News

St Helena to Discuss Oak Ave Bike Boulevard UPDATED

04/11/2022

Updated 04/13/2022: We are excited to share that the St Helena City Council last night voted unanimously in support of City staff's recommended route alignment through downtown St Helena!

We thank the St Helena City Council and City staff for their thorough investigation of route options and for their support of the VINE TRAIL. We look forward to working with the City and Napa County to include the route through St Helena in the County's application for Active Transportation Program (ATP) grant funding this spring.

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Original post: 

Saint Helena will be revisiting the potential VINE TRAIL route through their City at the regular city council meeting on Tuesday, April 12. Below is an excerpt from their staff report. (The full report can be found on their website HERE.) A 2-page overview of why the Vine Trail Coalition supports the Class 1 & Bike Boulevard option can be found HERE.

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Discussion regarding the development of the VINE TRAIL as a continuous pedestrian and bicycle facility throughout Napa County has been active for several years.

Recently, the potential for alignments to accommodate a segment of the Vine Trail through St. Helena has received considerable public input and broad based support. Strong objection to including Church Street without substantial mitigation or portions of Safeway’s private property were expressed by property owners and residents during public meetings.

The City Council received an update on planning efforts and community feedback on alignment options at its March 22, 2022 regular meeting. Following public comment and Council deliberations, the Council directed staff to bring forward a recommended alignment for the St. Helena segment of the Vine Trail for consideration.

DISCUSSION

Saint Helena City Staff has considered the following in addressing the Council’s direction:

  • Respect the input residents and business owners in selecting an alignment;
  • Identify an alignment, which is realistic and practical given the “built” nature of our community and the numerous constraints and sensitivities, which exist;
  • Avoid removal of parking or changes to or significant interference with circulation patterns in neighborhoods;
  • Consider costs of construction and long-term maintenance in the selection of a recommended alignment;
  • Ensure that a continuous alignment is identified through the community to enhance the competitiveness of grant funding requests; and
  • Recognize that the Vine Trail will evolve over time and alternate alignments and further improvements can be considered, as desired, in the future.

Staff has, together with Vine Trail leaders and Napa County senior engineering staff, identified an alignment, which was informed by the above factors, flows from our adopted General Plan Bike Plan, and is consistent with the recommendations the City has received from our advisory committees (the Parks and Recreation Commission and the Active Transportation and Sustainability Committee).

Recommended Alignment.

Segment I: From southern City limits on Highway 29/Main Street to Mitchell Drive.

Segment II: Mitchell Drive to Oak Avenue to Adams Street to Railroad Avenue.

Segment III: Railroad Avenue to Fulton Lane or Napa Valley Wine Train (NVWT) right-ofway to Fulton Lane. NVWT right-of-way from Fulton Lane to Pratt Avenue to Highway 29/Main Street.

The facility types will vary in these different segments as reflected in the Bike Plan, unless formally amended through subsequent public hearings.

Facility Type.

Segment I: Class I, II, or III.

Segment II: Class III with Bicycle Boulevard elements.

Segment III: Class III on Railroad Avenue. Class I on NVWT right-of-way (Bike Plan amendment would be necessary to establish Class I on NVWT right-of-way from Adams Street to Fulton Lane). Class I, II or III on Pratt Avenue to Highway 29/Main Street.

VINE TRAIL Route - click to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

It should be noted that acquisition of right-of-way or easements over lands in Segment I and III areas will be necessary to accommodate Class I paths.

Much design work will occur in the future, once design and construction funding is secured by the Napa Valley Vine Trail Coalition (NVVTC). That design phase will explore any desired change from facility types anticipated in the Bike Plan, (for example: a Class I on the NVWT right-of-way in-lieu of the Class III facility in Railroad Avenue in Segment III), signage and pavement markings, and options/features to enhance user safety and insure effective vehicular circulation.

The Active Transportation and Sustainability Committee (ATSC) will be the City’s lead committee for community engagement, project review, and ultimately recommendations to the Council on the design matters. City staff will collaborate with the Vine Trail design team on the portion of the Trail through St. Helena.

Design options will be shared with the public and input will be solicited from residents, businesses, and property owners throughout the design phase to develop an acceptable and practical final plan for City Council approval.

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Check out this 2-page overview of the Oak Avenue Bike Boulevard route option to learn why the Napa Valley Vine Trail supports the City of St Helena Oak Ave and Adams St Bike Boulevard Plan Alignment.