Sonoma County Regional Parks has been awarded a $191,000 state grant to study the feasibility of the proposed Sonoma Valley Trail, a project that would give bicyclists and pedestrians a safe way to travel the busy Highway 12 corridor from the Springs to Santa Rosa.
The study area stretches 13 miles from Agua Caliente Road, west of Sonoma, to Melita Road in east Santa Rosa.
With few exceptions there are no sidewalks or bike lanes along Highway 12, so the trail would provide residents a much-needed alternative to walking and riding on the heavily traveled road, according to Regional Parks spokesperson Meda Freeman.
“It also would attract tourists visiting Sonoma Valley wineries and parks,” she said.
Supervisor Susan Gorin said that seeing this project move forward “has been a dream of mine. This allows us to plan a trail to connect Sonoma Valley with Santa Rosa and western Sonoma County, truly connecting everyone –- families, tourists, cyclists –- and opening up the beauty of the Sonoma Valley for all to enjoy.”
Regional Parks expects to begin the feasibility study in spring or summer of 2014. Multiple community meetings, surveys and workshops will be conducted before the draft study will be prepared for additional public input before a final report is presented to the Board of Supervisors.
Regional Parks is currently at work on another trail, between Agua Caliente and Verano Road, that will connect with the city’s Sonoma Bike Path.