An audience comprised of community members and county officials started their Wednesday morning in the sun by celebrating the revamp of Gilroy’s Lions Creek Trail.
Lions Creek Trail opened in January, but Wednesday’s event served as the official ribbon cutting ceremony recognizing the hard work that went into the 3,500 foot trail’s completion, said Jacqui Carrasco, public information technician for the .
“It was meant to bring all the players together in one area to acknowledge all the time and work that had been done to get this trail built,” Carrasco said. “And to acknowledge that it’s open and ready to use.”
The trail is part of the city’s effort to implement a trail system offering community members safe commuting alternatives that don’t involve dangers, like trekking along the highway.
The 1.5 million dollar trail is the result of collaborative efforts between the City of Gilroy, the Santa Clara County Water District, Caltran and the Safe Routes to School Program (SRTS), which functions to encourage walking and biking to school through educational activities, like Walk and Bike to School Week, according to the Santa Clara County Public Health website.
Carrasco said officials adapted the SRTS model to the Lions Creek Trail so locals could travel conveniently and benefit from physical activity, among other things.
“People can ride bikes or walk,” she said. “It looks like a little street, so people can walk one way or ride their bikes the other without hitting one another.”
Residents are already utilizing the trail, Carrasco said, which includes new amenities like benches, garbage cans, a bridge, little plaques detailing Gilroy’s history and, of course, a new paved trail running parallel to Lions Creek.
Locals can enjoy the trail alongside their pooch, too. The trail is dog friendly, with waste bags available to keep the trail—and the bottom of shoes—clean.
Here are some facts about the trail:
- The trail is 3,500 feet long, and runs alongside Lions Creek from Kern to Wren avenues, and from Wren to Farrell avenues
- 110-foot pedestrian bridge across the creek
- The trail is for bicycles and pedestrians, as well as the occasional maintenance truck
- Construction began in April 2011
- The city's Public Facilities Impact Fund contributed $150,000 to the project and the other 1.4 million came from grants from the California Natural Resources Agency, the Santa Clara Valley Water District and the state's Safe Routes to School Program.
- The Lions Creek Trail improvements had been in the works since 2005.
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