 million.

There are currently 53 miles of trails open in San José with a plan to develop 100 miles total, making it one of the nation’s largest jurisdictional networks. The Three Creeks Trail will expand recreation and transportation options within the urban core.

The City worked with the former property owner, Union Pacific Railroad, and the California Department of Toxic Substance Control to ensure that chemicals remaining in the soil from past railway use were removed, and that the site is ready for future recreational development. The City has already received a grant from the Santa Clara Valley Water District to begin the rebuilding of the trestle bridge at the western edge of the trail. The City is currently pursuing funding for master planning the trail system and its future design and construction.

Going forward, I remain committed to working toward land acquisition for the eastern alignment of the Three Creeks Trail, another railroad right of way that runs from Highway 87 to Kelley Park. A fully interconnected trail will provide residents with more recreational outlets and provide an alternate transportation route for those navigating through the City by bike and foot.

Many, many thanks to all who worked to achieve this goal!

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