The Los Gatos Creek Trail currently consists of two unconnected segments. A very popular 10-mile segment starts in the south at Lexington Dam above Los Gatos, and parallels the Los Gatos Creek through Los Gatos, unincorporated county land, and Campbell, to end at Meridian Avenue just north of Willow Street in San Jose.
The second segment is just ½ mile in length and extends from Lonus Street, just east of Lincoln Avenue, to San Carlos Street in San Jose, crossing 280. The City of San Jose has plans to extend this trail to the north, to eventually join with the Guadalupe River Trail at Confluence Point, near the HP Arena in downtown San Jose.
There is a currently a one-mile gap between the two segments of the trail between Meridian Avenue and Lincoln Avenue in San Jose. Plugging this gap is likely to be a future project for SAVE OUR TRAILS.
Several members of SAVE OUR TRAILS see problems with the City’s plans for this northern most segment. View the plan for the Los Gatos Creek Trail.
As planned, the northernmost reach of the Los Gatos Creek Trail will start at Auzerais Ave. (p. 61), continue north to go under West San Carlos (p. 62), go up to the sidewalk to cross Montgomery St. and Park Ave., and then return to creek level (p. 63), go up to the sidewalk again on Autumn Street to cross San Fernando Street and the light rail tracks (p. 64), and continue on the sidewalk of Autumn Street to cross West Santa Clara Street and enter Confluence Park to join with the Guadalupe River Trail (p. 65).
Various members of SAVE OUR TRAILS believe that the trail should remain at the level of the creek, rather than crossing busy streets such as Autumn and Santa Clara. Additionally, the traffic on these streets will increase with any development in the area such as the proposed BART extension, high-speed rail, and baseball stadium.
While planning for Diridon Station, San Jose’s Good Neighbor Committee issued documents called Framework for Implementation. The Implementation Priority #1 for Parks and Trails reads: “Restore the natural setting of the waterways in the urban areas, including specifically that of the Los Gatos Creek as it passes under Montgomery Street and Park Avenue, and, to the extent possible, implement a river walk modeled on the one in San Antonio that balances nature and commercial vibrancy.” This Implementation Priority has been endorsed by the San Jose City Council.
Restoring Los Gatos Creek to its natural setting will present the opportunity to improve the trail by continuing it under Montgomery Street and Park Avenue rather than forcing pedestrians and bicyclists up onto these two busy streets.