As I studied the map for alternate routes to North San Jose, I found a few options and tried them all. They required at least an extra mile of riding, or an extra 10 minutes daily. It starts to add up.
I was well aware of the Guadalupe River recreation path, which I used right away. Its big benefit is that you ride under Hwy 101 without cars. I took it quite a bit, but not always.
At the time I started riding there, the path was still unpaved. That’s not an issue in the summer, but in the winter the road could be muddy and the 101 underpass flooded, and still floods even after paving.
There’s a frontage road around the north runway at San Jose International Airport, Ewert Road. I took that from De La Cruz about a half-mile before the Hwy 101 overpass. It was fine, with little traffic. At the time the long-term parking lot was located near De La Cruz, so there was an occasional bus.
I found alternate routes, such as W. Plumeria Dr., but there is no connection between Orchard Parkway and the river path. There’s private property between them. Sadly, the city of San Jose never anticipated a need for connector paths to the water department maintenance road that lines Guadalupe River. Its original purpose was strictly for water department trucks.
I tried Lafayette Street, but while it crosses Hwy 101 with no ramps to deal with, I had to take busy Montague Expressway the rest of the way. Lafayette has a lot of traffic as well. Lafayette to Aldo to Montague was tried, but I was not crazy about Aldo. It’s an industrial area with many driveways and parked vehicles.
One time I tried taking Montague all the way home. The Hwy 101 overpass is wide, but there’s a two-lane exit ramp to Hwy 101 that ruined the route. Plus, there’s a lot of traffic on Montague moving at high speed.
I even tried Zanker Road/Brokaw Road, then around the airport on Ewert. Too much traffic on Brokaw, at times, with people in a hurry to catch a plane.
Nearly four years into the commute I found a better route, about two miles longer, but it had a lot going for it. Up next, the best route.