A few projects, notably the Regnart Creek Trail (vote on November 17) and Linda Vista Trail (vote on November 17) will have go/no go votes that will particularly need vocal support to keep them moving forward to construction.
Walk/Bike projects don’t naturally happen; they need to be voted on and approved by City Council. This can be an easy or more difficult process.
Some projects naturally move forward, by being funded through state grants or corporate gifts by local businesses. Other projects, though just as worthy, may not have these corporate and state sponsors, so need vocal support from community members to more forward. Here are those projects, and easy ways to help.
Regnart Creek Trail
The Regnart Creek Trail will have its final vote on November 17 before construction. This vote will decide on how much money will be put toward city-financed fencing for neighbors (currently at $735,000), determine whether the project will go directly to construction if the bids come in under the estimate plus the extra fencing costs added on top. Like all votes, it is a go/no go on the project–if the Council does not vote yes, then the project dies. (Read more on fencing requested by neighbors opposing the trail here.)
To make this project go forward to construction, community members will need to express to the City Council the desire and necessity to continue this project in a fiscally responsible manner. This vote is expected in January or February of 2021.
Linda Vista Trail
The LVT Project went out to bid on October 19, with the bid submittal window closing on November 10. If bids are within budget, Council will vote on approval of the contract on November 17, which likely means that the anticipated start date is around the beginning of December and completion would be in May 2021. If the bids come back high, Staff will need to evaluate whether they will proceed with the higher bid and ask for additional funding from Council, or if the project can be trimmed. It should be noted that project is already very bare bones (a dirt trail) so there is not a lot to trim. The land for this project was donated, and the construction cost is approximately $0.5M.
To make this project go forward to construction, community members will need to express to the City Council and Staff the desire to build this trail at the November meeting. Depending on the lowest bid, this may require encouraging City Council to spend a bit more for completion.
Carmen Bridge Project
For the Carmen Bridge to move forward, the City Council will need to authorize staff to proceed with creating a design in the FY21-22 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) budget. According to Roger Lee, Cupertino Director of Public Works, “[This will happen] only if staff recommends it as a high priority and Council then authorizes [it]. Back in October 2019, staff did not recommending [sic] design, construction or additional budget allocation. The project is ranked as a Tier 2 project (62/100 points) in the 2016 Bike Plan and a Tier 1 project (70/100 points in the 2018 Ped Plan.
To make this project go forward to design, community members will need to express to the City Council and Staff the need to include this as part of the 2021-22 CIP, scheduled to begin discussion in Spring 2021.
Easy Ways to Help
Send an email
Writing an email in support to the City Council is one of the easiest and most important ways you can show that you want a project to be built. The City Council makes the decision on all projects (residents do not get a vote), so letting them know that you support this project and why you do is necessary to encourage them to make the right decision. Emails should go to: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org (Deb Feng is the City Manager).
Speak at City Council
Emails help, but speaking in person helps even more. Residents that come forward at City Council meetings really make an impact. Best of all, you can speak right from the comfort of your own home now that all the meetings are on Zoom! City Council meetings are held the first and third Tuesdays each month, starting at 6:45pm. Let us know here if you’d like more information on how to do this.
Get more involved
There are lots of other ways, including joining WBC (sign up for our email list here), signing a petition if there is one for a project, telling your neighbors that you are in support of the project on NextDoor or on Facebook, and much more. Contact us to find out how to get more involved and make a real difference!
The information in this article is solely the opinion of the author and Walk-Bike Cupertino and does not reflect the opinions of any other organization or entity. For more information, contact WBC at email@example.com.
I’m wondering how WBC feels about the connection from Stevens Creek Blvd into Ranch San Antonio that was proposed and evaluated in the 2015 Stevens Creek Trail Feasibility Study? This has languished in the unfunded CIP project area ever since, but I have heard that the VTA BPAC has money earmarked to help fund this that would make this less of a heavy lift for Cupertino. This seems like it would be such a great way for Cupertino residents on bikes and nearby residents walking to be able to access the park.
I haven’t really pushed this since the Valley Water flood basin project that has dragged on an extra 2 years essentially blocks the Hammond-Snyder Loop Trail that would be part of the connection to the park, but that is back underway and should wrap up long before the access project could be done.
Thanks for responding to the article, Ross!
We agree, it would be great if we could have a direct connection into Rancho San Antonio–instead of the blocked path that is there now. Improving this access is in the 2016 Cupertino Bike Plan, but as Tier III for a study. As the projects are currently worked in order (with the exceptions of those that become fully funded through grants/gifts), it would naturally not be a the top of the list for the city to work on (yet).
Supportive and active residents can make the priorities change all city plans and projects, and bike/ped ones are no exception. We’d love to have your leadership on this, and would be happy to work with you. Contact us at info@walkbikecupertino to talk more about how to help regarding this issue.