The new Gerald Desmond Bridge would provide the first half of the path to connect Long Beach to San Pedro along the California Coastal Trail. The second half can be accomplished with the addition of a bike/ped path on the southern side of the Vincent Thomas Bridge (stay tuned for more information on the effort to make this happen.)
The California Coastal Conservancy has six goals for the California Coastal Trail:
1. To “provide a continuous trail as close to the ocean as possible”
2. To have full support of the state
3. To better the public’s knowledge of the good that will come with the California Coastal Trail
4. To have all the policies related to the trail respect the rights of the private landowners (SB 908)
5. To design the trail to create positive experiences for the public while at the same time protecting the environment
6. To have the trail connect to other trail systems and provide a way to the coastal area from urban areas.
The conservancy expects that the trail will improve the economy. The trail will attract tourists, create jobs, and make selling surrounding real estate easier. The trail is also hoped to protect the environment. People looking to enjoy nature can do so without hurting sensitive areas if they stay on the trail. Another goal is to improve quality of life through recreation by encouraging people to use the trail for exercise.
Finally, the conservancy wants people to think of trails as a means of transportation (SB 908 Report 9). To achieve these goals the trail must meet four requirements. It must always be within sight or sound of the ocean. It must serve as a starting point to reach various destinations. It must be separated from all motor traffic. It must respect the current environment and not disrupt the natural habitat. (Thanks Wikipedia!)