A quick test:

Can you spot the family trying to cross Rodrigues Avenue to enter the Regnart Creek trail to get to school?

If you had to carefully look to find them (they are hidden by the trees near the top center of the picture), imagine if you are driving 30 mph or more. Many families make this crossing every day.

It’s clear that the Regnart Creek Trail is a huge success story for the City of Cupertino. Since its opening on March 18th, 2023, hundreds of students and parents have been using it daily to travel to school at Eaton Elementary or Cupertino High School, go to the Cupertino Library, or for leisure walks, runs or bike rides. The initial fears some residents had prior to the project around the safety on the trail have never materialized. 

Along with the Regnart Creek Trail entrance on Rodrigues (yellow oval on map below), the Lozano Lane walking path from Rodrigues Avenue to the trail is open to the public (yellow line on map below). This path allows hundreds of families living in the Biltmore or Waterfall residences to use the trail easily. There are several ways to make crossing Rodrigues to the trail for all these families more easily, and more importantly, more safe.

Below is a video showing what it’s like to drive on Rodrigues–see when you can finally see the pedestrians trying to cross!

Three Big Reasons for a lack of safety on Rodrigues:

1.  No Safe Crossings The only marked pedestrian crossings are intersections 0.3mi apart. Residents, including school children, of Biltmore and Waterfall complexes must unsafely cross mid-block to either of the Regnart Trail entrances on Rodrigues.  2.  Drivers don’t expect walkers or cyclists to be crossing Due to the curve and the trees, it is difficult for drivers to spot people trying to cross the street from the north side of Rodrigues toward the entrance of the trail. Cars and trucks parked on the south side also make it hard to see pedestrians coming out of the trail. I have personally seen inexperienced children hesitating to cross Rodrigues to join the trail to walk to Eaton Elementary. They simply lack the size and necessary confidence to make cars stop. I’ve also seen young bike riders returning from Cupertino High School on the Regnart Creek Trail not safely crossing to the Rodrigues Avenue bike lane to get home as cars speed by.

3.  Speeding drivers increase the danger

To add to the danger, it is clear that most motorists are not driving at the speed limit in this area. While measuring the speed of cars on a sunny Saturday afternoon, the average speed recorded was 32mph, which is higher than the authorized speed limit (30 mph). Moreover, some cars were recorded at 40+ mph. On a busy Monday and Tuesday morning, when parents hurry to drop kids off and go to work, the recorded average speed increased to 36 mph (with some cars as fast as 46 mph!).

What can be done

It doesn’t make sense that Cupertino cyclists and pedestrians must put themselves in danger by crossing Rodrigues in order to use the safest route available to them in the City. The following actions would prevent a potential accident:

Create a safe crossing at the entrance of the trail (near City Hall and at the entrance of the Lozano Lane easement) with a high-visibility crosswalk and user-activated bright flashers. This will allow pedestrians and cyclists to enter and exit the trail safely.

Transform existing bike lanes into protected bike lanes. Eliminating the center turn lane (only used minimally) would allow protected bike lanes on the curve that has the least visibility for drivers and prevent drivers from drifting into the bike lanes. 

Reduce the speed limit on Rodrigues by at least 5 mph to 25 mph or less. This is purely residential street between Blaney and Rodrigues, is not a connector, and therefore does not need the higher speed limit of 30mph.

The Regnart Creek Trail is a huge success and benefits the community at large – especially families, seniors and students. The City needs to make sure that the access to that trail is easy, convenient and safe for all residents.

How you can help

Write an email to the Bicycle Pedestrian Commission (bikepedcommission@cupertino.gov) and the City Transportation Manager (davids@cupertino.gov) to let them know you want changes made to Rodrigues. Your input can make the difference whether changes are made.

Short history of the Lozano Lane Walking Path to the Regnart Creek Trail

The easement for the walking path was included in the plans for the Lozano Lane homes before they were built, along with the bike/ped path, now part of the Regnart Trail, behind the homes. Later residents wished to end the use of the space as a walking path, but thanks to the advocacy of Walk-Bike Cupertino, the City Council allowed the path to continue to be used, albeit with the addition of signs asking cyclists to dismount. Interestingly, as I was walking down the trail, I asked a few Lozano Lane residents about their experience with the trail and they overwhelmingly enjoyed and supported its presence. 

“I do not have any complaints about it. We hear people chatting on the trail sometimes, but nothing negative” – A Lozano Lane resident