Joe's Trail at Saratoga de Anza

Formally known as "The de Anza Trail" - The new name for the trail was adopted at the October 3, 2007 City Council Meeting.
The trail is completed and open to pedestrians and bicyclists. It is accessible per Americans with Disability Act.

The project consists of the development of a 1.6 mile bicycle and pedestrian pathway made of decomposed granite along the PG&E easement parallel to the UPRR railroad tracks, and construction of two pedestrian bridges crossing Rodeo Creek and Saratoga Creek.  The project also includes a small (approximately 5 space) parking area and trail staging site with access from Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road.

Project History:

The desire to develop a trail along the Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way running through the cities of Cupertino, Saratoga, Los Gatos and Campbell began when groups of West Valley pedestrians, equestrians and bicyclists realized the potential value of this corridor for a multi-use trail. The proposed trail segment length was to be 8.7 miles, with Saratoga’s portion being 3.7 miles. The trail had the potential to serve as an important linkage to other significant trails in the area, such as the Stevens Creek Trail and Rancho San Antonio County Park trails to the North, and Los Gatos Creek Trail and Vasona Lake County Park trails to the South. At their regular meeting on March 21, 2000, City Council passed Resolution 00-016 in support of the creation of the Union Pacific Railroad Trail Task Force. Cupertino agreed to be the lead agency for the project. Each of the participating agencies agreed to pay $10,000 to hire a consultant to conduct a feasibility study.

The Task Force hired Alta Transportation Consulting to conduct a feasibility study, which was completed October, 2001, with the recommended action of deferring construction of the proposed trail until Union Pacific Rail Road Company ceases operations along the line (est. 10-20 years). The primary reason for this recommendation was Union Pacific Rail Road Company’s (U.P.R.R.) unwillingness to discuss land acquisition along their line due to potential liability.

At their regular meeting on June 19, 2002, Council directed staff to pursue VTA Tier 1 Bicycle Expenditure Funding. VTA allocated funding for Saratoga to explore development of a trail along PG&E’s right-of-way, which runs parallel to the UPRR tracks. The limits of the proposed trail would run from Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road to Saratoga Avenue (Reach 3 in the Feasibility Study) a length of 1.6 miles. As requested by the VTA, the City of Saratoga became the lead agency for this project when the City of Cupertino pulled out as lead agency. As indicated in the 2001 Alta Feasibility Study, the projected development costs for Reach 3 is $1,997,577, with a required local match by the City of 20% percent, or $399,515.40.

At the December 3, 2003, City Council Meeting, Council directed staff to develop a cooperative agreement with VTA and an anonymous donor who offered to pay the required 20% local match. Subsequently, at the February 4, 2004, City Council Meeting, Council approved both cooperative agreements.

At the March 3, 2004, City Council Meeting, Council directed staff to form a task force to explore the feasibility of improving a trail along the PG&E right-of-way and to develop a master plan. In addition, staff was directed to hire a design consultant to facilitate the process. Subsequently, at the June 2, 2004, City Council Meeting, Council approved a professional services agreement with AN West to facilitate the master plan phase of the project.

The de Anza Trail Master plan was originally planned as a two-phase project. Phase 1 would be the master plan and feasibility study including environmental clearance and Phase 2 would be design and construction.

Currently, the Master Plan is near completion. The planned trail is to be a dual use pedestrian and bicycle trail with a width of 12 feet. The surface is to be constructed of decomposed granite bordered by redwood headers. There will be no formal landscaping or irrigation except at trailheads and parking areas. Two bridges are required which span Saratoga and Rodeo Creeks.

The location of the trail within the PG&E right-of-way was constrained by two factors: 1) a requirement that the trail be a minimum of 25 feet from the center of the railroad tracks, and 2) there is not sufficient clearance between the PG&E towers and the common PG&E/UPRR right-of-way line for a 12 foot wide dual use trail. The constraint of the PG&E towers requires that the bicycle portion of the path (8 feet wide) be routed around the towers.

The continuity of the trail was also limited by two right-of-way constraints: 1) there are two adjacent private properties near Cox Avenue where PG&E does not have right-of-way, and 2) PG&E does not have right-of-way across the property owned by San Jose Water Property, which is located adjacent to the Cox Avenue County Fire Station. These right-of-way constraints split the proposed trail into two usable segments: 1) Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road to APN 345-69-2929 (0.57 miles), and 2) Saratoga Avenue to San Jose Water Company property (0.74 miles). The center section (0.27 miles) that requires right-of-way from UPRR will not likely be available until the time UPRR sells the spur, which is currently used to service Kaiser Permanente.

One other important issue that was raised was the Fredericksburg Drive/Guava Court pedestrian crossing that connects both streets via an unimproved crossing. There is concern from local residents that the crossing will be used as an unofficial trailhead causing an increase in traffic and parking. The Task Force performed a survey of the usage of the crossing to determine what purposes the crossing was used for. It was determined that the crossing was important to a majority of the residents surveyed for a variety of reasons including a school route to Blue Hills School. The Task Force determined that a pre- and post-parking study be performed if Phase 2 is approved and to develop mitigation measures if parking and traffic issues surface.

The current construction cost estimate is $1,895,317, which includes a $100,000 line item for screening and other mitigation necessary for adjacent residents. The estimate for yearly maintenance is estimated at $30,138 per year.

On September 7, 2005 the City Council directed Staff to move forward with a design that includes a 12 foot path that narrows to 5 feet at the PG & E towers, and to move forward with the Environmental Review of the Project.

The Initial Study of the Environmental Review was completed and ready for review and comments by the Public in April 2007.

The City Council approved the Initial Study and the Mitigated Negative Declaration at the October 3, 2007 Council Meeting.

Additional Information for Request For Proposal for General Bridge PLans

AutoCAD designs (to view: Right-Click, Save As, type ".dwg" at end of File Name, click Save.

deAnza Trail Staff Report for October 3, 2007 City Council Meeting

Notice to Adopt a Mitigated Negative Declaration

Geotechnical Investigation Report - Saratoga Bridges, Rodeo Creek & Saratoga Creek (November 2006) Cotton, Shires & Associates 
Maps and Graphs from Geology Report - Separated out because of file size

Archive Materials - 2005 Documents