The San Jose City Council has taken a first step towards making Coyote Valley a safe passage for wildlife. In June the Council voted to fund wildlife crossing signs on Monterey Road, a roadkill hot spot in Coyote Valley.
Through our Protect Coyote Valley, San Jose campaign, Committee for Green Foothills and its partners have been raising awareness of the need to conserve this area rich in natural and biological resources. We have been highlighting the work of Tanya Diamond and Ahiga Snyder of Pathways for Wildlife, who are conducting research on wildlife movement and habitat permeability in Coyote Valley and the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Research has shown that more animals are struck and killed on Monterey Road than on Highway 101. This is due to a number of factors, including motorists travelling at near-highway speeds, the presence of a several-foot-high concrete median barrier with a chain-link fence on top of it, and the lack of street lights, which make Monterey Road all the more hazardous for wildlife at night when they are most active. Creating additional culverts and undercrossings underneath Monterey Road and the adjacent train tracks would go a long way towards reducing the number of animal deaths. Removing the concrete median in places where animals most frequently attempt to cross is another option.
In the meantime, we thank Mayor Sam Liccardo and the City Council for approving Councilmember Sergio Jimenez’s request to provide these wildlife crossing signs. This initial action creates greater awareness of the existence of this important wildlife corridor while improving safety for people and animals by warning motorists.
For more on the topic, see this NBC Bay Area segment: San Jose to protect wildlife from “Roadkill Road”