Mary Callahan, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Work is underway on a small section of a long-awaited bike and pedestrian trail designed to extend along 3½ miles of Bodega Bay coastline, part of it built on an elevated boardwalk at the harbor’s edge.
A crew began last week to clear brush and mark the route of the new half-mile segment toward the northern end of this seaside village, running roughly parallel to Highway 1 between the Bodega Bay Community Center and the entrance road to the state-run Bodega Dunes Campground.
But while a step in the right direction, the estimated $533,000 trail to be laid this fall is just that: a single step in what could still be a prolonged campaign to turn the complete multiuse trail plan into reality, thanks to cost, necessary engineering and environmental hurdles.
Of particular complexity is the milelong boardwalk section designed to skirt the commercial center of town along the harbor tidelands, an environmentally sensitive, seismically demanding stretch of land that also raises residential privacy and commercial right-of-way concerns, Sonoma County Regional Parks personnel said.
That phase, estimated to cost about $2.4 million for construction alone, “is at least 10 years out, because there’s no funding right now,” senior park planner Mark Cleveland said.
Read more via Another small step in Bodega Bay trail | The Press Democrat.
Angela Hart, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
A long-envisioned proposal that would turn a narrow plot of land in southeast Santa Rosa into a public open space with bike paths, walking trails and other recreational amenities is expected to gain additional support Tuesday, when a coalition of community and environmental groups as well as government agencies will for the first time present to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors a formal proposal to take ownership of the 55 acres.
The city of Santa Rosa has agreed to take primary ownership of the state land, which park supporters hope to transform into a linear open space called the Southeast Greenway. Other partners would manage the land.
The big hurdle remains how the state intends to part with the property, once slated for the Highway 12 extension from Farmers Lane to Melita Road.
via Pushing forward with Southeast Greenway in Santa Rosa | The Press Democrat.
Matt Brown,THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Supporters of a plan to build a park and bike path network on a strip of vacant land through southeast Santa Rosa — property once eyed for a Highway 12 extension — were buoyed by developments in Sacramento this week that could accelerate the transfer of the 55 acres from the state highway system to the Southeast Greenway campaign.
The work of removing the freeway designation from Farmers Lane to Melita Road advanced on parallel tracks in the state Senate and the California Transportation Commission as local transportation officials backed the efforts and Greenway advocates met with Caltrans to discuss the logistics of a land transfer.
“We’re starting to talk in more detail about how the property might be transferred,” said Steve Rabinowitsh, a former Santa Rosa city councilman and member of the Greenway campaign. “There’s a lot happening.”
State transportation planners bought the southeast Santa Rosa land in the 1950s and 60s when the area of the city was sparsely developed. The intent was to build a two-mile freeway bypass from Farmers Lane over Spring Lake rejoining Highway 12 near Oakmont.
Spring Lake has since become a county park and popular recreation area and Bennett Valley neighborhoods filled in around the land planned for the freeway. Santa Rosa residents resoundingly rejected the bypass, including a bridge over Spring Lake, saying it would be environmentally damaging and unnecessary.
via Campaign for Santa Rosa's Southeast Greenway gets boost | The Press Democrat.
Clark Mason, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
A bicycle and pedestrian path planned to extend from one end of Healdsburg to the other is getting another gap filled in.
The City Council has approved a $1.3 million bid for construction of two-thirds of a mile of the Foss Creek Pathway, adding to existing portions of the off-street trail.
Work is anticipated to begin by early June on the latest portion of the paved path, extending it 3,100 feet north from West Grant Street to the Carson Warner Memorial Skateboard Park.
Eventually, pedestrians and cyclists are expected to be able to make their way along an approximate 4-mile route from Front Street on the south end of town to the northern edge of city limits near Alexander Valley Road.
via Healdsburg pathway set to grow | The Press Democrat.
Lori A. Carter, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Public-access advocates say a settlement over the long-disputed gateway to Petaluma’s Lafferty Ranch may be imminent, but adjacent property owners characterize the negotiations far differently.
Leaders of the Friends of Lafferty Park effort said Monday that two county maps from the 1860s may be the “final nail in the coffin” that will win a decades-old fight to gain public access to Lafferty Ranch, 270 acres of city-owned land northeast of Petaluma.
But an attorney for the adjacent property owners who oppose efforts to open the land as a public park countered Monday that negotiations are nowhere near a resolution.
via Two old maps present shift in Lafferty Ranch dispute | The Press Democrat.
Kevin McCallum, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
A short but important new bicycle and pedestrian path opened last week in eastern Santa Rosa, promising to make it easier for people to travel east-west without using Highway 12.
The new 1,000-foot trail connects two existing path fragments to create a continuous route along Santa Rosa Creek from Mission Boulevard to the Streamside neighborhood.
“It’s a nice path and a key link,” said Colleen Ferguson, deputy director of public works.
via Santa Rosa completes key link in creek trail | The Press Democrat.
Vesta Copestakes, SONOMA COUNTY GAZETTE
For the past almost 40 years, Forestville has fought one development plan after another on downtown property that runs along Front Street in the heart of downtown. Now, with the support of Sonoma County’s Agricultural Preservation & Open Space District, the Forestville Planning Association, and a local investment group that includes the Bartolomei family, and a Yes vote from the Board of Supervisors, Forestville finally gets a plan everyone can live with.
Eight and one half acres of land will now be approximately 50% park and preserved wetlands with native habitat, and 50% developed land for mixed-use commerce. The land will also accommodate Sonoma County Regional Park’s trailhead to the West County Trail directly running into Forestville’s downtown. That a real boon to the parks, users of the trail, and downtown businesses.
via Forestville Open Space Grant Approved for Park.