City of Cupertino will rename the planned Junipero Serra Trail and encourages public input


East Promontory Trailhead visual simulation for Junipero Serra Trail. Source: City of Cupertino

The City of Cupertino announced that it will rename the planned Junipero Serra Trail, which references a controversial Catholic missionary, in its third public meeting about it on May 27, focusing on public input.

City project manager Evelyn Moran said staff have not decided on the trail’s new name and are working with the Valley Transportation Authority, the grant administrator, to rename it.

“If approved, the name will reflect Cupertino’s character,” Moran said. “We will involve the community in the renaming process.”

The trail will provide an off-street east-west connection across Cupertino for bicyclists and pedestrians, running parallel to the existing Junipero Serra Channel and Calabazas Creek. It will also provide a connection between the Don Burnett Bicycle-Pedestrian Bridge and Vallco Parkway.

David Rubin, from Callander Associates, said that the city may create a trail patrol program once the trail is developed, depending on need.

The project does not include plans for lighting, as the trail will be open from dawn to dusk. But the city may consider low-level lighting at some trailheads to help commuters in the winter months, Rubin added.

Rubin said another proposed idea is to add milestone markers, which the City of San Jose has used.

“They can be a good tool for emergency response,” Rubin said. “Calling 911 and giving the dispatcher a milestone marker location gives first responders a quick way to find someone that might be in distress.”

Peggy Griffin, attendee at the meeting, said there should be a marker every quarter mile.

“Having had an accident on a trail, every mile, you have no idea what mile marker you just passed,” Griffin said. “But a quarter mile narrows it down to the closest street.”
Roger Lee, director of public works, said that they are in the conceptual design phase for Segment 1.
“What that means is we have not made decisions yet,” Lee said. “It’s really just the ideal time for us to hear these things because we can steer this many different ways and it happens through having engagement and having your input.”
Starting this summer to the summer of 2022, the design team will analyze city input and refine the design.
“I don’t want you to think that we are at final design, that decisions are made,” Lee said. “There’s going to be other opportunities for the public to provide input and we will be going back to our city council with recommendations.”
This fall, the city will hold a community meeting update and authorize construction, so the earliest construction for the east segment can start is fall 2022. The segment would open in the beginning of 2023, then the central segment development would begin.
“Of course we will have to provide authorizations to proceed with construction,” Lee added. “So there will be many more opportunities for the public to be involved with that.”
Those interested in the trail can find more information here.