Published Thursday, October 26, 2006, by the Fremont Bulletin
City begins studying trail route following railroad lines
By Wes Bowers
Fremont Bicycle Pedestrian Technical Advisory Committee will soon be
looking at creating a trail through Fremont along the Union Pacific
The committee held a public meeting and workshop last Wednesday
night to begin a feasibility study for building a trail along the
railroad corridor, as part of City of Fremont's so-called Pedestrian
The proposed route of the trail would begin at Clark Drive in the
Niles District, and continue south to the Fremont and Milpitas
Marge Hendrickson, a consultant with Colorado-based Questa
Engineering Corp., said portions of this nine-mile route are
currently abandoned by the railroad company, but some are actively
She said other portions are part of the Bay Area Rapid Transit
plan to extend BART to the Warm Springs District.
While there are many aspects to the Pedestrian Master Plan,
Hendrickson said this particular alignment was a high priority
for the city to complete.
The trail is proposed to follow five segments:
Niles (Clark Drive and Canyon Road) to Mission Boulevard
Mission Boulevard to Paseo Padre Parkway
Paseo Padre Parkway to Washington Boulevard
Washington Boulevard to South Grimmer
South Grimmer Boulevard to the Fremont city limits.
Hendrickson said in Niles, a commuter rail line goes along the first
portion of the proposed trail route. The trail will then make its
way behind Niles Elementary School, to where railroad tracks are
She added that the portion of trail between Paseo Padre Parkway and
Washington Boulevard is currently undeveloped.
"BART is proposed to come up from Lake Elizabeth, located on the
east side of the existing track area," she said. "The west side of
the tracks would then become available for (the) trail."
Hendrickson said a major part of the project is determining on which
side of the existing tracks the trail will be placed, as the route
is lined with properties owned by various groups.
This will be examined closely in the fifth section of the route,
where Hendrickson said heavy rail use, along with residential
developments on the east side of the corridor, would likely occur.
Hendrickson added there are possibilities for the new trail to be
connected to other trails in and around Fremont.
These trails include the Alameda Creek Trail, the Bay Area Ridge
Trail, as well as East Bay Regional Park District trails such as
Issues such as flooding and drainage, public utility conflicts,
wildlife habitats and street crossings must be examined.
Hendrickson said Union Pacific Railroad is currently in the Laguna
Creek Watershed, with about 10 creeks total along its route.
However, before a trail can be constructed, provisions such as
pedestrian safety, links to neighborhoods and funding must be
The next steps in the process are identifying a preliminary
route, drafting a preliminary design and estimating project costs.
The project will then go into the phasing and financing stage.
A second public meeting will be held when all that data is
collected, Questa consultant Jeff Peters said.
"We have a few definite ideas," he said. "It's just a matter of
putting them on maps and plan sheets."