The Caltrain right-of-way is incredibly wide, which presents a great opportunity to add a multi-use bicycle and pedestrian trail along the railroad tracks, similar to what Palo Alto built between Churchill Street and the Downtown/University Avenue Caltrain Station. The path can serve both recreation and transportation needs.
For transportation, there are numerous opportunities for the trail to be routed to nearby parks and neighborhoods, while seamlessly connecting the city’s two Caltrain stations with a safe, fast, and enjoyable bicycle and pedestrian conduit. From the Rengstorff Park area, one would be able to ride several blocks to the trail and then ride directly to the Castro Street Caltrain station with no interference from cars – no stopping and no worries. Unlike the city’s current Stevens Creek and Permanente Creek trails, this path would feature lighting to enhance safety and provide 24-hour access.
For recreation, the trail will be well-landscaped and have a paved walking area as well as a crushed pea-gravel running zone, similar to the material used on athletic tracks, for people to run or jog for low-impact exercise.
Even if Caltrain is expanded to four tracks in Mountain View, there is still plenty of space for a trail. It would play an important role in connecting people from all around Mountain View to the city’s two Caltrain stations with a safe, enjoyable alternative to driving.
Future connectivity options are endless – the trail could continue down the right-of-way all the way to San Jose!