Portola Valley council neutral on Alpine trail - first post
Original post made on Sep 30, 2011
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, September 30, 2011, 6:10 PM
on Sep 30, 2011 at 11:48 pm
I participated in the entire meeting in Portola Valley and stayed for the vote. To keep solely with facts, a meeting did occur at Hansen Hall, and both sides presented their opinions. This is true. The meeting was Wednesday night, this also is true. The Town of Portola Valley voted to remain neutral on the issue of taking Stanford's money by a 3-1 vote. This is a fact. Probably not a single person in the room thought the trail was safe in its current condition, nor did anyone disagree that the residents of SWA have awful problems with traffic that will only get worse. These also are facts.
HOWEVER, at least at the meeting I attended Wednesday night, the Council voted 4-0 to send a revised letter to San Mateo County. Rather than argue about who said what to whom about what - the official letter was posted in the last day or so, as best I can tell, on the Town of Portola Valley website and can be found at:
The text of the letter is below. Please draw your own conclusions based on the data.
PJ - A 'New' 12 Year+ Ladera Resident who would rather see Ladera and SWA work together (as opposed to digging in deeper)to fix the trail, road, speeds, off ramps and crosswalks while preserving SWA's privacy, frontage road and culture.
Ms. Carole Groom, President
Board of Supervisors
San Mateo County
400 County Center
Redwood City, CA 94063
Subject: Acceptance of Funds for Construction of the C-1 Trail
Dear Supervisor Groom:
The Town Council of Portola Valley held a hearing on September 28, 2011, regarding the offer from Stanford University to San Mateo County of approximately ten million-dollars for completion of the C-1 trail in the unincorporated area of the county. The council heard arguments in favor of and in opposition to acceptance of the offer. At the conclusion of the hearing, the council voted to take a "neutral" position since the area affected is not within the Town limits and is a decision for San Mateo County to make. The Town Council did, however, want to provide the following comments to the San Mateo County Board for consideration in your deliberations on the C-1 trail issues:
1) Portola Valley's General Plan and San Mateo County's Bikeway Plan both include bike paths from Arastradero Road to Junipero Serra Boulevard. The portion of the C-1 Trail located from Arastradero Road to the town limits of Portola Valley is nearing completion and is already being used;
2) The design for the new C-1 Trail was prepared by the Town, independent of Stanford. The trail conforms to the values of the Town and was reviewed by Town committees and staff prior to its approval. Portola Valley's experience in designing and completing the path has been very satisfying. Throughout the design, review, and construction phases, Stanford's staff has been cooperative and responsive;
3) The present trail presents significant safety and environmental concerns. The existing trail is in poor repair and is threatened in locations of being undermined by creek bank erosion on Los Trancos Creek. Also, it was emphasized that residents of Stanford Weekend Acres currently have problems of safety when entering or leaving Alpine Road due to limited sight distance and speeds on this heavily used two-lane road. While taking a neutral position on the issue of whether San Mateo County should accept Stanford's offer of approximately 10
September 29, 2011 Page 2
million dollars, the Council recommends that in any event the existing trail be repaired and upgraded.
4) If the Board determines that a C-1 trail serving the lower Alpine area is desirable, we urge you to consider detailed trail designs and routings that remediate existing safety hazards to the greatest extent possible and proactively address environmental concerns.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide the position of the Town on this important project.
Maryann Derwin, Vice Mayor
cc. David Holland, Assistant County Manager
on Oct 3, 2011 at 9:39 am
Why does the Town of Portola Valley continue to promote misinformation about Stanford's
C-1 Trail proposal? Since 2000, the San Mateo County Comprehensive Bikeways Plan has shown bike lanes on Alpine Road between Junipero Serra Boulevard and the Portola Valley Town boundary. However, there is no bike path shown or indicated on Alpine Road, which is claimed in the Town's letter to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. The authors of the County's Bikeways Plan, which was revised and updated this year, recognize the dangers inherent in a two-way bike path next to a busy roadway that crosses 21 driveways, intersections and freeway off-ramps.
on Oct 3, 2011 at 12:30 pm
what was surprising to me at the meeting was how non-Portola Valley people were so easily able to hijack the meeting for their own agenda. The town council has every right and the responsibility to comment on planned/proposed actions that will affect the town. They were elected to serve the Town residents, not residents of un-incorporated San Mateo County. By accepting the agenda of fear ("OMG the new trail, although unplanned and un-reviewed, will be far worse than what exists now..) How about this? Accept the $10M, SMC develop and present a real plan and then let the community weigh in. Mr Silver's assertion that the county will do this anyway in a time of no $ and no current plans is politicking at best..