KTUA provided consultant services to the San Luis Obispo County Organization of Governments (SLOCOG) for trail planning, landscape architectural and environmental expertise in preparing a trails master plan through northern San Luis Obispo County along the Salinas River. The cities and communities along the river between Santa Margarita and Paso Robles approached SLOCOG about initiating and obtaining funding for the plan, which provides connections over approximately 35 miles, much of it within the nationally designated historic Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail corridor.
The master plan defines both feasible short-term and desirable long-term alignments. Plan tasks included assessing existing conditions, analyzing opportunities and constraints, developing design guidelines for several trail surface types, trail alignment alternatives, an implementation plan and extensive community input, including coordination with a steering committee with representatives from communities along the Salinas River, County of San Luis Obispo Parks, Caltrans and the National Parks Service. Outreach included community workshops, a project website and social media accounts, as well as a web-based survey to engage stakeholders and the interested public in the identification and refinement of future trail options. Workshops focused on the identification of objectives, issues and concerns, ideas for future trail routing, a review of opportunities and constraints, alternatives analysis and selection, and presenting a draft master plan.
The plan serves as a funding resource and as an implementation guide whose design guidelines can be used by the communities along the river to construct individual segments over time and ensure that these pieces will ultimately be part of a coherent trail system that supports regional economic vitality as both a recreation and transportation enhancement.