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Napa Valley Vine Trail gap

A bicyclist travels south on Soscol Avenue in Napa between Vallejo and Clinton streets in February 2015, near a gap three-fifths of a mile long in the Napa Valley Vine Trail.

Register file photo

Editor's Note: This story has been modified from its original form to make clear that Measure T tax money will not go directly to bike and foot paths. Instead,  the measure requires cities to devote a certain amount of money from other sources to such paths as a condition for receiving the road-related tax revenue.

A new stream of sales tax money for road repairs may also serve as the leverage for Napa to add to its web of bicycle and pedestrian paths as well.

New stretches of the Napa Valley Vine Trail and other pathways are among the bike-and-foot projects that may indirectly benefit from Measure T, the Napa County sales tax that takes effect July 1 and will help cities pay for road and street maintenance.

A spending strategy presented last week to the city’s Bicycle and Trails Advisory Commission would give funding priority to a variety of projects in the next four years – including a gap along Soscol Avenue in the Vine Trail, which is eventually planned to extend 47 miles from Calistoga to Vallejo.

Measure T would not directly channel cash to non-road projects, but requires cities to match 6.67 percent of their annual tax revenue shares with their own funds to use toward pathways that are fully separated from roads – including freestanding routes such as the Vine Trail, rather than bike lanes striped onto road shoulders.

Napa is expected to reserve $2.4 million in sales tax toward pedestrian corridors through 2022, city Transportation Planner Lorien Clark wrote in a memorandum to the bicycle commission.

The largest share of matching funds, $750,000, would arrive for the 2019-20 fiscal year and would be directed toward the Vine Trail project, which currently would run for 12 unbroken miles from Kennedy Park north to Yountville but currently has a 3/5-mile missing link west of Soscol Avenue from Vallejo Street south to Third Street. Cyclists currently must use striped shoulders on Soscol, a four-lane route kept continually crowded with cars by an abundance of chain stores and auto showrooms.

First-year Measure T funding also may include $258,000 of the $425,000 estimate for a pedestrian bridge at the Main Street Exchange, as well as $161,000 toward a $742,000 undercrossing below Highway 29.

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The Public Works department also pointed to three other projects that could receive sales tax funding through 2022:

- A reconstruction of the Napa River trail loop at Trancas Crossing Park

- An extension of the Stanly Lane trail

- A new trail along Salvador Creek, from Byway East to Jefferson Street.

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City of Napa/Town of Yountville Reporter

Howard Yune covers the city of Napa and the town of Yountville. He has been a reporter and photographer for the Register since 2011, and previously wrote for the Marysville Appeal-Democrat, Anaheim Bulletin and Coos Bay (Oregon) World.