Widgets Magazine

County staff report advises San Mateo to accept $10m trail offer

San Mateo County should accept the University’s $10.2 million offer to upgrade the trail along Alpine Road, according to Assistant County Manager David Holland in Tuesday’s staff report.

This is based on community comments voiced at two previous community meetings and through mail and email sent to the office of the County Manager, according to Holland.

The plans to build the trail network stems from agreements in Stanford’s 2000 General Use Permit with Santa Clara County. As part of the deal, the University agreed to build a pair of recreational trails worth $19 million from the campus to the surrounding foothills in return for permission to add 5 million square feet of new buildings on campus. The trail through San Mateo County property runs along Alpine Road from Ladera to Stanford Weekend Acres.

Public opinion on the trail issue split. Residents of Stanford Weekend Acres were concerned that improvements would attract more cyclists, walkers and runners along the trail, increasing the potential for accidents along the busy road. Other respondents supported the efforts to promote walking and cycling in the community.

The report recommends that the county ask Stanford for an extension on the offer, which is set to expire Dec. 31 this year. During this time, the county should come up with a trail design and engineering and environmental reports regarding the project, all at Stanford’s expense.

Larry Horton, senior associate vice president for government and community relations, indicated in an Aug. 31 interview with the Stanford Report that the University might consider a two-year extension. If the city rejects the offer or the University decides to not offer the exception, however, the funds will be paid to Santa Clara County for purposes specified under the terms of the GUP agreement.

– Ivy Nguyen