The San Mateo County supervisors, who will be revisiting this matter for the third time since 2007, should accept Stanford University's offer of $10 million to upgrade the rickety trail that extends along Alpine Road through the communities of Ladera and Stanford Weekend Acres.
This conclusion, said Assistant County Manager David Holland in a staff report released today, is based on comments received at two community meetings and in comments mailed and emailed to his office.
The report arrived just ahead of a third community meeting set for tonight Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m. at the Ladera Oaks Swim & Tennis Club at 3249 Alpine Road.
The supervisors rejected Stanford's offer in 2007 and again in 2010.
The county mailed fliers to some 600 homes and held round-table meetings in Ladera in mid-September and facilitated by representatives from the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center, Mr. Holland said in the report.
"Public opinion was widely split," he wrote. "Residents of Stanford Weekend Acres, in particular, raised concerns that any improvements would lead to greater use by cyclists, walkers and runners and lead to additional conflicts as they try to exit or enter their neighborhood due to busy traffic along Alpine Road and short sight lines."
"Many respondents, however, said they support improvements as a way to bolster safety, promote walking and cycling, provide recreational opportunities and shore up eroded areas of San Francisquito Creek," Mr. Holland added.
A "vast majority of respondents" raised concerns about the safety of the trail as it exists today safety, Mr. Holland wrote.
The report recommends that the supervisors ask Stanford for a two-year extension on the offer, during which time the county -- at Stanford's expense -- should come up with a trail design as well as engineering and environmental reports, and that public meetings be held to discuss the project as it goes along.
The county, Mr. Holland wrote, should establish a workgroup of volunteers from the affected communities who would meet regularly to review "issues of concern."