Letter: Disappointed in Stanford stance on trail | August 10, 2011 | Almanac | Almanac Online |



Viewpoint - August 10, 2011

Letter: Disappointed in Stanford stance on trail

The following letter was written to Stanford President John Hennessy.

As a Stanford alumna, I am appalled at the behavior that I see from the university as it pertains to the Stanford-Alpine Road Trail. That this issue is once again being discussed with the Board of Supervisors of San Mateo County is ridiculous. It is wasting everyone's time and money.

As I said recently to the San Mateo County supervisors, that the Stanford-Alpine Road trail is once again being discussed as a substitute for one of two recreational trails that Stanford made an agreement with Santa Clara County to build crossing Stanford University lands some years ago, is atrocious, morally wrong and thoroughly embarrassing to the university.

That Larry Horton, an officer of the university, is trying to once again gain the support of the San Mateo County supervisors, when they have already rejected it because of unanimous public support against the trail, is disconcerting. Mr. Horton is trying to make the supervisors party to Stanford getting out of it's original agreement. I find it hard to believe that Stanford, an institution held in such high regard, would be involved with such shenanigans.

I'm sure you cannot be aware of all the workings at Stanford and that not all is brought to your attention. I would hope that you would weigh in on this matter and do what is morally correct. I would hope that you would uphold the reputation of Stanford and uphold the agreement that Stanford originally made with Santa Clara County to build two recreational trails across Stanford lands.

Diana Gerba, Class of 1988


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Posted by Angela Hey
a resident of Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Aug 10, 2011 at 11:48 pm

I disagree with your assertion that there is "unanimous public support against the trail".

Stanford has built a very useful trail to bypass the Junipero Serra/Alpine traffic lights when going downhill. It is also helping Portola Valley improve its trail along Alpine.

We need a wide trail with a yellow line down the middle - anyone on Sawyer Camp Trail knows you need room to pass strollers, bikes, pedestrians, roller bladers and more. It needs to cross 280 safely. I agree that with roads off Alpine between 280 and Junipero Serra that there can be a false sense of security for trail users, especially when either trail users or drivers are aggressive or distracted. I also note that the stream is very close to the trail.

If I had unlimited funds I'd take the trail across Alpine at the Ladera Shopping Center on a bridge and then take it through Webb Ranch and build another bridge to cross back near the current trail at Junipero Serra.

The trails for Santa Clara hiking are a past issue which should be negotiated seperately from this particular trail. Let's look at each trail as a separate project, rather than as a quid pro quo, going forward.

This is a new trail to connect Portola Valley to Stanford. It gives Stanford residents freedom to explore beyond the campus - to enjoy the Alpine Inn, Windy Hill and other amenities. It encourages residents of Portola Valley and Ladera to use bikes or walk to the Stanford Mall and University.

I urge the Board of Supervisors of San Mateo County to back Stanford's plan for a decent paved, multi-use trail - it will be a wonderful community asset that can be replicated by surrounding communities to make biking safer for all.

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Posted by Trail Fan
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 11, 2011 at 11:04 am

As a resident of Menlo Park, I am very excited about the prospect of an improved trail along Alpine Road. I would love to have a safe biking, running, and walking trail along that route, and I find it appalling that some of the residents in Weekend Acres/Ladera see that trail as their own private path. This trail is a community resource for residents throughout southern San Mateo County, and I hope the Supervisors will not let the nimbys rule the day on this opportunity.