Highway 17 Wildlife &
Ridge Trail Crossings
Connectivity Study | Highway Crossings
Santa Clara County, CA
Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District
Thousands of acres of open space habitat have been permanently protected by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (Midpen) and other agencies and organizations in the Santa Cruz Mountains on either side of Highway 17. These lands comprise a critical habitat corridor for wildlife movement and provide many miles of public recreational trails, including the regional Bay Area Ridge Trail and the national Juan Bautista de Anza Historic Trail. Highway 17 presents a significant barrier to both wildlife and trail connectivity. Nine mountain lions have been killed by vehicles in the area over the past nine years, and in the past sixteen years 82 other wildlife species were killed by vehicle collisions, including 51 deer. Midpen is leading a project to create safe crossing(s) of Highway 17 for wildlife and people south of Los Gatos.
Midpen chose TrailPeople to lead a team of engineers and environmental scientists to study and design the best crossing(s) of this busy highway, working with local stakeholder agencies, the public, and Caltrans District 4 to evaluate alternative locations and configurations and develop plans for the preferred wildlife and trail crossings.