Kenwood Press


Serving the communities of Kenwood, Glen Ellen and Oakmont

email print
News: 05/01/2014

Sonoma Valley bike trail feasibility study planned this summer



The feasibility study for an approximately 13-mile bike trail that would run along the Hwy. 12 corridor from Melita Road in Santa Rosa to Agua Caliente Road in Sonoma is on track, reported Ken Tam, the project manager for Sonoma County Regional Parks, which is overseeing the project known as the Sonoma Valley Trail.

Tam presented a status update on the Sonoma Valley Trail, and two other Sonoma Valley bike trails under development, to the Sonoma Valley Citizens Advisory Commission at its April 23 meeting. The Central Sonoma Valley Trail, planned to run from Agua Caliente Road to Verano Ave., and the Sonoma Schellville Trail, running along 8th St. East in Sonoma to Hwy. 121, are also both under development in projects spearheaded by Sonoma County Regional Parks.

Ultimately, the three trails would connect with each other and then connect near Hwy. 121 with the future San Francisco Bay Trail, a 500-mile shoreline trail around the Bay, making it feasible to ride or walk on designated bike paths from Melita Road in Santa Rosa to San Pablo Bay.

The Central Sonoma Valley Trail, identified in the 1997 County Bikeways Plan, and the Sonoma Schellville Trail, which Tam reported as a high priority for First District Supervisor Susan Gorin, are currently more tangible, with construction on parts of the Central Sonoma Valley Trail to begin in spring 2015.

The Sonoma Valley Trail was identified in the County’s 2010 Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, but so far lacks any funding beyond a feasibility study. In October 2013 Sonoma County Regional Parks secured a $190,575 grant from Caltrans for the study. The County is also contributing approximately $21,000 towards the study. Initial plans call for the trail to be a Class I paved bike path, eight feet wide, with a five-foot-wide buffer from the road or highway.

Tam reported that a call for consultant proposals will go out this month, with data collection to begin in June. In August and September, Regional Parks plans to identify stakeholders and distribute community surveys. The Sonoma County Regional Water Agency owns an existing public right-of-way paralleling Hwy. 12 from Melita Road into Boyes Hot Springs, but the study area will not be limited only to that right-of-way. Tam said the county plans to hold two community stakeholder meetings in September and November 2014 and that a draft of the feasibility study should be finalized and released by March 2015.

Based on the most feasible trail sections identified by the study, the county would then apply for grants to provide funding for the project’s next steps, which would include environmental work, acquisition, permits and construction.

Study or no study, the Board of Supervisors is expected to approve in the near future an “irrevocable offer of dedication” from Hamel Family Wines that will eventually become part of the proposed Sonoma Valley Trail. The Hamel family agreed to the trail dedication as a condition for the 2012 approval of their new vineyard and winery across from Madrone Road at 15401 Sonoma Hwy.

In response to a question from commissioner Kirsten Lindquist about the Sonoma Valley Trail project’s anticipated completion date, Tam pointed to the Joe Rodota Trail as an example. “I worked on that project before I had any gray hair,” he joked. Tam said the Rodota Trail took almost 20 years to complete and there is still an unfinished piece in downtown Forestville. To put the Sonoma Valley Trail project in perspective, the Joe Rodota Trail had funding coming from 20 different sources. The key to project completion is the county’s ability to secure funding.

While the commission expressed general support and excitement about the Sonoma Valley Trail, Lindquist added, “I would like to see a sense of urgency on the part of the county given there’s so many cyclists using the road already.” Lindquist said she hoped leaders will look at securing funding for this project as a priority “so we won’t have to wait 20 years” to see the project realized.

Questions or comments about the Sonoma Valley Trail can be directed to Ken Tam at ken.tam@sonoma-county.org. Subscribe to project updates at www.parks.sonomacounty.ca.gov/ by clicking on “Sign up for planning updates.”


Sarah Phelps is an editor and reporter. She was raised in Kenwood and has a BA from Loyola Marymount University.
Email: sarah@kenwoodpress.com

Recently Published:

08/01/2020 - SVCAC supports Glen Ellen cannabis operation
08/01/2020 - Tree Men at work
08/01/2020 - Concerns aired at groundwater public hearing
08/01/2020 - Property tax values available online
08/01/2020 - Mayacamas VFD seeking volunteers for board and fire council work
08/01/2020 - Virtual fundraiser for SV Mentoring Alliance
08/01/2020 - PG&E powering up...
08/01/2020 - Sugarloaf Ridge State Park events
08/01/2020 - Labor dispute likely behind golf exit in Oakmont
08/01/2020 - Oakmont’s general manager resigns
08/01/2020 - Long-term Bay Area planning – public workshop for Sonoma on Aug. 5
08/01/2020 - Kenwood Fire District ballot measure – confusing but necessary
08/01/2020 - Free food distributions in Kenwood, Glen Ellen
08/01/2020 - Protect open space at the SDC
08/01/2020 - Applications available for the 2020 Jack London Yacht Club Grants
08/01/2020 - We remember you: Notes from the Eldridge Cemetery
08/01/2020 - Agenda set for Aug. 3 Glen Ellen Forum meeting
08/01/2020 - New Soroptimists in Wine Country
08/01/2020 - Clarification
08/01/2020 - Kenwood school board, fire board election filing deadlines
08/01/2020 - Rebuild NorthBay awards grant to Glen Ellen Forum to benefit fire survivors
07/15/2020 - North Valley Municipal Advisory Council appointed
07/15/2020 - Fire Season 2020 top 10 tips
07/15/2020 - The witching hour
07/15/2020 - Political action alive and well in Oakmont...

Community Calendar

Sugarloaf Trail Crew
08/13/2020
more...
Night Sky Trails
08/15/2020
more...
Creekside Nature Hike
08/15/2020
more...
Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance Fundraiser
08/20/2020
more...
Forest Therapy
08/22/2020
more...
Economic Recovery town hall meeting
08/26/2020
more...