News

City opens new $9 million trail link

After the ceremonial ribbon was cut, a crowd swarmed onto the new Permanente Creek Trail extension Tuesday, striding across a new bridge over Highway 101 and a tunnel under Old Middlefield Way.

A crowd of over 100, including government officials, residents and many Google employees, patiently waited before racing over the extension with giddy excitement, although some were restrained a bit by the hot sun. A pair of Googlers on brightly colored Google bicycles lead the way at one point.

"All you have to do is look at all those cars," on Highway 101, said council member Laura Macias as she walked over the bridge Tuesday. "Maybe a a few pedestrian bridges is not a bad thing."

Construction workers spent the last 18 months on the bridge and tunnel, pouring 2,500 cubic yards of concrete and assembling 470,000 pounds of steel. The extension connects residential areas in western Mountain View to thousands of jobs north of U.S. 101.

The options for pedestrians in the area had been overpasses for Shoreline Boulevard, Rengstorff Avenue and San Antonio Road, all of which "are just really scary," said bicyclist Jarrett Mullen. Accelerating cars getting on and off the freeway will make you "mincemeat."

Macias said she had balked at the original $3 million price of the extension, which grew to $9.9 million with the unexpected inclusion on the tunnel under Old Middlefield Way. "We did the right thing," Macias said of the tunnel, which protects bikers and pedestrians from cars speeding off Highway 101 onto Old Middlefield Way.

"People are already asking when we'll build the next segment," Macias said.

The 1,300-foot extension ends at Old Middlefield Way, but the next segment would continue south to connect to Crittenden Middle School and Middlefield Road. To the north, the Permanente Creek Trail splits the Google headquarters and Shoreline Golf Links and ends near the historic Rengstorff House in Shoreline Park.

"The public works folks did a great job," said former city manager Kevin Duggan as he walked the extension Tuesday. City Manager Dan Rich said Duggan was the original "guiding light" for the project, originally proposed in 2004 and approved in 2008.

Bicycling advocate Andrew Boone, who said he worked with Facebook to get bike lanes in Menlo Park, said Mountain View's commendable work on its trails shows other cities, "Hey, you can do this" and he's heard officials in Palo Alto say, "Why don't we have any urban trails, like Mountain View?"

City officials say it took several nighttime closures of Highway 101 to build the bridge and a three-month closure of Spring Street to build the tunnel. In all it took 38,000 man hours for contractor Gordon N. Ball, a company that has also constructed several other segments of the Stevens Creek Trail,

It's not the only trail segment opening this month. On Saturday, June 23, at 10 a.m. there will be an opening ceremony at the end of Sleeper Avenue for a new segment of the Stevens Creek Trail over Highway 85 to Heatherstone Way.

Comments

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Posted by reckless drivers
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 12, 2012 at 7:02 pm

The only reason they wanted to build that tunnel is because reckless drivers come speeding off the freeway and don't obey the speed limits on local streets. The city should just close the Old Middlefield freeway exit and make the street much safer that way. There are plenty of other routes that drivers can take. Then we would not have needed to spend so much money on a pedestrian tunnel.

$3 million to build the pedestrian bridge over Hwy 101 then $6 million more to build the tunnel under Old Middlefield? The $3 million is certainly worthwhile, but the $6 million could have been better spent on by extending the trail to somewhere more interesting than Old Middlefield.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Antonio Napolero
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 13, 2012 at 2:29 pm

I don't believe the extra $6.9 Mil spent is solely the result of the pedestrian tunnel addition.
Every government project tend to double or triple in cost over duration of the project.
This means it will cost 3x the estimated $69 Mil to build the high speed rail!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Antonio Napolero
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 13, 2012 at 2:32 pm

I meant 3x the estimated $69 Billion (not Million) to build the HSR between LA and SF


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 13, 2012 at 2:56 pm

An outstanding overpass. Wonderfull. Pavement, not wood. The underpass is good, but will be dark and scary. Palo Alo won't even open the old underpass beneath 101 near San Antonio, so this is the only safe alternative to the narow street overpasses or the underpass on the Stevens Creek trail, which is dark, narrow, and scary.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by reckless drivers
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Palo Alto's underpass near San Antonio Road is closed because Hwy 101 construction makes it unsafe. Palo Alto promises to reopen it when the construction is over, but that may be a year from now.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by NW Resident
a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 13, 2012 at 3:41 pm

The article mentions PA officials wondering why they don't have urban trails like MV's. Many years ago I used the bike path that runs from Los Altos to PA near Alta Mesa Cemetery and over to Gunn High. There's also a similar path near Bol Park and these might be considered urban trails.

Maybe PA wants trails that are more like MV's that reach the shores of the bay and companies located in those areas? I use the Stevens Creek Trail a lot and am glad we have it in MV.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by trails
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm

The Stevens Creek Trail is much longer and connects many more areas (employers, schools, parks, residences) than any trails in Palo Alto. The Stevens Creek Trail (and now the Permanente Creek Trail) also allow trail users to avoid dangerous freeway interchanges. The car-free multi-use connections are what makes Mountain View's trails the best in Silicon Valley. Palo Alto's freeways and expressways split the city into pieces and make travel difficult for pedestrians and bicyclists.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Our trails and parks help to make Mountain View a great place to live.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ahhh
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 14, 2012 at 5:38 am

MV is far more livable and enjoyable on an every day level than PA is.
This is but one of the many reasons MV outshines PA in terms of enjoyable living.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Easy
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Yes, please continue the trail to Middlefield and also add a way to get across the Charleston to the north!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by video
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 14, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Someone posted this video to YouTube: Web Link
It demonstrates the problems with the trail at Charleston and Old Middlefield. The fix to Old Middlefield is to extend the trail to a more interesting end point. What is the fix to the Charleston crossing? That is a pretty busy street (on weekdays) and if the trail gets a lot of traffic, there will be significant conflicts at a wide crossing with no stop lights.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by ADPOV
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 15, 2012 at 11:47 am

I agree with reckless driver! 3 million is to much to build a bridge but I can get in board with that if it means safety for peds. 9 million is ridiculous! With everything going on in the city and the economy what it is, who in their right mind would build a bridge for 9 million! The whole project should have been scrapped when it tripped in cost!!!! Wow MV wow!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 15, 2012 at 5:21 pm

This is at least not as far as 85 bridge, but as Jim Pollart of 'Share Shoreline' has noted himself - most of the millions came from property taxes that DID NOT GO to education. 50% of the property taxes are diverted. Shoreline is one of the last surviving Redevelopment districts in the entire state. 99% of the 1% property tax is permanently under controll of the RDA (may or may not share as the council decides). Thankfully - the $30/ $100,000 school facilities override DOES apply to the $3,000,000,000 assessed valuation in the Shoreline District. $900,000 per year when the bond sales max out.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by salty
a resident of another community
on Jun 16, 2012 at 12:15 am

While visiting from Pittsburgh, PA this week I had the pleasure of riding the bridge and tunnel a couple times. Very impressive, and it will be better when the trail goes past Old Middlefield (which I did not enjoy as much).


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