Neighbors

CCT Neighbors

There will be many benefits to property owners adjacent to the proposed Central Valley Rail Trail. Access to over 27 miles of open space for recreation and alternative commuting, maintenance of the corridor for fire safety, increased property value with reduced liability for trespassers – these are just a few of the amenities that will result when the rail corridor is converted into a trail.

Studies Show Positive Impact

The national Rails to Trails Conservancy and the National Association of Realtors have studied the impact of trail access on potential home buyers and found this amenity to be a top priority. In fact, the NAR’s study showed that, next to highway access, walking/jogging/bike trails were the second most important amenity for home buyers.  Multiple trail studies have consistently found that the majority of people owning homes along a trail believe that the presence of a trail near their home will make it easier to sell.   Across the country, landowners located near rail-trails are realizing the increased value of their property because people are willing to pay more to have a multi-use trail in their neighborhood.  Newspaper real estate sections often display advertisements touting a home’s proximity to local trails and lots in new housing developments located adjacent to a trail sell faster and for higher amounts than those not adjacent.

Overgrown Rail or Maintained Trail?

A completed rail-trail is quite different from an abandoned railroad corridor.  What exists now, other than  stored railcars,  is a littered, overgrown, unmanaged corridor often used by motorized vehicles, vagrants and underage consumers of alcohol and drugs.  A rail-trail can be managed and maintained with permitted uses. Just as rules of the road exist for drivers, rules of the trail would exist for trail users.  Property owners along the corridor have joined in to support CVRTF because they want the corridor to be maintained for fire safety and crime prevention. It is also important to them that the corridor is accessible only to non-motorized vehicles.

Decrease Crime

Plans call for the proposed trail to be patrolled, both by County Park officers and volunteer bike and equestrian groups.   Studies commissioned by the Rails to Trails Conservancy show that crime can decrease when an abandoned rail corridor is converted to a trail.  Criminals do not wish to operate in a patrolled, open area traveled by local residents. Since the communities along the proposed trail are mostly rural, users will primarily be friends and neighbors who live and/or work locally.

Reduce Liability

When the trail is built, property owners adjacent to the rail corridor will have less liability for injuries sustained by users of the corridor than they would under present conditions.  California’s Recreational Use Statute (Civil Code Section 846) provides private landowners with immunity from liability for injuries sustained by persons using the property for recreational purposes.  This protection extends not only to landowners but also to others with an interest in the land, such as holders of leasehold estates.  Local ranchers and farmers would be protected even if they permitted a portion of their land to be used for recreation.

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Make It Happen!The conversion of the Central California Traction Corridor into a rail-trail will benefit real estate sales and the community as a whole.  Landowners will enjoy increased protections and local residents will have a safe route for biking, hiking and horseback riding. In order to make this trail a reality, the Central Valley Rails to Trails Foundation will need the continued support of local public officials, community leaders, local residents and business owners.  Please contact your elected representatives and tell them that you would like UP to sell the rail corridor rather than using it for rail car storage.

Please lend your endorsement and help CVRTF turn the Central California Traction Company rail corridor into a community asset.

E-mail: trailfest@cvrtf.org