Friends of Stevens Creek Trail
The Friends of Stevens Creek Trail promotes
community pride and involvement in the
completion, enhancement, and enjoyment of the
Stevens Creek Trail and Wildlife Corridor.
Trail Development List of Categories
- How does a trail affect the privacy of residents living near the trail?
- What happens to the crime rate when a new trail is built?
- How does a trail affect the safety of school children?
- Does a trail increase the homeless problem?
- Does a trail have an impact on parking?
- How does a trail affect property values?
- What about litter and the effect on the environment?
- How would a trail get funded?
How does a trail affect the privacy of residents living near the trail?
Any proposed trail alignment will need to give due consideration to privacy and access to private property issues. A proposed trail alignment would be determined by the residents in the immediate community and their city government. It is reasonable to expect that trail routes will be on public property with adequate buffering between the trail and homes.
What happens to the crime rate when a new trail is built?
Several studies have shown that increased trail usage reduces crime and loitering. Safety is related to public visibility, exposure, and the increased numbers of persons with cell phones reporting problems quickly to authorities. Criminals typically use motor vehicles for anonymity and range, not bicycles and footpaths.
Mountain View police officials have stated at several public meetings that there has been no increase in crime since the establishment of the trail in Mountain View. Liz Wylie, Community Relations Manager/PIO Mountain View Police Department, reports, “Considering how popular our trail is and how long it is, it is very, very safe.”
How does a trail affect the safety of school children?
For communities where a trail is in close proximity of a school, the trail is typically planned to provide a safe route to school. In addition to increasing walking and biking to school, trails can provide a safer environment away from motor vehicle traffic.
The trail in Mountain View was specifically designed to include a trail entrance at Landels and Whisman elementary schools. Both Mountain View police force and school administration have informally reported that there have been no incidents related to child or school safety because of the trail.
Does a trail increase the homeless problem?
On the contrary, a public trail tends to reduce homeless presence. In general the homeless will go where they are not under scrutiny. Camping along a public trail or pathway, such as the SCT, would expose them to high visibility by trail users and patrols.
Mike Escobar, Supervising Ranger in Mountain View, says, “Our experience is that they (the homeless) disperse and don’t return.”
Does a trail have an impact on parking?
Neighborhood trail access points may be designed to prohibit additional parking, as has been implemented at some Mountain View trail heads. Any proposed trail route will need to take usage and parking into consideration. Where appropriate, specific trailheads (with parking) should be considered to mitigate impact on residential streets.
Parking has not been a significant problem in Mountain View. Surveys show that 95% of users are local residents who walk or bicycle to the trail.
How does a trail affect property values?
Studies performed by the National Association of Realtors and National Association of Home Builders showed that trails ranked high as an amenity. Many home buyers are attracted to homes with trail access. Real estate listings highlight trails as a selling point.
Mountain View realtors point out that most buyers and renters today like having a nearby healthful and fun alternative to driving their car. Palo Alto realtors also mention nearby trails in their real estate promotions.
What about litter and the effect on the environment?
Trail users tend to be good stewards of their environment. People tend to take better care of an environment they can see. There is far less dumping of trash in the creek where the trail exists because people are now watching and quickly report any problem. Working with the City of Mountain View, the FOSCT sponsors an annual trail and creek clean-up. Many enthusiastic volunteers come out to help maintain a pristine environment thereby increasing the enjoyment of the Stevens Creek Trail and Wildlife Corridor.
How would a trail get funded?
The majority of trail costs are usually funded by regional, state, and federal grants. Most grants require contributions by the local jurisdiction (for example, 80% grant – 20% local capital improvement funds). Consideration and funding of any trail segments is determined in the context of other public needs. Ongoing maintenance of the trail usually falls to the local jurisdiction.
Return to the list of FAQ categories
Page last updated: 2009-04-25 at 14:18 GMT
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