Yuba City Plans a New Trail to Connect Communities
City receives a grant to begin study and prep work for a new trail

Sutter Commuter Bikeway

June 29, 2020: Yuba City is making moves to keep its residents walking and pedaling. This month the city received a planning grant from Caltrans to create a feasibility study for an abandoned Union Pacific Railroad. The stretch of rail is about 2.8 miles long and 80 feet across and would essentially extend the existing Sutter Bike Path all through Yuba City and right up to the Feather River across from Marysville.

This study will result in walking audits, community engagement efforts, a benefit-cost analysis for possible alternatives, early design plans, and recommendations for how to fund the construction. All of this is needed before the city breaks ground on the trail that is already in Yuba City’s Bicycle Master Plan and the region’s Sustainable Communities Strategy for 2035.

Trails are an integral part of transportation and mobility options. This trail alone will be able to connect the community of Sutter to Yuba City while passing by a Walmart, which is a critical employer in the area. Enabling alternative options for commutes and adding green space for people to enjoy result in healthier communities by way of encouraging both trips that emit less greenhouse gas emissions, people to be active – which can help improve mental and physical health, and supporting economic development.

Mayor of Yuba City Shon Harris said “this trail has the potential to bring a lot of positive change to Yuba City and our surrounding neighbors. A trail like this will not only bring new ways to get around within the community, but it will also connect us to the greater region as a draw for people to explore and experience the communities of Yuba City and Marysville. And the best part is that this work is just the beginning of enhancing our city – we hope to eventually see the direct connection to the City of Marysville hopefully via the historic Union Pacific Railroad trestle and more great work from both cities and counties that will build on our natural resources and amenities to provide a great place for our residents to live, work, and play.”  

Collaboration is not new to the cities of Yuba City and Marysville and their respective counties. The Feather River runs down Yuba City/Sutter County and Marysville/Yuba County, but their communities and economies are intrinsically connected and projects on either side of the river are a benefit to all. This project has cross-agency and jurisdictional support as it is also connected to the Yuba Water Agency, which has its own trails initiatives and projects in the area. This inter-jurisdictional support and collaboration is a model for SACOG’s own work that will emerge through the Region Parks and Trails Plan currently underway.

Marysville Mayor Ricky Samayoa said, “our communities may be separated by a river put us in different cities and counties, but we are a united front as we ensure access to trails for our residents. We are committed to our regional air quality and economic development goals and understand that trails go beyond recreational amenities. Trails can give residents the ability to choose to walk or bike as their transportation mode and help promote active and healthy lifestyles. They can also become and help create destinations that support our local economies. From helping to reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions by creating a more active and healthy community, to spurring and supporting economic development, trails can change our communities for the better.”

The future of Yuba City and neighboring communities is bright as this trail project, economic development, and more efforts are underway. Working collaboratively with different partners, agencies, and the state brings unique opportunity and they are a model for the region. And residents can’t wait to pedal through these communities.