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Guest opinion: Alpine Road trail would do more harm than good

Original post made on Dec 8, 2011

I am a cyclist and hiker, a former executive responsible for risk management at a company that builds roads, sidewalks, and bicycle facilities, and past president of the Ladera Community Association. After studying the proposed Lower Alpine Trail from the perspective of a cyclist, risk manager, and community advocate I must urge the Board of Supervisors to say "NO" to Stanford's offer of $10 million to expand the modest footpath along Alpine Road.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, December 7, 2011, 12:00 AM

Comments (2)

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Posted by Joe Hedges
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Dec 8, 2011 at 2:33 am

Riding a bicycle on the shoulder of Alpine Road is like a game of roulette, you just never know when a car will land on you.

On the morning of Wednesday Dec 7, 2011, the pole that holds the Bicycle Lane sign on Alpine Rd at Stowe Lane was vertical. Wednesday evening it was horizontal with bits of a vehicle strewn about. Had a bicycle been in the bike lane when this happened, the bicyclist would have been seriously injured or killed. Rob, I ride a bicycle past that pole 6 times a week. In light of this and the bicycle death that occurred on Alpine Road recently, help me to understand how riding on Alpine Road provides a safer alternative to the trail.

I have been riding on the existing trail for 8 months and have not found it to contain the dangers that you suggest in your Guest Opinion. Except for the fact that the trail itself is in horrible condition, I find it to be much less dangerous than the road. Help me to understand how $10M worth of repairs to an existing trail will make it more dangerous.

It is ironic that the vehicle which ventured into the bicycle lane just happened to take out the Bicycle Lane sign. How many more times do events like this have to happen before the dangers specific to riding a bicycle on Alpine Road are addressed? How many more deaths?

San Mateo County is $50,000,000.00 over budget. The money to fix the trail is not even in the budget. The $10,000,000.00 does not come out of your or my taxes, it comes from Stanford. I don’t understand why you would support turning away money that provides the potential to make my Alpine Road bicycle commute safer.

I urge you to reconsider your position and support fixing the existing Alpine trail in order to provide an alternative to riding a bicycle on the shoulder of Alpine Road. As a non-serious (silly?)biker, I would appreciate having a choice and, if I ride the trail, serious bikers can play roulette on the road without having to pass slow, non-serious bicyclists like me.

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 8, 2011 at 6:39 am

If Stanford's $10 million is used to improve the trail there is nothing to preclude individuals, including Rob, from continuing to ride in the roadway. The great thing is that cyclist will then have the choice of a dramatically better trail or the roadway - pay Stanford's money and take your choice.

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