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The Del Rio Trail Project FAQs

What is the Del Rio Trail Project and where is it located?
The proposed 4.5-mile Del Rio Trail Project consists of a Class I bicycle path together with an adjacent pedestrian walking trail. The Del Rio Trail is proposed to be located in the rail corridor of the former Sacramento Southern Railroad’s Walnut Grove Branch Line. This now abandoned rail line runs south through the Land Park, South Land Park, Freeport Manor, Z’Berg, Pocket and Meadowview neighborhoods between Interstate 5 and Freeport Boulevard.

How did the Del Rio Trail Project evolve?
The trail project evolved through a community-driven effort to plan for the future development of the rail corridor in 2014.  City staff worked with the South Land Park Neighborhood Association to provide a neighborhood survey and to collect comments in 2015. From there, the City submitted an Active Transportation Program (ATP) grant application and was successful in obtaining federal funding for the preliminary engineering, environmental clearance and final design phase. The preliminary engineering and environmental clearance phase began in January 2017.

What are the benefits of the Del Rio Trail Project?
The inner-city trail will allow south Sacramento residents, cyclists, pedestrians, runners and dog walkers to travel for miles to access William Land Park, the Sacramento Zoo, schools, stores, restaurants, retail centers, jobs and community parks. It will create a safe option to cross busy streets like Sutterville and Fruitridge Road. It will also provide a direct link to other trails within the City of Sacramento’s Bicycle Master Plan. This project, along with other projects the City is advancing, is part of the City’s goal to provide more opportunities for Sacramentans to be active and healthy while also protecting our environment.

What is the current project phase and timeline for completion?
Currently, the City of Sacramento Department of Public Works has initiated the project planning phase, which includes project approval and environmental clearance. This first phase is anticipated to be completed by fall 2018 and will be immediately followed by the final design phase, anticipated to begin in winter 2018. After that, the city will begin the construction phase, pending funding availability.

Del Rio Trail Timeline

What is the project purpose?
The purpose of the Del Rio Trail Project is to:

  • Advance and complete the planned connection between the Sacramento River Parkway and the Freeport Shores Bikeway in accordance with the City of Sacramento Bikeway Master Plan;
  • Connect logical origins and destinations proximate to the trail alignment by improving pedestrian and bicycle access throughout the South Land Park, Freeport Manor, Z’berg, Land Park, Meadowview and Pocket communities; and
  • Provide an American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant, active transportation connection to adjacent communities throughout the south Sacramento area for pedestrians to access schools, retail, jobs and recreational amenities.

Why is this project needed?
The Del Rio Trail Project is needed because the South Land Park, Pocket and adjacent communities in South Sacramento currently have limited ADA-compliant, active modes of transportation to schools, retail, jobs and recreational amenities thereby increasing automotive dependency and Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT), while reducing opportunities for those who do not drive or do not have access to a car including children, the elderly, the disadvantaged and persons with disabilities.

What is the total project budget and how much is in hand?
The entire project estimate is $15 million dollars. There is $2.2 million in funding for the planning, environmental clearance and design phase. 

Who is paying for the project?
The project secured $2.2 million through a combination of federal funds awarded through a Sacramento regional grant program and matching local transportation funds. Subsequent construction phases are anticipated to be similarly funded through regional ATP grant funds.

If the Del Rio Trail project is not constructed, can the funds be used for other City of Sacramento projects or initiatives like homelessness, roads, school programs, etc.?
No. The Del Rio Trail project is using State Active Transportation Funds which can only be used for active transportation projects within California. If we do not use these funds for the Del Rio Trail, these funds will be released for another active transportation project. In short, if we do not move forward with the Del Rio Trail project, you will see another city or county receive a new bike trail, walking path or other active transportation amenity. 

Who owns the right of way?
The existing rail corridor has multiple right-of-way ownerships including the City of Sacramento, Regional Transit and California State Parks.

Who will maintain the trail?
Regional Transit currently maintains the rail corridor. After the City purchases the property, the trail will be maintained by the City of Sacramento Department of Public Works.

How does this project tie in with Sacramento River Bike Trail?
The Del Rio Trail corridor is east of Interstate 5 and provides a north-south connector while the Sacramento River Parkway serves the west side of Interstate 5. The Del Rio Trail will tie into the Sacramento River Parkway at the north terminus near Sutterville Road. At the south terminus, the Del Rio Trail will connect to the Sacramento River Parkway via the Freeport Shores Bike Trail.

Which route will the trail take to connect to the Sacramento River Parkway at the north end?
For the project segment north of Sutterville Road, two alignments are currently being assessed for providing connectivity to the Sacramento River Parkway: west along Sutterville Road and northwest along the existing railroad tracks. Should both alignments prove to be feasible, the alignment that is constructed initially will depend on the amount of funding available.

Will the project include consideration of a rail with trail alternative?
For the segment of the trail north of Sutterville Road, the trail alignment that uses the existing rail corridor to connect to the Sacramento River Parkway will be designed to co-exist with the existing tracks. This segment was environmentally cleared for an extension of the Old Sacramento Excursion Train. Segments of the project south of Sutterville Road will consider a Class 1 Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail consistent with the Active Transportation Funding of this project, which expressly provides for bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

What are the proposed access point locations?
Anticipated primary access points include the major crossing locations at Sutterville Road, Fruitridge Road, 35th Avenue, Florin Road and Pocket Road. Secondary access points include South Land Park Drive, Normandy/Del Rio Road, Park Village Street, Charlie Jensen Park at 14th Street, Palomar Circle and Z’Berg Park. Opportunities for additional access points will be explored as the project planning progresses.

Will there be an opportunity for private secondary access points from residents’ backyards or cul-de-sacs?
After the project is constructed, property owners along the trail would be able to access the trail via backyard gates at their option. Additional, secondary access points to the trail from the neighborhoods are still being explored.

Will I be able to use the rail corridor to continue to access my property with a vehicle, boat or motor home after the project is constructed?
Any legal access rights that currently exist will be maintained upon receipt of appropriate documentation. Unauthorized access will not be permitted as this is a Class I bicycle and pedestrian facility and there is not enough room in the corridor to provide to provide safe, separated vehicular access. Were such access possible, private vehicular access on City owned trail property would present a liability to both the owner and the City that would have to be offset by private property owners indemnifying the City and including the access area in their homeowners insurance policy.

Will encroachments on the trail property be maintained after the bike path is installed?
Any encroachments supported by legal documentation will be maintained by the project. Unauthorized encroachments represent a liability to both the City and the property owner. As a result, these encroachments will either need to be removed or will be subject to a revocable encroachment permit in which the owner will need to indemnify the City and include the property in their homeowners insurance policy.

What enhancements will be included in the Del Rio Trail Project and, if so, where will they be located?
Anticipated sources for construction funding (Active Transportation Program grants) allow for five percent of the construction budget to be used for decorative landscaping, lights, street furniture, pavers and stamped concrete. Enhancements outside these categories will need to be explored as separate projects with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department and will likely need funding from private donations and/or sponsorships.

Regarding enhancement locations, there are several areas (marked with an E on the preliminary layouts) that designate potential locations for recreational enhancement opportunities. Entry-way enhancements would occur at the primary/secondary access points (denoted with a P and S on the preliminary layouts). Landscaping and site furnishings can be provided anywhere along the trail. Specific locations for site furnishings and landscaping will be identified during the final design phase.

How will the trail cross the various streets along the proposed corridor? 
Along its 4.5 mile length, the trail will cross Sutterville Road, South Land Park Drive, Del Rio Road, Fruitridge Road, 35th Avenue 43rd Avenue, Florin Road and Pocket Road. Each of these crossings are being individually analyzed, taking into consideration the type of roadway, traffic volumes, posted speed, accident history and roadway geometry, in order to determine the most appropriate crossing facility to apply at each street.

Why are the walking and cycling paths separated and not joined?
The goal is to provide separation between cyclists and walkers if they want it. Otherwise, pedestrians can still walk on the paved path.

Will the trail configuration meander or be straight?
The project team will develop the trail alignment, taking into consideration public input as well as physical and environmental constraints. The team anticipates the trail will be a combination of both straight and meandering sections.

Will the trail be lit?
Lighting will be provided at locations where the trail crosses a road/street. For the trail itself, the City’s policy is not to provide lighting along bicycle and pedestrian trails.

How will safety along the trail be addressed?
The project team is working with the Sacramento Police Department to conduct an evaluation of the trail alignment and provide recommendations for features that will enhance safety along the trail. The elements may include maximizing access points and destinations, lighting at street crossings, video surveillance and vegetation management. Subsequent strategies will evolve as needed to address specific issues.

How will plants be selected along the trail?
Plants and landscaping will be as environmentally responsible as possible. Our approach is to enhance landscaping and choose adaptive, drought-friendly, low maintenance plant materials that are native to the environment.

Will there be a dog park included in the project?
Dog parks are an enhancement feature that would not be eligible for funding under the Active Transportation Program grant. The establishment of formal dog parks along the trail will need to be explored with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department and implemented as complementary, stand-alone projects.

Will there be a leash law on the trail?
The City of Sacramento has a city-wide leash law as part of their public policy and this policy would apply along the Del Rio Trail.

Are any community gardens planned along the trail?
The community is coordinating with Sacramento Sustainability Program Manager Jennifer Venema regarding a potential community garden at the City-owned lot on Palomar Circle.

Is public art along the trail a consideration?
Yes. Public art is something the City will consider and encourage, but it is not a funded feature under the federal ATP grant funds. Public art would likely need funding from private donations and/or sponsorships.

When will the City decide which enhancements will be included in the five percent budget used for decorative landscaping, lights, street furniture, pavers and stamped concrete?
The City will determine trail enhancements based on a comprehensive review of public and stakeholder comments received through the public outreach process. This is anticipated to occur during the final design phase.

Will the existing railroad tracks be left in place?
Where the existing tracks can be utilized for aesthetic purposes consistent with the theme of the corridor, the tracks will remain. However, the tracks will not be left in place for purposes of supporting rail traffic.

Where can the public obtain a copy of the environmental study?
Once the environmental study is drafted, it will be circulated for public review and made available on the City of Sacramento Del Rio Project website and at public locations such as libraries. The information about the process will also be sent to our mailing list and through the electronic meeting database and the City’s electronic and social media channels.

What else needs to be done before the project begins construction?
Prior to construction, the project needs to complete the project approval/environmental clearance phase as well as the design phase. These phases are anticipated to be completed by mid-2019.

Will construction start prior to all the funding being in place?
The project is anticipated to be constructed in phases. Each phase will have “logical termini” meaning that as each phase of the project is complete, there will be a logical destination so that no phase of the project is developed without a purpose.

How will the public be affected by the Del Rio Trail construction?
The environmental document will consider the impacts of construction activities on adjacent residents and provide appropriate mitigation measures. These measures will be incorporated into the project plans and specifications for the construction contractor to follow. The public will have an opportunity to review the environmental document during the public circulation period.

The project is moving too fast and it seems like everything has already been decided. Is that true?
While the project development process must continue to move forward in order to meet the grant funding requirements, the project is still only in the preliminary engineering and environmental evaluation stage, where the scope and details of the project continue to evolve. This phase will last about one year and final design will take another year. During both the preliminary engineering and final design phases, feedback will continue to be welcome and addressed. 

How will the public be updated about the project?
Project updates and community meeting announcements will be provided through a variety of channels such as direct mail newsletters, the City’s CityExpress blog, electronic and social media communications, Councilmember Schenirer and Hansen’s offices, local neighborhood and business association e-blasts, Nextdoor posts, customized project e-blasts and other outlets.

How can the public get involved, provide feedback and ask questions?
Visit the project website at cityofsacramento.org/DelRioTrail or call (916) 491-3161.

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