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Niles Canyon Road

Old 06-03-21, 10:35 AM
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shrimp123
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Niles Canyon Road

there is construction ongoing on Niles Canyon Road (hwy 84). I spoke to one of the engineers yesterday and he said they were adding a bike lane/shoulder full length.
anyone have more details/info on this?
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Old 06-03-21, 11:04 AM
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one could hope... been hearing that for a long time.

This story (about a trail) was posted in late April.. but does not mention anything has been approved. Maybe check Alameda county page

https://www.pleasantonweekly.com/new...mpaign=express

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Old 06-03-21, 11:13 AM
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Niles Canyon Safety Improvements Project (Medium-Term Improvements)

The Niles Canyon Safety Improvements Project proposes to implement safety improvements at spot locations along the Route 84 Corridor between SR-238 (Mission Boulevard) and I-680. These safety improvements include:
Signalization at SR-84 and Main Street
Signalization at Pleasanton-Sunol Road
Installation and removal of traffic signs
Improvements at low speed curve area
Remove fixed objects including trees and utility poles
K-rail replacement
Install rockfall protection system
Shoulder widening near Sims Park/Quarry Road, Silver Springs, and Paloma Way
Widening and barrier rail replacements on Alameda Creek Bridge and Overhead
Install and replace metal beam guard railing with Midwest Guardrail System
Install active warning systems for bicyclists
Install lighting at spot locations
Install speed feedback signs throughout the corridor
Install dynamic warning system near Silver Springs undercrossing and Palomares Road
Relocate flashing beacons near the Palomares undercrossing
Replace Stonybrook concrete box culvert with a clear span bridge
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Old 06-03-21, 04:32 PM
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Work on the road is Caltrans, not Alameda County, because it's a state highway. According to the article, the trial is being done by a consortium of the PUC, Alameda County and East Bay Regional Park District and will be completely separate from the road. Both projects have been talked about before.

Improvements to Hwy 84 (Niles Canyon Road) has proceeded in fits and starts for at close to 20 years, maybe more. They got as far as cutting down a bunch of trees at the Fremont end six or seven years ago, which caused a local uproar and brought everything to a screeching halt.

I've seen stuff about the proposed trail before as well.

A big problem trying to do anything in Niles Canyon is that it is a fairly narrow canyon with a surprising amount of stuff that has to be taken into account. The aqueduct (Hetch-Hetchy) mentioned in the article is one - the City and County of San Francisco might get a tad upset if something happened that compromised that source of water. The creek itself is another (it only drains the entire Livermore-Amador Valley plus whatever comes from Calaveras Reservoir). Then there are, not one, but at two railroads. There is the ACE commuter line that is in current active use. I believe the weekend restored train trips between Sunol and Niles use this track as well, but I'm not positive about that.. Then there is another old right of way that has historical significance (when they first extended the transcontinental railroad from Sacto to the Bay Are, this is where it was run) and is therefore covered by some statute or other. And of course, there are the usual fish, wildlife and vegetation environmental concerns that, by law, have to be factored in. In some parts of the canyon, there really is precious little space to have all that stuff while complying with the myriad laws and regulations (including but not limited to the road-design standards that Caltrans adheres to). I am mildly surprised, but pleased, that it appears that Caltrans has finally been able to resolve the issues such that there can at least be some shoulder on the whole length of Niles Canyon.

Based on past history, though, I'll believe it when I see it. That goes for both the road shoulders and the separate path.
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Old 06-04-21, 04:10 PM
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Having discussed the trail with EBRPD people at a "roll and stroll" event in Niles a few years back, it seems feasible to me. Costly, but feasible. Portions aren't very costly, but getting only portions done in that canyon is pretty useless. I'm not sure it is feasible to get the funding any time soon.

It seems unlikely that it will happen before I die, but who knows, maybe I'll still be cycling when I hit 100 and the trail will be done.

Except for a couple of "roll and stroll" events when the canyon was closed to motor vehicles, I've only ridden Niles Canyon once, and that only from Palomares to Sunol. It scared the snot out of me. It is a really enjoyable road when there are zero cars on it. A trail would be great. But I'm willing to bet a lot of money it won't happen in the next 20 years.
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Old 06-04-21, 06:01 PM
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I did the first roll and stroll many years ago.. I'd rather be on the highway and take my chances with cars.
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Old 06-04-21, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by blt View Post
Having discussed the trail with EBRPD people at a "roll and stroll" event in Niles a few years back, it seems feasible to me. Costly, but feasible. Portions aren't very costly, but getting only portions done in that canyon is pretty useless. I'm not sure it is feasible to get the funding any time soon.

It seems unlikely that it will happen before I die, but who knows, maybe I'll still be cycling when I hit 100 and the trail will be done.

Except for a couple of "roll and stroll" events when the canyon was closed to motor vehicles
, I've only ridden Niles Canyon once, and that only from Palomares to Sunol. It scared the snot out of me. It is a really enjoyable road when there are zero cars on it. A trail would be great. But I'm willing to bet a lot of money it won't happen in the next 20 years.
The ride from Fremont/Niles District to Palomares isn't bad. I've done Sunol to Palomares a number of times, although not in the past five or so years. It's okay - not great but okay - on a weekend morning, the earlier the better. I would never - repeat, never - ride Sunol to Palomares on a weekday, especially at commute time. Way too much traffic on a road that is too narrow for too much of the distance. I don't know about weekend afternoons.

I, too, have little confidence that the proposed trail will happen in time for me to be able to use it. But if work is actually happening to widen the shoulders on the road - I'd like that. That project may be getting done in tranches, though. That was the plan the last time Caltrans almost started a major overhaul of that road. If so, you can count on it being a good ten years, maybe more, before it is all done. I hope I'm wrong aboiut.
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Old 06-04-21, 11:39 PM
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i ride Mission -> Niles -> Palomares regularly. The best time is mornings (no traffic) till around 2pm. After that it gets a little busy and there is one section that has no shoulder.
However, as folks have observed, it is watch a lot both in front for debris and back for cars (i rely a bit on Garmin Varia).

rarely i ride Mission -> Sunol.... mainly due to the two long curvy sections with no shoulders (the grove and around the bridges).

from Sunol -> Mission. This is my biggest concern. Speeds are high - for both cars and cyclist. and there is not enough reaction time (at least for me) to watch in front and then look back to react for debris!


The trail : BAH. they have promised this every stroll/walk/ride meeting. yeah sure.
Bike lane/Shoulder : i think they are sincere here. The engineer showed me the plans. There is shoulder widening..... HOWEVER, he did point out 2 concerns. (1) the ground is soft. the first time a truck rolls to the shoulder, he said there will be road damage that cyclists should watch out for. (2) debris - since its state highway, no particular city will clean/sweep it. He is concerned that tree debris, car garbage and glass/punk debris will be a big limitation.
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Old 06-06-21, 07:19 PM
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Sunol to Palomares is ok, it's only sketchy because of the speeds. Otherwise it's not much different than a number of other country roads with little to no shoulder. The scariest part are the two bridges, zero shoulder and not the best sight distance. Those two areas I try to build up speed and get across them as fast as possible. I've only ridden there on weekends, usually before noon, and the traffic is generally light at that time. I don't see how it's possible to add a shoulder to much of that road, again especially across the bridges.
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Old 08-03-21, 09:37 PM
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Anybody have an update on the Niles Canyon construction? In particular the Sunol-Palomares part? It wasn’t fun last time I was there but that was months ago…
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Old 08-03-21, 09:45 PM
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Funny that I replied to this thread back in June, then forgot about it. I did end up riding through there a few weeks ago, and it was sketchy AF!!! Crazy scary, K-rails right up to the lane line in both directions, making if physically impossible to fit 2 cars and a bike passing all at once. I had actual thoughts of getting hit. By the time I got across the second bridge and the pavement opened up again, I took several minutes to collect my wits. I would have NEVER ridden through there had I known the full condition of the road. AFAIK, the construction is still ongoing, I saw several concrete structures being built, with initial form work and exposed rebar. Based on everything I saw, and knowing it's a Caltrans project, I would suspect this work will continue well into 2022.
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Old 08-03-21, 11:20 PM
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rode up from mission->Palomares yesterday : was OK, except just before the turn. Too much bendy unlaned road.

rode down palomares->mission today : DO NOT take that. please.... as cthenn commented, the K-rails are deep into road, there is debris and cars are bound to wizzz past. I was lucky that a lady in a Ford-F250 almost escorted me to the end. At the light she gave me a grin and she could see how thankful i was.
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Old 02-04-22, 11:25 AM
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Anyone know what the current status is of Niles Canyon? Haven't been over there in a while but the last time I thought I was going to die. K-rails along the edge of the road giving me zero room to get over. Hated it. Hoping they have finished by now? I read they were replacing a bridge but that was back in December. Looking to find out current conditions, I'd be riding west bound. Thanks
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Old 02-04-22, 09:02 PM
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construction is still on-going.

Palomares -> mission : OK. be careful of road being little rough (rode it monday)
mission -> Palomares : almost ok. rough road and some gravel debris (rode it today)

sunol -> Palomares : same as before. if you are comfy with sharing road and extra careful on bridge, doable, but wont recommend
Palomares -> Sunol : AVOID during traffic hours.
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Old 02-05-22, 01:14 PM
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be doing it tomorrow at around 9am... I'll update later. (sunol to palomares)

Should be a pack of 5.. which is the only time I'm game.
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Old 02-06-22, 03:49 PM
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still construction on the second bridge and near palomares. Buddies where moving so in and out quickly, but left me knackered for the climb.
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Old 02-08-22, 11:04 AM
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OK, will just continue to wait for a while longer. thanks for the updates!
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Old 02-27-22, 11:34 PM
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I rarely use that road, and only by car.
I see cyclists comiing and going, as I take Mission to my docś office.
I do recall it is scenic.
I cannot imagine wanting to ride by bike on that road.

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