How many miles of trails does the city have now and how many will it have after the Trails Master Plan is implemented?
Today the city has approximately 67 miles of publicly accessible trails. The Trails Master Plan identifies 41 miles of future trails connections that would bring the grand total of publicly accessible trails to 108 miles.
When will the city develop more trails?
Once the Trails Master Plan is approved, city staff will utilize it to manage the citywide trails system and ensure its future availability and sustainability. The timing of trails additions will be dependent largely upon the entity responsible for their construction. Some segments will be built by the city. In another case, the I-5 Freeway North Coast Bike Trail is part of the I-5 widening project, and its construction depends on the schedule for that project. Several other future links are conditioned by private development, such as the “Poinsettia 61” Trail along Poinsettia Lane west of El Camino Real, where developers are required to construct a public trail as a condition of the project’s approval.
What does the Trails Master Plan say about the “Hub Park” trail on the south shore of the Agua Hedionda Lagoon?
The parcel known as “Hub Park” has about a mile long future loop trail, which is included in the Trails Master Plan. The city leases this land from SDG&E, but it is surrounded by land not controlled by the city, meaning there is currently no way for the public to legally access a trail. The master plan includes a conceptual alignment that would connect the Hub Park trail to the citywide trails network and be accessible to the public. That trail would ultimately provide a connection to the south side of Cannon Road, through existing underpasses. Since the city does not own or lease the adjacent land, we would need to successfully negotiate an easement with the property owner to complete this alignment. Trails are also envisioned on the 48 acre property adjacent to I-5, on the south shore of the Agua Hedionda Lagoon. This parcel, which is next to the strawberry fields, is currently zoned for development, and a future developer would be required to create trails as a condition of the development’s approval.
How much will implementing the Trails Master Plan cost?
The master plan doesn’t include an overall budget. The estimated cost of each trail segment listed is based on historic data gathered on trails developed in conjunction with the Parks & Recreation Department between 2010 and 2015. The estimated project cost is for general construction and does not include permitting, environmental review or auxiliary trail items such as culverts, special stream crossings, or bridges, which may significantly increase the cost of the trail segment. It also does not include maintenance of the trails.
How does the city decide when to develop new trails and how many?
There are a few ways the city adds trails to its system. One way is through private development. When developers want to build, the city often requires them to develop public trails as a condition of approval. The advantage of constructing these trails is that the city doesn’t need to use taxpayer money. The city also develops new trails on its own. Recently efforts have focused on connecting existing trails rather than creating new, stand alone trails. Finally, homeowners associations, nonprofit organizations and other government agencies develop trails and grant the city “easements,” allowing the public to use them.