Island City Embraces its New Trail

Susie Hufstader &nbsp&nbsp The newly opened portion of the Cross Alameda Trail got some good use Saturday on both the bike trail and walking path.

Island City Embraces its New Trail

On March 1, the city celebrated the opening of the Cross Alameda Trail between Main Street and Constitution Way. This new addition to the trail connects Jean Sweeney Park with Atlantic Avenue and Ralph Appezzato Memorial Parkway (RAMP). It utilizes a long-disused corridor that once carried Alameda Belt Line trains along Atlantic Avenue (today’s RAMP) to Alameda Naval Air Station.  According to the city this addition has created “1.5 continuous miles of separated walking and bicycling trails.”

Construction on this part of the trail began in February 2019 as part of a 4-mile-long bicycling and pedestrian corridor across the Main Island, some of it still on the drawing boards. The city has plans to open the trail’s “western segment,” as part of the Site A development at Alameda Point. Once opened, the trail will seamlessly connect bicyclists and pedestrians from Jean Sweeney Park to the proposed Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal.

“The new facilities will create safe, protected places for people to walk and bike, mostly where none previously existed, allowing residents, students and visitors to access the many adjacent apartment complexes, schools and businesses, as well as the College of Alameda and the Alameda Boys & Girls Club,” the city stated in the release that announced the event. 

Final touches to this part of the trail will include a landscaped plaza with seating and bicycle racks and lockers at the intersection of Webster Street and RAMP intersection. The city also plans to install a mid-block crossing with a flashing beacon on Atlantic Avenue between Webster and Constitution Way to help pedestrians — especially the seniors living at Independence Plaza — better access both the trail and the shops along Webster Street. 
Funding for the trail project comes from Alameda County’s tax measures B and BB, as well from a grant from the federal government.

Activists have envisioned the Cross Alameda Trail for almost 30 years. A story next week will examine the trail’s history and the struggle to see it finally completed from Seaplane Lagoon at Alameda Point to the Fruitvale Bridge.  

Dennis Evanosky    Encinal High School’s “Marching Jets” band was among the first on the trail that now stretches from Jean Sweeney Park to Main Street.