filed under: trail inventory & capacity


San Jose Trail Count Shows Trail Use Continues to Rise

From San Jose Department of Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services

The San Jose trail count provides data to support further development of the integrated trail network.

San Jose has conducted its 5th annual Trail Count for 2011. The count and survey of trail users was initiated in 2007 to show the Administration that special event closures in the downtown area had a big impact on usage and enjoyment of the City’s trails.

Since that first count, San Jose has initiated a trail closure policy that preserves access to the greatest extent possible and has increased awareness about the value of trails for both recreation and commuting. The regularly counting process also documents that trail usage has increased year after year – which helps to reinforce that trail development is a good investment.

This year’s count documents a 5.7% in increase in trail use along the Guadalupe River Trail at a station that has been in use since the first year. Trail Count has also made San Jose more competitive for grant funding, helped improve the planning of future trails, and has supported inclusion of trails in the City’s General Plan update as a transportation element.

The survey reveals that over 50% of trail users are commuting to and from Silicon Valley industry. Most responders say that longer trails and gap closures could attract more visitors to the trails.

A majority of trail users report that trails feel safe, secure, and well maintained.

Primary data collection objectives of the count and survey were to:

  1. Ascertain daily usage volume.
  2. Determine trail user needs, demographics, and perceptions.
  3. Confirm that trails support both recreational and commute uses.
  4. Determine the share of daily commuters.

San Jose's Trail Network is the foundation for its Green Vision

San Jose's Trail Network is the foundation for its Green Vision

The trail count is conducted annually with the support of community and corporate volunteers, City staff, and the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy, Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, and Five Wounds Trail neighborhood/Communiversity.

The count of trail users was done on Wednesdays, September 14 and 28, 2011. Counts at six stations occurred along three trail systems and a future trail alignment. Four stations were staffed for 12 hours (7:00 am to 7:00 pm) and the remaining stations during peak travel periods (7:00 to 9:00 am, and 4:00 to 7:00 pm).

Published September 2011

More Articles in this Category

ORV – Social & Management Issues

Off-road vehicles can have a substantial impact on the experience of other non-motorized visitors on trails that are shared or even on adjacent forest or park settings.

The influence of use-related, environmental, and managerial factors on soil loss from recreational trails

This research investigated the influence of several use-related, environmental, and managerial factors on soil loss on recreational trails and roads at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, a unit of the U.S. National Park Service.

All-Terrain Vehicle Sustainability Assessments

The sustainable management of ATV use is an expensive proposition requiring careful design, construction, and maintenance of ATV trails.

Assessing the Condition and Sustainability of the Trail System at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

This research assessed the condition and sustainability of the trail system at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, a National Park Service unit that partners with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in the management of this unit.