Pleasanton city officials and consultants are continuing their efforts to modernize the city's Trails Master Plan, the policy document that outlines objectives and strategies for Pleasanton's entire public trail system.
The initial master plan draft is available online now for resident review and comment through the end of this month, with the goal of finalizing the draft in the weeks afterward and recirculating it for more public input before bringing the final document to the City Council for consideration by year's end, according to city staff.
"There is a lot here, and a lot's been accomplished," Vice Mayor Arne Olson said when the City Council received an update on the plan drafting process last month.
"My view is this really speaks to the quality of this community, that we've got residents, prior councils, a current council and we've got staff that really cares about this. It really says a lot about Pleasanton," Olson added.
The city's first Community Trails Master Plan was created in 1993, designed to serve as a guide for future trail development and a tool for long-range planning. Pleasanton now has about 90 miles of trails, with another 60 miles proposed.
Last year, the council adopted the new Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, which included some focus on Pleasanton's on-street trails among other transit topics, but city leaders also recognized the need for holistic planning for the trails system, on- and off-road.
"A lot has changed in Pleasanton in the 25 years since the last Trails Master Plan was adopted and we wanted to ensure that our trail system receives the attention it deserves," city landscape architect Matt Gruber said in a statement after presenting to the council May 15.
"The Trails Master Plan addresses the off-street trails and is intended to supplement the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan so that we have a seamlessly integrated system of trails, paved and unpaved alike. This will not only encourage alternative methods of commuting but also entice residents and visitors alike to get outside and get active," he added.
The Trails Master Plan, being drafted by city staff with consultant firms TrailPeople and Fehr & Peers, will include background on the city's trail system, city goals and objectives, proposed policies, trail system design, implementation steps, project rankings and more.
A key trails priority will be connections, whether closing gaps among regional trails (such as connecting Iron Horse Regional Trail to Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area) or improving trail connections between schools, around bridges and to the Pleasanton Ridge, Gruber said.
"The way we connect those (city trails), and we connect those regionally, I think we'll have a wonderful trails system. So I really look forward to this master plan," Councilman Jerry Pentin said last month.
Having an updated plan in place will also help the city become more competitive for county and state funding available for trails project, sources such as Senate Bill 1 transportation funds, Proposition 68 parks bond and Regional Measure 3 monies, Gruber said.
The 200-plus-page initial draft features months of research and public input compiled since last year, in addition to direct outreach to city's parks and bike-ped committee, East Bay Regional Park District and Tri-Valley Conservancy.
An online survey was issued last winter, and city staff have hosted community hikes at local trails as part of gathering feedback from residents. The next community input hike is set for next Wednesday (June 20) at 9 a.m. at the Marilyn Murphy Kane Trail main parking lot at 3200 West Lagoon Road.
Comments can also be posted online through June at www.pleasantontrails.com, where a copy of the initial master plan draft can be accessed. There will be more chances for citizen input in the months ahead when the final draft is released and shared at public meetings before the council debates adopting the master plan in late fall or early winter.