A reprint from the Mercury News / Thanks to City Council’s support, Cupertino is doing a great job of expanding walking and cycling resources for residents and

guests. As outcomes of the 2016 Bicycling Plan, protected bike lanes are coming on key corridors, and walking/biking trails are being studied.

Regnart Creek Trail is the first trail to be proposed. It will be presented to city council on Aug. 21. This trail will have significant benefits including getting kids to school safely (without traipsing through City Hall’s parking lot as they do now), increased community (meeting neighbors), dog walking, and expanded exercise options.

But as is common with any change, there are forces afoot to block these community amenities. Several of the nearby homeowners are vocal about their fears. They boil down to (1) privacy and (2) security. But do these fears truly hold water?

Privacy is certainly a valid concern. City staff plan to work with each property owner to determine mitigation such as additional fencing. Regarding security, let me share my experience.

Twenty years ago, I moved from the east to the west side. My new house backs up onto the Union Pacific railroad tracks. At the time I had trepidation about security since many people use the tracks effectively as a trail. What I’ve come to realize is counter-intuitive. The trail enhances security. Why? Because every day at least 100X more eyeballs are watching my house in contrast to standard isolated tract homes. Empirical evidence supports this. Captain Urena of the Sheriff’s department spoke at an outreach meeting. He stated no crime issues have been seen in other city sectors with trails such as Blackberry Farms, Orogrande and Creekside Park.

Call to action: speak up. You can send email to city council members or better yet, attend the council meeting on Aug, 21. Voice your support for walking and biking trails in our community. Thanks!

Pete Heller  30-year Cupertino resident