“Dear Elected Officials”


The following are extracts from the 129 emails sent to City Council, County Supervisors, and Water District Board Directors May 12 - 15, 2013, concerning the 90-some year old wooden trestle in Willow Glen across the Los Gatos Creek.


Thirty individuals sent the basic “form letter” of support, two folks wrote in opposition, and nearly a hundred wrote individual and personal comments.  Many of the comments are poetic and heartfelt.


They are all collected here.


~Larry Ames, 5/16/13





Dear Elected Officials,


Regarding the historic Willow Glen trestle:


I support the preservation of the Willow Glen trestle for its ties to Willow Glen’s past and its rustic charm. Based on the engineering report, restoring will be less expensive than replacing the structure and the savings can be used to obtain other park lands, perhaps in other neighborhoods. Please push for the reopening of this issue and vote in its favor.





Stephanie S.

Shirley W.

Michelle W.

Terrance S.

Jean R.

Judy P.

Julie S.

Tim K.

William L.

Larry R.

Robert V.

Albert B.

Nick J.

Paul O.

Grace L.

Alana D.

Natalie M.

Susan S.

Michael P.

Phyllis DuB.

Neal J.

Lynette C.

Katie K.

Scott T. M.

Kathi C.

Kevin O'C.

Jeffrey F.

Nicholas M.

Leslie J.

Susan R.







I support the preservation of the Willow Glen trestle for its ties to Willow Glen’s past and its rustic charm. Based on the engineering report, restoring will be less expensive than replacing the structure and the savings can be used to obtain other park lands, perhaps in other neighborhoods. Please push for the reopening of this issue and vote in its favor.


I personally viewed the trestle and was taken by the beauty of the area.  When you walk down towards the creek you feel like you've gone back in time. The sound of the creek washes out the sounds of the nearby freeway. Once you see the trestle and surrounding area preserving the trestle is a no brainer.


Dan C.




1. Please remove the current ugly bridge and put in a new safe structure.


2. It is a major fire hazard and if left in place will release toxic gas from the creosote soaked wood.  


3. Please protect the immediate neighbors from this environmental disaster waiting to happen and remove this bridge immediately.


Edie L.




Please save a little bit of our vanishing history!


Mary McC.




If you can save some of the history and culture of the area and do so in a safe and supportive manner, why not do it.


Kirk V.




Please do not destroy this beautiful trestle, a piece of city history.  So easy to save. It will be a jewel in the trail system.  Once gone, it will be gone forever.


Thank you.


Emma R




Please reconsider the demo!!!  We want to keep the Willow Glen Train Trestle!  I am a member of the original Willow Glen family the Kirks and it is a part of our history.


Elizabeth E.




If this trestle can be saved I think it is good for the area, too many older structures are torn down in favor of newer and cookie cutter buildings.  We need to keep items of historic value that add character to our great city. Not to mention the fact that restoring the trestle costs less than building a new one. The money saved could be used to open a dog park in Willow Glen which is sorely needed :)


Lorena O.




Please save the trestle it is a landmark worth saving and maintaining.


Ed B.




Once historical sites are gone, they are gone forever.


Stacy J.




Please don't rush to tear down this trestle.  If it carried trains all those years, it can certainly carry a walking and biking trail!  It's picturesque and historic, and it is even cost effective. 


Carol H.




Please allow the opportunity for outside organizations, community members, and volunteers to work on creative ways to restore this bridge.


Helen C.




Do not trash the train trestle in Willow Glen. It is more a part of history than much of the new stuff that has been shoved on to the people of San Jose and Willow Glen.

  It is sound mechanically and is more ecological than any new replacement could be. It fits the trail and deserves to be part of our heritage.

 It the history of Willow Glen and Southern Pacific Lines.

 Save it and have a renaming of the trestle to the Reed/Olivette trail trestle. It will be around a lot longer than either of you two.



Milton C.




I went out to take a look at it. Didn't go down to the creek to get a view from there. Didn't see anyone on the trail but several homeless (I think) about. I'd think repairing it to the level that it was okay for foot and bicycle would be less expensive than demolishing and rebuilding. That section of trail is not particularly well kept up. Is the rest of the trail as weedy and littered?


I hope the council goes and takes a look at it and reconsiders the vote to demolish. Surely there are better things to do with the money than replace a useful trestle with a new one when repair is so clearly less expensive.


Lawrence B.




I live near the trestle & love it.  I don't want it replaced by a generic bridge & I see no reason to do so, since it would cost less to restore it than to demolish it.


Please pay attention to your constituents' interests & do the right thing this time.


Maureen A.




The City needs all the landmarks it can get! This bridge is way more charming than anything you could build new.


Monica R.




Saving this piece of San Jose and Willow Glen history is an easy call.  It is responsible (both historically and fiscally) and far-sighted.  I've read Council opinions that base the need to demo on the availability of grant funding for this demo and replacement.  As a retired public agency construction manager, I'm familiar with the "different pots of money" philosophy and the overweening need to spend every cent of grant money available, but as a resident and a taxpayer, I expect public officials to spend each and every one of my tax dollars wisely.  In this case, the wise decision is to admit to undue haste and to reverse the demo decision.  Please save the trestle.


Susan P.




Environmental impacts of removing the trestle are unknown--method not yet determined. What risks to water quality, trout? Cost estimate far lower than other jurisdictions for same work. Who pays the difference? Depends on gaining permission to repurpose a state land purchasing grant and permission to extend and repurpose a water district grant that has expired. Who pays if they say no?


Jean D.




Please save the WG Trestle.  It will cost less, be less destructive to the environment and save a beautiful historic treasure.


Julia H.




Celebrate the unique nature and history of the Willow Glen community, and in a way that makes fiscal sense as well? It's a no brainer! Save the Trestle!~


Janis K.




Please do the right thing on this issue - the destruction of the wooden bridge would mean devastation in the creek area and would be a significant loss of Willow Glen history.


Peggy W.




PLEASE HELP! I love this city and hope you do, too. Replacing structures like the Willow Glen Trestle erases yet another tie to our past. And then there's the cost and environmental concerns. Why would you want to erase our past and jeopardize our future? I ask that you re-open this issue for discussion and save the Trestle!


Ingrid Q.




Don't destroy, renew!


Michele G.




      I can't believe a piece of history can so easily be destroyed. I hope the trestle will remain for years.

      We used to play near it when we were kids in the 60's.


Jay W.




As third generation San Josean, born in 1944 at old O'Conner Hospital on Race Street .... so many changes in the Valley since then.  We have a chance to save for our children and their children a glimpse of the beauty and wonder of how things used to be.  Let's do the right thing.  Please.


Kathleen C.




Because the current trestle bridge is basically structurally sound, and because the city is in serious financial straights, the plan to replace the bridge should not proceed. Repair the current bridge so that it can be linked up with the 3 Creeks Trail as soon as possible.


Carol L.




Let's preserve some history, save some money and cap the Three Creeks Trail!


Elisabeth H.




The trestle is a part of the history of San Jose. I urge you to consider all the valid information before you. I have and after careful consideration believe the trestle should be preserved.


Jeanne P.




Please reconsider the demolition of this historic link to our past. My family and I hike the trails and enjoy exploring history in our community. Once these thing are gone they can never be recreated. - Thank You


Timothy G.




San Jose should be proud of the history of the bridge and work to save it. The bridge is sound and preserves some of the history of that particular trail and of the City. It is worth the effort.


Deborah A.




Despite the current state for political and financial affairs in our city, residents have invested their time and expertise to support the historical value of this bridge in order to keep it as part of our community.  Please hear the people that elected you, and act accordingly.  Show us that we are in fact being represented by you, make us proud.  Support us in saving the trestle bridge.


Maria S.




I would like to add: the wood in the trestle is a precious resource not to be squandered.  It's a no-brainer to keep and repurpose this trestle.  It's less expensive, causes less environmental impact to the creek site, and preserves a bit of history.  It can be an historic site, with interesting details on the trail.  I personally will donate money for a plaque to be placed on the site if the trestle is saved.  Let's do this right, please!


Richard N.




We need to save this treasure of our past instead of adopting a policy of down with the old and up with the new. Please save this part of our history and keep Willow Glen unique.


Catherine K.




The historic Willow Glen Trestle is a valuable community resource.  It is an historic structure, a reminder of the days of industry in the valley, when Willow Glen declared itself an independent city in order to keep the Southern Pacific mainline out of the small community.  The trestle adds character and interest to the trail that will be built across it, and allows for less financial expenditure and greater environmental integrity than tearing out the old pilings and constructing a characterless, cookie-cutter bridge.  This trestle is unique, and its like will never be constructed again in the Santa Clara Valley.  The only opportunity we have to maintain an example of this type of structure is to save this one.

Thank you.


William F.




Please reconsider preserving this piece of Willow Glen history that has been around for 90 years.  Recently there has been too many buildings and or structures lost to fires and or developers.  The charm of this trestle is irreplaceable and it would be a shame to see it destroyed and in its place a cold piece of steel not representative of the Willow Glen in days gone by.


I have been a resident of Willow Glen for over 65 years was born and raised here plan on being here for as long as possible. Thank You for your consideration and time.


Jim C.




Do not tear this irreplaceable treasure down!


Jennifer S.




Please consider changing decision to remove this historic piece of San Jose in Willow Glen!  Please allow this beautiful piece of history to remain untouched and to be admired.


Thank you.


Tina W.




Please take the time to reconsider saving this incredible piece of history.   Please complete and review all of the studies needed and then make a final determination after all the information has been assessed.    The trestle should be saved and the surrounding area underneath should be preserved undisturbed.   What a wonderful park this could be for the Willow Glen neighborhood and all of San Jose.


Deborah B.




Sometimes a treasure isn't made of gold, it's made of wood, iron and the sweat of the long ago men who built it.


Claire W.




This is an amazing structure right here in San Jose, and I feel that it is an absolute shame to destroy it. Rather, let's take the required funds to retrofit and preserve the structure as needed in order to make it a centerpiece of the trail expansion.


Sigrid G.




Please save the old trestle.  We have plenty of the prefab steel bridges on our river trails.  The trestle is historic and unique and keeping it is probably cheaper than replacing it.


Bart T.




It should be considered a historic landmark.  :) 


Linnea Q.




Please save our Willow Glen Trestle.

Our treasures are disappearing too fast.


Noelle B.G.




As San José continues to modernize and reinvent itself, it's even more important to maintain our ties to our own past. This trestle is one example of an excellent opportunity to save a part of San José history. Being able to retrain history in a cost-effective manner makes the potential of losing this landmark all the more sad.


Alex F.




Save it for what?  So the homeless can burn it this winter?  It is just one more eyesore in the larger eyesore of Willow Glen.


Drew J.




Please consider not destroying the Willow Glen Trestle.  This a gem to keep for the future.  If it is sturdy as claimed and just as easy to restore than tear down, why not do it and keep the past for the future?  It sure is better looking than the new modern stuff used today and is good history for our grandkids to see how things were and how strong they were built.


Please reconsider,  Mary Jane C.




Please keep this trestle in Willow Glen and incorporate it into one of our trails.

Please keep this wonderful and historic landmark... I moved to Willow Glen due to the history and the houses that have character and the feeling of the neighborhood. I come from LA where everything that is older gets torn down and consequently it changes it's character ( or lack thereof ) Help Willow Glen to preserve its treasure Thank you


Deborah H.




The trestle is important to the fabric and history of our city. It can and should be restored. Tearing it down is wasteful, shortsighted and breaks down the soul of the community.

To know better is to do better.

Please do the right thing and do NOT tear down the historic trestle.

Thank you.


Kathleen K.




Please give our trestle a chance!


Ralph P.




Please take time to look at possibilities for saving this trestle.  My husband is a fan of all things railroad, and says this trestle is definitely worth saving.


Lorraine G.




It makes no sense to me as to why the city of San Jose would spend millions of dollars in hard earned tax-payers money to tear down this historic bridge when the engineer's reports have come in and the amount of money that would be spent restoring and repairing the bridge is far less. Let's use our heads and our hearts and do the right thing for our community


LiAnne O.




would like to have the council reconsider their past action in light of new information


Carol A.




Absolutely preserve the beauty of this bridge!

We need to honor history with the present.

Can't wait to walk on it when it's completed! 


Simone M.




I strongly support the repair and retention of the existing trestle because (1) its historic nature will benefit San Jose; (2) as the city's own study shows, repair is less expensive than replacement; and (3) replacement would damage the fragile ecosystem under the bridge. Please vote to repair and retain. Thanks!


Thomas A.




Please re-consider your decision to remove this bit of history. 


Norman S.




Why can't this be left there as part of what was part of old Willow Glen. Historical preservation seems to have been forgotten in San Jose. We always tear everything down and then wonder why we did it.  Let's preserve the trestle!


Linda H.




Really, Elected Officials,  don't you know you would be more likable in the eyes of your constituents if you were to save the trestle;  and you should do it because it is the right thing to do. 


Bonnie L.




Please keep this historical landmark. 


Lorie B.




The trestle is awesome, see if you can extend a fork of the Guadalupe River paved trail over it instead of tearing it down!!!!


Alyssa D.




Larry Ames and the SJ Mercury are right: San Jose today has little of its cultural and architectural heritage left.  Why decrease an already embarrassingly small further without just cause?!


Joe M.




Frankly,  I do not understand why our proposal, which is less expensive than the alternative, is not the prevailing view of all of our elected officials. 


Anne K.




I support the preservation of the Willow Glen trestle for its ties to Willow Glen’s past and its rustic charm. Based on the engineering report, restoring will be less expensive than replacing the structure and the savings can be used to obtain other park lands, perhaps in other neighborhoods. Please push for the reopening of this issue and vote in its favor.


Please keep this 90 year old wooden trestle. It can be the start of a rejuvenated business district on Lincoln Ave close to Highway 280. And act as a unifier with the many infill housing developments being built north of Hwy 280 toward San Carlos Street.


Further the "doom and gloom" scenarios for the trestle do not include the fact that there will be fire suppression and fire alarm capacity as part of the refurbishment proposal.


Nor that "eyes on the trail" will keep this a safe route and safe bridge.


Nor that the city of San Jose is not only not maintaining the creek in it's jurisdiction around, under and to the east of the creek.


But that the City of San Jose is attempting to take a $450k grant to refurbish the WG Trestle and use it to tear down the Trestle!


This is crazy - lastly there must be other places in the city/county that can use land for parks. This is what the Prop. 40 Z'Berg funds were meant for. They should not be reappropriated to tear down a Trestle that does not need to be torn down.


The community is rallying around this bridge and we can find some to help build it and maintain it!


Thank you for reading this!


Scott L.




Please save our Trestle rather than tear down and build another non-descript bridge.  It has history and will tie in with our completed trail expansion.


Gigi C.




I am a resident of Willow Glen and regularly use the bike trails, parks, and libraries in the city. The city has done a wonderful job providing public infrastructure in San Jose. After hearing about the Willow Glen trestle being torn down and visiting last Saturday, I am surprised that the decision was made to actually destroy it. The area underneath the structure has wonderful creek access, and the discussion, led by Larry Ames, indicated that the costs of restoring and maintaining the bridge would be far less than destroying and rebuilding it.

As a mom of a small child, I am always looking for destinations that are historic and educational. I have visited Capitola village just to walk under their trestle and discuss it with my small son. And of course, we spend money in Capitola when we visit. Please reconsider tearing down the trestle. The community, visitors, and businesses will benefit from having a architecturally interesting destination nearby to visit.


Dyan S-J.




I support the preservation of the Willow Glen trestle for its ties to Willow Glen’s past and its rustic charm. Based on the engineering report, restoring will be less expensive than replacing the structure and the savings can be used to obtain other park lands, perhaps in other neighborhoods. Please push for the reopening of this issue and vote in its favor.


It's rare to have the opportunity to save a valued piece of local history. Please consider the WG Trestle for restoration!


Michael D.




Please do NOT replace the Willow Glen Trestle. Please preserve it.


Diane S.




It would be a shame to destroy the trestle.  I strongly beg you to consider keeping this long time iconic fixture in Willow Glen!


Thank you for you consideration.

Alana Wilson


Alana W.




I feel the trestle should stay.  Too much of our wonderful culture is being replaced by unnecessary so-called modern junk


Frances P.




The train trestle in Aptos is wooden and so is the one in Capitola. They give a sense of history to those towns that a new bridge wouldn't. Please keep the Willow Glen trestle so San Jose can preserve a part of its past as well.


Janet B.




The railroad bridges were all built to 10 times the required standard.  This is a part of American history, like the Eames bridge that was the first to cross the Mississippi.  it was built in 1872 and still is in use for not only trains, but as a highway.  This is a WG/San Jose treasure.  Vote to keep it.


Maria H.




I would love the enhancement of that gorgeous wooden trestle as I walk the nearly completed path from my home in WG into downtown SJ!   Please don't tear down this beautiful piece of San Jose history.


Karen A.




Please use the current trestle rather thank building something new! Thank you!


Patricia M.




Placemaking.  Iconic.  Keep San Jose features unique and you WILL attract new businesses and company HQ's.  The more generic (ie; risk-averse, "safe", whatever your insurance company is telling you) San Jose becomes, the more economically vulnerable we truly all will be.  Big picture, not just numbers on paper. 


Heather L.




Save the Trestle, Save some San Jose History and please save some money!


John U.




Please don't demolish this link to our past simply because it's old.  There is value in what it stands for, the character is adds to our neighborhood and it can still be of use.


Louise P.




We need to preserve our history and at the same time provide recreational opportunities for all San Jose residents!  This is a unique chance to do both at a very low cost.


Dan S.




Thirty-seven years ago, my husband and I chose to make Willow Glen our home because the neighborhood had a feeling of permanence.  Preserving the Willow Glen trestle is important; like many of the structures in Willow Glen, "they don't make [things] like that anymore." The trestle will continue to contribute to the appealing character of Willow Glen; losing it would be wasteful and foolish.


Laura L.




Please save the trestle. San Jose has already done so much destruction of older buildings and structures there will soon be nothing left. I live in this neighborhood, which was part of the old canning employees' neighborhood. Most of the older homes have been torn down to make way for nondescript McMansions -- and trees are coming down in droves to give these McMansions space. Soon this entire neighborhood will look like a generic subdivision with no historic value left and no trace of the important agricultural history of this area. Please save the trestle to maintain a link to the important history of this neighborhood and this region.


Melissa C.




It appears that saving the bridge is cost-effective, a unique opportunity to help showcase a unique part of San Jose, and strongly supported by those who would see it/use it, including my Willow Glen family.


We have fewer and fewer opportunities to preserve, and history has shown we too often opt for "out with the old, in with the new."


I strongly support reopening this issue and reconsidering the basis of the current plan.


Mike C.




I believe there is value in saving old things. I love antiques, vintage clothes, the lovely Victorian homes that populate my area of Willow Glen. That is why I'm writing you all to ask for your support to save the Willow Glen trestle bridge. I don't believe the proposed steel replacement will evoke the same romance of a bygone era that retrofitting  the exiting bridge will. Even in its final report, the consultant stated in Section 3.0 that the trestle is in good condition and can be modified to perform as a bicycle pedestrian crossing of Los Gatos Greek. It doesn't sound like replacing it is the only option you have. Please, in your deliberations, consider saving the trestle bridge. Thank you.


Tracy C.




We lose little bits and pieces of our history daily, incrementally.  Please act to save this whopping part of Willow Glen's legacy.  We haven't that much left, and this piece of history means so much to so many.  As part of the trail, it would be a treasure.  


David A.




There are a number of mini-park opportunities, related to parks throughout the city, that saving $'s on the Trestle might afford - for example, mini-dog parks in small odd lots on the 3 Creeks Trail on small spaces tucked here and there would have support.  Please, do not spend $'s on unnecessarily tearing down the Trestle.


Ken M.




I sincerely hope that the decision to replace the trestle will be re-considered.  I believe that Larry Ames has pointed out several very sound, reasonable reasons to keep and restore the trestle, rather than replace it.  Please don't tear down the historic train trestle!


Nancy K.




I support preserving the Willow Glen Trestle if it is at all feasible and support further study on this matter.


Linda B.




It feels like the decision to destroy the WG Trestle  was made in a vacuum without full community involvement.  I ask that we reconsider this decision and consider the impact it will have to our community and the "quaintness" that Willow Glen is known for.


Michaela G.




Willow Glen is charming, different from some other places where things are always replaced.  Since the Trestle bridge is stable and is part of the history of the area, I agree that it should be saved.


Kathleen E.




To the City Council, MAYOR REED, Santa Clara County Supervisors, Board of Santa Clara Valley Water District.


 SAVE THE TRESTLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Milton C.




The trestle really should be preserved.  It is an important part of our local history. Please do not respond in the same condescending dismissive manner as our District 6 representative Oliverio has. And now with his constituents expressing a united effort, I expect to see him flip flopping again as he typically does on any contentious issue. Please show him what true representation means and act in favor of our communities desires.

Thank you,


Zarco DeA.




I visited this place a month ago and was surprised even though I've lived in the area for 5 decades.  I am glad a bridge and trail can be set up finally, and agree with the analysis that the existing structure is the better choice.


Greg A.




I hope you will consider preserving rather than replacing the WG Trestle.  It is a beautiful structure!  I have been fortunate enough to live near two other rail/trail projects (Cape Cod Rail Trail and the Silver Comet Trail in Atlanta GA) and the ride/walk is much more scenic and appealing when you encounter unexpected gems like the WG Trestle.


I hope you will reconsider the plan to demolish it.


Vivian OC.




I live near the trestle and have often walked over it and around it and admired that it has survived so well. The trestle is an iconic example of a technology that's played a major role in shaping this neighborhood and Willow Glen – the railroad – and an excellent example of a functional yet beautiful structure engineered of wood logs and beams. It would be shortsighted indeed to replace this unique structure with something cookie-cutter or mundane.


I look forward to a full public discussion of the Willow Glen Trestle and the contribution it will make to the cultural fabric and historical record of San Jose.


Ken E.




San Jose needs to treasure the things that make the City unique and to honor what residents want.  In this case, I think the community has clearly spoken.


Michele B.




Please vote to save this historic trestle.  We need all the history that we still have to remind us of our community's roots.  Thank you.


Paul B.