County seeks comment on rehabbing Alpine Road trail | August 28, 2013 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


News - August 28, 2013

County seeks comment on rehabbing Alpine Road trail

by Dave Boyce

Repaving and creek-bank reinforcement are under consideration for the aged and poorly maintained trail that follows the path of Alpine Road and Los Trancos Creek between Portola Valley and Menlo Park.

The San Mateo County Department of Public Works issued a draft environmental study of a plan to repave six sections of the trail that meanders along the south side of Alpine Road. Under the plan, the county would also reinforce the bank of the creek in three places where there is the potential that erosion could damage underground utilities.

The draft study is an analysis that argues that the proposed project would have a minimal impact on the local environment, and that if there are impacts, they can be mitigated. The county is seeking comment from the public and from local, state and federal agencies.

Go to for information on where to find the full report and how to submit comments.

The proposal involves pulverizing the existing asphalt and repaving about 1.8 miles of bumpy trail between Rural Lane and the eastern edge of the Ladera Oaks swimming and tennis club. The rehabilitated trail would have the same widths and roughly the same routes as currently, but would be smoother.

The creek-bank work would take place opposite the parking lot between the Shell gasoline station and the Country Shopper mall in Ladera, opposite the main entrance to Webb Ranch, and just east of the northbound exit ramp from Interstate 280 on to Alpine Road.


The route and repair of this portion of the trail was at the center of a fierce controversy between Stanford University and the residents of Stanford Weekend Acres.

Stanford, which had an longstanding obligation to create a trail, had offered to spend more than $10 million to create a smooth wide multi-use path — in San Mateo County rather than on its own land.

Because the existing trail cuts very close to the creek in places, Stanford had even offered to modify the route of Alpine Road to allow a consistent width. Many Ladera residents supported this, in part because biking to and from Menlo Park and the Stanford campus along heavily traveled Alpine Road is problematic for cyclists fearful of using the bike lanes.

But the proposed trail's consistency and ease of use did not sit well with Weekend Acres residents. Calling it a sidewalk that would draw an excess of foot and bike traffic, the residents fought it relentlessly for five years. And they won.

In December 2011 by a 3-2 majority, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors rejected Stanford's offer, as they had done on two other occasions. Safety along the Weekend Acres frontage was a key consideration.


Posted by Ginger in SWA, a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Weekend Acres
on Sep 2, 2013 at 1:15 pm

To clarify: Safety for walkers and cyclists along Alpine Road was, and remains, an extremely high priority for residents of Stanford Weekend Acres. Consistency and ease of use DO sit very well with this neighborhood. It's heartening to see that plans to re-surface today's path are underway. We are most grateful to San Mateo County officials for following up, as they had promised, to plan and fund this project.