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October 31, 2006 > Abandoned railroad could become new bicycle trail

Abandoned railroad could become new bicycle trail

by Charlotte Flowers-Weston

When the city of Fremont invited the public to attend a meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 18 to discuss the Union Pacific Railroad Corridor Trail Feasibility Study, they did not realize it would be on a night of televised national championship baseball.

“About 14 or 15 people showed up,” said Rene Dalton of Fremont’s transportation and operations department.

In a telephone interview on Friday, Oct. 20, Dalton said the meeting was a first exposure of the feasibility study to the public. “We’re still in the study phase.” The feasibility study is to appraise the possibility of converting portions of abandoned railroad corridor into a Class 1 bicycle and pedestrian trail. It will focus on a nine-mile stretch of area between Clark Drive in the Niles area and south of Warren Avenue to the Fremont/Milpitas city limits.

The study will also focus on ways to apply for funding from the state, federal, and regional departments. “Once the study is completed, it will be reported to the city council with the findings,” Dalton continued.

According to some reports, the trail could be a good prospect for a citywide network providing various transit and recreational facilities for residents of Fremont and visitors to the community.

The city’s design team will present a project overview and describe existing conditions of the railroad corridor. They will also describe opportunities and constraints along different parts of the rail corridor including, identifying possible trail alignments and their relative location to the downtown, employment centers, schools, shopping centers, parks, and major residential communities. The presentation will also detail the preliminary goals of the project.

The public will be able to express their concerns about noise, privacy, crime, and other issues at another public meeting to be scheduled for sometime in January or February 2007.

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