As Silicon Valley grows and we look for more alternatives to car based transit the interest in bicycles has grown.
We've been fortunate in recent years to have bicycle lanes added to Park Avenue connecting Santa Clara University with downtown San Jose, and on part of Hedding Street connecting our neighborhood with the Guadalupe Trail system.
Bay Area Bike Share, now renamed FordGoBike, has built 4 new bicycle sharing stations at Whole Foods (The Alameda & Stockton Ave), our neighborhood bicycle store La Dolce Velo (The Alameda & Julian), Morrison & Julian and at Cahill Park (Bush St & Laurel Grove Lane).
That got me to thinking about a really cool bicycle and walking path that could be added right in our own neighborhood. I nicknamed it the Shark Quake Bike Path because it would allow folks to ride their bicycle to San Jose Shark & Earthquake games, but it really is so much more.
Using CalTrain's existing railroad tracks that are already being planned to accommodate CalTrain electrification, BART and California's High Speed Rail project I figured that they will most likely need a service road along the tracks.
Creating a bicycle and walking path that can also be used by train service vehicles would be a huge win for the neighborhood. If the path is fenced off from the tracks that would reduce the chance of train suicides. The fence could be bolted so that service vehicles could access it when needed. The Rails to Trails Conervancy has already published a great report on how cities can work with railroads to create active trails safely alongside existing railroads.
Currently our neighborhood College Park Station (mentioned in Jack London's Call of the Wild) is an underserved train stop popular with Bellarmine students. Adding a bicycle path that connects it to the Santa Clara Station would allow students and neighborhood residents who can't catch limited train service the opportunity to catch the more frequent train service at either Santa Clara or San Jose Diridon.
This path would also allow connections with the current Hedding Street Bike lane (which connects the the Guadalupe Trail and the County offices) and the Stockton Avenue Bike lane (which could be used as a cheaper alternative to a dedicated bike path to downtown San Jose).
The best part of this bicycle path is that it would give folks in the neighborhood a stress free way to get to SAP Center events, San Jose Shark Games, San Jose Earthquake Games, Santa Clara University events, CalTrain, ACE Train, Amtrak Capitol Corridor, VTA Light rail, and the free SJC Airport Shuttle for your next trip,
If you like the idea be sure to mention it (Shark Quake Path) whenever regional transit planning is discussed. I think it would be a great addition to our neighborhood.