Board of Supervisors approves funding for Ravenswood section of Bay Trail


The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday awarded $1 million in Measure A funds to the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (Midpen) to close a gap in the San Francisco Bay Trail.

The work will be dedicated to the Ravenswood Bay Trail, a 0.6-mile gap in the contiguous 80-mile trail along the Bay connecting San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. The trail is located between the Ravenswood Open Space Preserve and University Avenue in East Palo Alto.

Midpen will also pitch in $700,000 in Measure AA funds. Another $400,000 from the Santa Clara County Stanford University Mitigation Fund will go toward the project.

The project will take place over the next two years. When completed, San Mateo County residents will have access to the multiuse trail, as well as to local and regional parks, restored wetlands and the shoreline. The project also aims to "improve the infrastructure for healthy lifestyles in East Palo Alto and the Belle Haven area of Menlo Park," according to a County of San Mateo Parks Department announcement.

"We're very pleased that in a few short years, we'll be able to offer residents of the southern part of the County direct access to one of the nation's premier trail systems and a wonderful nature destination right in their backyards," said Steve Abbors, Midpen general manager, in a statement.

The San Francisco Bay Trail is in close proximity to the Dumbarton Bridge and employers such as Facebook, Google, Yahoo and LinkedIn, making it "a key regional bicycle transportation corridor and commute alternative," the parks department said.

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Posted by Robert D.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 2, 2015 at 3:25 am

Robert D. is a registered user.

Well, this is where some of those opposed to everything will voice in - what about the carbon foot print of all the people walking on that land and the cars they drive to get 'here' and why has Menlo Park not devised a free shuttle. Why, because of the last paragraph of who it may also serve. This is good - people should be outside and should enjoy our beautiful area we live in, not just co-exist. Glad to see we have this open space and Stanford working with us

2 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Sep 2, 2015 at 9:19 am

Can someone explain exactly where is this "contiguous 80-mile trail along the Bay"? I would believe 25 miles or so from Menlo Park to San Jose, but 80 miles of existing contiguous trail sounds like a huge typo.

3 people like this
Posted by Reader
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2015 at 11:54 am


There are trail maps at

Note that the 80-mi trail is not as the crow flies. The trail is very windy and convoluted in some sections. It is 80 road miles, not 80 miles measured along a straight line.

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Posted by wow
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 2, 2015 at 12:46 pm

I looked at the map of where it looks like this trail will be, between University Ave and existing Bay Trail in Ravenswood OSP. It seems crazy that this short section of trail will cost more than 2 million dollars. Why so much? Just looks like a bunch of dirt there now, some old RR tracks? Is it going to be elevated above the ground, is there hazardous waste to be removed first? That might explain it, but still, wow. Maybe I just don't realize how much these things go for.

2 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Sep 2, 2015 at 1:15 pm

@Reader - I have bicycled along the Bay Trail from East Palo Alto southward to Milpitas (where the Bay Trail ends). My bicycle odometer says the distance is less than 25 miles total with all the bends and turns. No way is this 80 miles. The new connector will extend the Bay Trail north to the Redwood City border, where it ends again, and this is at most a couple of extra miles.

As far as I know, there is no Bay Trail anywhere in Redwood City. There are segments of Bay Trail in San Carlos, Foster City, San Mateo, Milpitas, and South San Francisco, but these are not "contiguous", nor do they connect to the Menlo Park segment like the article claims.

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Posted by Alan
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Sep 2, 2015 at 1:50 pm

Alan is a registered user.

Ah, Resident, make a point of actually looking up the trail map:

Web Link

There are most definitely sections of trail in Redwood City - a spur along Seaport Boulevard, and, most significant, a very nice trail around the perimeter of Redwood Shores that I highly recommend.

Some of the piece of the trail are connected by road - which sometimes isn't so charming, but there are plans to fill them in (maybe in 50 years, but there are plans ...)

First, in Menlo Park, behind all of the businesses and trailer parks on Haven Ave and East Bayshore.

Then, across Bair Island, and eventually on the far side of the San Carlos Airport (there's a bike trail next to US-101; it's a bit noisy, but it has a good view of Bair Island, and it's safe).

Personally, I'd most like a trail avoiding Haven Avenue and Bayshore first - mostly because some cars drive way too fast on Bayshore (they treat it like an alternate to US-101. I keep wondering when they are going to finish work on Inner Bair Island; they're saving a bit of money using fill from construction sites to raise it up, but the opening of the full island has been several years delayed.

The Ravenswood branch will be really nice.

2 people like this
Posted by pearl
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2015 at 2:42 pm

pearl is a registered user.

Why are taxpayer dollars being used for a trail that only an estimated 1/16th of the local population uses?!?

3 people like this
Posted by Reader
a resident of another community
on Sep 3, 2015 at 8:20 am


That's what a public works project is. The government decides there's an overall benefit to society. It doesn't have to serve every single person within the constituency.

Let's take Yosemite National Park. It welcomes approximately 3.7 million visitors per year, a little over one percent of the U.S. population and many visitors are foreigners. Following your reasoning, we should just shut down every single national, state and county park.

At this point, why don't you look inside of yourself and decide if that's the kind of world you want to live in.

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