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New trails spell bright future for Palo Alto runners

Original post made on Apr 18, 2014

Palo Alto may be in the midst of turning itself into a bicycling mecca -- an effort that continues to accelerate thanks to a new master plan, numerous county and regional grants, unanimous City Council support and a vocal bike lobby -- but it hasn't been nearly as active toward promoting projects to support those whose favorite vehicle is their own two feet. But not to worry. Life is about to get more exciting for Palo Alto's trail warriors.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, April 18, 2014, 7:24 AM

Comments (9)

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Posted by parent
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 18, 2014 at 9:08 am

Palo Alto's pedestrian routes are so haphazard right now. We can't wait for a safe and direct east-west pedestrian route from the Palo Alto Baylands to the Arastradero Preserve. Seems to me that pedestrian access to all parts of town should be a fundamental part of public planning. Thanks to all the people who are working on this.

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Posted by Everyone loves trails
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2014 at 9:36 am

A solid, designated Bike/Ped trail that reaches from the bay to the western flanks of the city would be a great asset. Ask how the Steven's Creek trail has worked out for Mountain View over the past 20 years or so. Its become a sort of "Spine", if you will, for access into the other areas of town. Something similar would be great in PA, but not sure we're capable with so much opposition to every little thing.

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Posted by parent
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 18, 2014 at 10:11 am

Technically, Palo Alto's western flanks reach all the way up to Skyline. I would be happy just to get a safe and direct pedestrian route along Page Mill Road past I-280. Those detours that range miles out of the way through Menlo Park or Los Altos are really unacceptable.

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Posted by Runner
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Apr 18, 2014 at 11:12 am

You can already walk from Arastradero preserve all the way to Waddell beach on trails and fire roads. I've done it. I would love to see the final segments connected up so that we can have the ultimate bay to ocean 60 mile trail.

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Posted by parent
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 18, 2014 at 3:53 pm

@Runner - we think it is really great that you can start a great run at Arastradero Preserve, but the problem is how do you safely get from the residential part of Palo Alto to the Arastradero Preserve without driving? I am not letting our kids walk along Page Mill Road, even with adult supervision, especially the I-280 interchange. From Foothill Expressway to Arastradero Road is only a couple of miles, but it feels like the Berlin Wall to our kids.

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Posted by Alphonso
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Apr 19, 2014 at 12:41 pm

I think it is pretty easy to get to Arastradero Preserve via the Dish Trail and using the cattle tunnel under 280 - sure you have to jump a fence or two - that is way we went 40 years ago. Not sure why people need a yellow brick road to do things.

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Posted by Matt
a resident of Stanford
on Apr 20, 2014 at 12:25 pm

There are 3 critical problems in the Stanford to Arastradero area, and the current plans do not solve them.

1) The continued parking on one side of Stanford Avenue will perpetuate an extremely dangerous, noisy, and congested area that has proven enormously frustrating to the people who try to park there. For cyclists, the constant illegal U turns, people parked on the road waiting for a space to open, and the people backing into or out of spaces create a hazard that prevents any sane parent for allowing their kids to cycle there. The photograph at the top of this article nicely captures some of the ongoing problems, since it shows bikes on the same path as the pedestrians as well as on the street--though this side will be better than the other side where the parking cars will have a poor view of oncoming cyclists. The density of people, bikes, and cars shown is an idealists view and not at all a real depiction--on weekends the area is far more congested than this and collisions are certain. For residents of the area, the frequent car horns, car alarms (typically beginning by 6 on weekends), and occasional breaking glass have turned the peaceful area they chose for their homes into an unpleasant noisy place where it is hard to work at home. Recent burglaries in the area may have been made more likely because there is plenty of "cover" for parking for thieves. The obvious solution is to move the parking area completely away from the residential area--and providing enough of it. There should be an entrance to the Dish area from Old Page Mill, and a parking area similar to the one at Arastradero Preserve created near its north junction with Page Mill. The present plan, Coyote Road parking and all, will not relieve the congestion at Stanford. Our children cannot be safe in that area unless they bike through the pedestrians--and that's certainly not a good idea.

2) Another problem, getting past the Page Mill/280 intersection, is a serious one too since the useful tunnel mentioned by Alphonso (above) is not a legal route. The tunnel does not, in any case, have any access for cyclists so unless a route through the Dish area for cyclists is provided, something else is needed for them. Better demarcation of bike routes through the 280 intersection would at least be a help. Right now a cyclist has 50mph+ cars on both sides.

3) Even if a child was to survive biking under 280, they would then face Arastradero Road which has no bike path or lane in either direction and is the site of many close calls with cars and bikes. It should have bike lanes in both directions from Page Mill to Alpine Road.

It would sure be nice if the new plans actually solved these three critical problems.

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Posted by parent
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 20, 2014 at 5:06 pm

I remember Stanford promising to build a child-safe bicycle/pedestrian route from Stanford Ave to the Arastradero Preserve, in exchange for building permits from Palo Alto. That was more than 10 years ago and Stanford got everything they wanted and we families still have nothing. Shame on me for trusting Stanford. Shame on our city leaders for not keeping their foot on Stanford's throat until they kept their promise.

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Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Apr 20, 2014 at 9:14 pm

Nora Charles is a registered user.

This is a wonderful plan on Stanford's part. Kudos to the university for generously providing access to the trails on THEIR property. No doubt most of the surrounding community is grateful--as they should be.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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