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Palo Alto and Stanford team up on new trail proposal

Original post made on Aug 31, 2012

After initial disagreements, Palo Alto and Stanford University have joined forces for a grant application that would fund a new bike bridge over U.S. Highway 101, extend a trail near the Stanford Dish and create a host of other trail improvements geared toward bicyclists and pedestrians.
==B Related stories:==
• [Web Link Palo Alto makes bid for bike-bridge funds]
• [Web Link Palo Alto could get $5 million for new bike bridge]

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, August 31, 2012, 9:56 AM

Comments (15)

Posted by pedestrian, a resident of Stanford
on Aug 31, 2012 at 10:29 am

I'm all for the new pedestrian bridge over Hwy 101. That is certainly the most important project listed in this article.

But why is there no mention of a new pedestrian route from Stanford across I-280? The article does mention the "Bay To Ridge" project, but the main gap in this project is the lack of a safe pedestrian route along the Page Mill Road corridor between the Stanford campus and the Arastradero Preserve on the west side of I-280. Most of the rest of the trail projects listed in this article are trivial compared to closing the I-280 gap.

Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 31, 2012 at 10:36 am

In case anyone missed it, there's an embedded link to a 4.4 MB pdf file with a full resolution version of the thumbnail map pictured in this story photo. Web Link

Posted by janet, a resident of another community
on Aug 31, 2012 at 10:55 am

It took more than a decade and a myriad underhanded shenanigans for SU to finally get near to fulfilling its promises. Meanwhile it reaped all the benefits of constant construction. The bridge is the best part.

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton
on Aug 31, 2012 at 11:10 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Well done Stanford - you have managed to overcome the obfuscation and diversions and foot dragging by the local political entities and the disgruntled citizens who simply want to kill the goose that continues to lay golden eggs.

There is nothing in this deal that they could not have easily accepted 10 years ago.

It is a shame that it is so hard to get your partners to do the right thing, particularly when they point to you as the problem instead of looking at them selves in the mirror.

Posted by Jean, a resident of University South
on Aug 31, 2012 at 11:20 am

Palo Alto created its first bicycle trails in 1972 - 42 miles. Originally the Council wanted about 65 miles, but citizens objected.
These proposed new trails should be reviewed by the Parks and Recreation
Committee and the Planning/Trans. Committee so the public can really understand what is being proposed. Some of these trails are almost impossible to get to and there is no parking if one wanted to start at a midpoint. Also, Palo Alto staff ought to know enough to refer to the Preserve as the Pearson-Arastradero Preserve.

One other idea might be to urge the City to install MORE benches throughout the City. This would clearly encourage more walking. The
goal of making Palo Alto a walkable city might be easier to attain.
People of all ages walk, but not everyone can bike.

This is a positive step for Palo Alto.

Posted by Palo Alto is not walkable, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 31, 2012 at 11:45 am

"The goal of making Palo Alto a walkable city might be easier to attain."
Here we go again, another perpetuation of the myth that Palo Alto is a walkable city. Maybe if you live in Midtown it is walkable as far as shopping and services go, though the Safeway is pathetically small. Otherwise, we lost two shopping centers that could have made their nearby areas walkable (Alma Plaza and Edgewood)--makes you wonder how serious our leaders are about what they claim to want.
Besides that most areas are not walkable--for various reasons. Let's get past this myth and try to make it easier for all forms of transportation to work in Palo Alto.

Posted by Jim Mark, a resident of Stanford
on Aug 31, 2012 at 12:39 pm

I am delighted that Palo Alto and Stanford have finally gotten together on this project, which should be of benefit to many people in the area. While they are at it, maybe they could do one more thing, which is to alleviate the parking mess on Stanford Avenue. The present arrangement is not just inconvenient, it is dangerous, with cars double-parked waiting for a space to open, sudden U-turns, pedestrians walking in the roadway and the like. There was even a death several there several years ago. If Palo Alto, Stanford and the County of Santa Clara (if necessary) could agree to put a new parking area somewhere near the corner of Junipero Serra Blvd. and Page Mill Road (or Old Page Mill Road), that would be a great leap forward. Since the present proposal calls for a walking path in that area, the add-on should amount to very little.

Posted by dish bike racks, a resident of Stanford
on Aug 31, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Are there bike racks at the Stanford Dish trail? I usually jog there, so don't look for them. If there are not bike racks, adding them would give people another option for getting there without driving, thus reducing congestion and danger on the roads. Put the bike racks near the guard station to deter bike theft.

Posted by JA3+, a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 31, 2012 at 1:16 pm

"Some of these trails are almost impossible to get to ..."

Interesting; which trails?

"... and there is no parking if one wanted to start at a midpoint."

I'm not sure I follow the logic here; where is mid-trail parking wise?

Posted by Lois Fowkes, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Aug 31, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Good work, both Stanford and Palo Alto! You're setting an example of collaborative effort—hope those folks in Washington notice that it can be done.

I'm particularly looking forward to that bridge over 101.

Posted by Oldbasse, a resident of Midtown
on Aug 31, 2012 at 8:22 pm

1. The proposed bicycle/pedestrian overpass at Adobe Creek/Hwy 101, as currently designed, is an extravaganza totally out of step with today's economic realities. What a waste of scarce resources!
2. The incomprehensibly ill-conceivetrail just south/west of Page Mill Road (the trail from nowhere to nowhere and designed for nobody) should be mothballed. Stanford might consider issuing an apology for that affront to potential users.

3. A new trail should be opened/built from the Stanford Dish, proceeding under I-280, via the existing cow crossing bridge, and continuing to the Pearson-Arastradero Park. Thus, a viable connection would be established with the Bay Area Trail, leading through the Arastradero, the P.A. Foothills Park, Los Trancos, Montebello and so on.

4. The suggestion of a major, secure bicycle parking facility close to Stanford Ave & Junipero Serra should be implemented and a similar facility should be established at the north/east entrance to the Dish
(close to the intersection of Junipero Serra and Campus Drive East).

So be it!

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton
on Sep 1, 2012 at 7:37 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"4. The suggestion of a major, secure bicycle parking facility close to Stanford Ave & Junipero Serra should be implemented and a similar facility should be established at the north/east entrance to the Dish"

On whose land should these be built?

Who will pay for the land?

Who will pay for the security?

Posted by Cyclist, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 2, 2012 at 6:52 am


Posted by Cedric de La Beaujardiere, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 3, 2012 at 3:32 am

Cedric de La Beaujardiere is a registered user.

It is great to see a collaborative effort by the city and Stanford, and the cohesive integration of several trail segments to build out timely portions of Palo Alto's long-planned Bay to Ridge Trails. Thank you to those who developed this win-win proposal.

I'm especially excited for the Matadero Creek trail segment. I used to volunteer as a creek monitor on Matadero from Louis to the Baylands, and so I had permission to walk along the existing maintenance path. I have long thought that this could fairly easily be made into a public trail. Increased public interaction with and enjoyment of our creeks and waterways has tremendous individual and collective benefit. We will need to make sure the street crossings are made clear for trail users and drivers.


The first poster, "Pedestrian" asked why no mention about getting across 280 along Page Mill. I believe likely the reason is that there is movement to improve and increase the safety of the 280/Page Mill interchange, with opportunities for public input forthcoming. This Tuesday 9/4, the Palo Alto Bicycle Advisory Committee (PABAC) will be presented with interchange concepts and give feedback regarding the bicyclist perspective. PABAC meetings are open to the public, they are at 7:30 pm the first Tuesday of each month, and will be meeting at Cubberly Community Center, Room H5. This item is scheduled for 7:50 on the agenda, but it could be earlier or later than that, best to just come at 7:30 to minimize disruption.


Regarding bike parking at the dish, there are racks at the north east corner of Stanford/Junipero Serra, though I agree it would be nice to have bike parking on the park side of Junipero, and in site of the existing guard stand.


To 'Palo Alto is not walkable', it would be more helpful to clarify what you think is not walkable and what might improve the problems your perceive. I've lived here almost all my life and have experienced this city as a wonderful place to walk, generally safe with many beautiful trees, interesting yards, and friendly people. Sure there are areas where improvements could improve safety and convenience, and practices of (sub)urban development which can improve walkability. While I do not agree with your blanket conclusion that this city is not walkable, I do agree with pursuing a policy of complete streets, to accomodate all users of the streets regardless of their mode of locomotion.

Posted by Cedric de La Beaujardiere, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 3, 2012 at 3:36 am

Cedric de La Beaujardiere is a registered user.

Oops, typo: the bike parking should be "in sight" not "in site" of the existing guard stand.

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