The Napa Valley VINE TRAIL Coalition in partnership with the City of St Helena, began a planning process in May 2019 to study VINE TRAIL route options through the City of St Helena between Pratt Avenue, (where the VINE TRAIL will be constructed in 2021/22), and Grayson Avenue. The VINE TRAIL Coalition is funding half of the study costs.
The City of St Helena hired BKF Engineering to prepare the Study. The results of the Study were previewed at the VINE TRAIL Coalition Engineering Committee on October 19 and presented to the City of St Helena’s Active Transportation and Sustainability Committee on October 21.
The goal of meeting the VINE TRAIL’s desired standard of a separated shared use path through an urban area is always challenging and St Helena is no exception. There are right of way, utilities, driveways, and existing parking constraints.
Options were presented offering a range of solutions and routes. The study (click here to view) is broken into three main segments.
Segment 1, the Southern segment from Grayson Avenue to Mitchell Drive, was the same for all options. It would involve widening the existing sidewalk to 10 feet on the west side of SR29 from the High School at Grayson to Mitchell. The route would serve many of the businesses that front onto SR29. Some additional right of way, up to two feet on average, might be needed. Most of this would involve encroaching into existing landscaping. Some consideration was given to reducing the number of driveways. The existing pedestrian bridge over Sulphur Creek can be incorporated because, at eight feet wide, it meets the minimum standard for a shared use path.
Segment 3, The Northern segment, from Fulton Avenue to Pratt Avenue for all the options would follow the Wine Train right of way on the east side of the railroad tracks. There was a sub-option to route the trail down Library Lane and behind the Napa Valley Vintners property to avoid an existing building on the northeast corner of the railroad and Adams.
Segment 2, the Central segment, is the most challenging and there are a variety of options between Mitchell Drive and Fulton. It was divided into Segment 2a and Segment 2b. Among the options discussed are:
There were several questions from the public who participated including residents of Crinella Drive, in Segment 3, who asked which side of the railroad tracks the trail would be located in their area. The trail is proposed on the east side. More research is needed on some of the Wine Train right of way options.
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