A bridge for rich and poor

New bridge on Three Creeks Trail in San Jose.

There’s a chasm between San Jose’s rich and poor, but now they’re united by a new bridge over Los Gatos Creek.

I’m talking about the bridge for Three Creeks Trail, which replaces an ancient railroad trestle spanning Los Gatos Creek. The other two creeks are Guadalupe (River) and Coyote Creek.

The bridge sat in storage for seven years while a citizens group battled to preserve the Union Pacific bridge, whose timbers were soaked in creosote and other potentially dangerous chemicals.

Old trestle in 2013.

As much as I enjoy trains and appreciate their utility, that trestle was downright ugly. We’re talking about a minor spur line. If this were something with more historical importance, I would have hoped for its preservation.

The piers residing in the creek accumulated debris, another reason for removal. It also caught fire on several occasions. Homeless encampments line the creek and nearby trails.

What we have now is a stylish bridge that enhances the trail and commemorates the trestle with a descriptive placard. See it soon before the Vandals attack. (Where are the Huns and Goths when we need them?)

A placard gives the area’s history.

While the bridge has a lot going for it, I can’t say as much for Los Gatos Creek Trail leading to downtown San Jose. It winds through a ragtag industrial area where I passed numerous encampments. And garbage. Lots of garbage.

Heading southwest Three Creeks Trail makes a beeline through portions of Willow Glen, an upscale neighborhood where Teslas can be found. The trail only goes for a mile before dead-ending at Falcon Place.

One of these days it could be extended to Guadalupe River and its trail, but there’s a lot of work to be done.

Lonus Street and the environs where the new bridge is located are about as transient-ory as there is in San Jose, so I would never encourage the trail’s use going north.

One of these days, when we figure out a way to end homelessness and clean up the garbage (don’t hold your breath), these trails will offer a great way to get around San Jose’s downtown.

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