Council meeting report

The council meeting is still ongoing. This will be brief. I’m super busy trying to finish stuff up before I leave late Wednesday for a camping trip, so I ended up watching the meeting from the Argus office.

The council spent about two hours on the proposed safety improvements to Niles Canyon Road. There were well over a dozen speakers, mostly folks from Niles and Sunol, who are opposed to the project, or at least the scope of the project.

They think widening the road will ruin the beauty of the canyon.

Council members at least wanted Caltrans to consider less invasive work.

Caltrans promised to make everyone happy. We’ll see. I missed some of what Caltrans had to say because Carl Flynn finally called me back. Nice young man.

I talked to a leader with the Niles Canyon Railway who said the construction could shut down the scenic trains for a year because Caltrans is planning to dig into a train embankment.

meetin adjourned

Matt Artz


  1. I drive Niles Canyon daily, and the road is really narrow. I also happen to ride my bicycle on it, and it’s downright dangerous due to the complete lack space on some spots. So, while I don’t really Caltrans to turn Niles Canyon into a 4 lane highway, I hope that they could at least widen it some to make the road safer for everyone. How many more accidents do we need before something gets done?

  2. This is probably not practical and too costly, but it would be great to separate the bike lane from the highway traffic. Possibly closer to the creek or at least meandering away from the road in spots to give both bicyclists and drivers a break. In my travels I have seen may old RR lines turned into biking trails. The Rails to Trails Conservancy will work local municipalities to accomplish this great use of abandon lines.

    Their website: http://www.railstotrails.org/index.html

  3. Both rail lines in the canyon are still active, so converting one to a Class I Multi-Use Path isn’t an option.

    Extending the Alameda Creek Trail through the canyon might be an option, regardless of what happens with the road. I don’t know how feasible that is.

    There’s not enough room to add a Class I MUP alongside the roadway.

  4. VOR: The rail line is still in use, at least the one NCRY is using. I’d be happy getting wider shoulders without having the full concrete wall treatment, like Zeb is suggesting.

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