It was discouraging to read that the Vine Trail extension beyond Yountville is experiencing setbacks due to easement and liability challenges and at risk of losing grant money to complete the project.
One would think having an off-road path for bikers and pedestrians would offer a much safer alternative to the shoulders of Highway 29 and the Silverado Trail. As a daily commuter on both highways, I often shudder when I see cars veer over to the shoulders as drivers get distracted by scenery, winery turnoffs, texting and perhaps one wine tasting beyond their driving capacity, putting cyclists at risk.
The Vine Trail will also serve as an alternate commuter path for locals and reduce The number of motor vehicles on the already congested throughways. Sounds like the option to have the county invest in an add-on insurance policy to cover the liability concerns would pay off in spades to not only avoid injuries and even deaths (and lawsuits) from the unsafe alternative of cycling on highway shoulder paths as well as reduce traffic for local commuters.
On behalf of the local community and our valley visitors, please don’t let the grants expire to complete this project. Be smart - make the investments now to obviate the negative longer term.