San Mateo County to hold hearings on trails

July 28, 2011, 2:03 a.m.

After twice rejecting Stanford’s bid to build a path connecting Menlo Park and Portola Valley trail systems, San Mateo County will attempt to gauge public opinion on the issue in the coming months. The trail project is part of the University’s efforts to meet the terms of its General Use Permit agreement with Santa Clara County, which allows Stanford to construct five million square feet of buildings over a 10-year period.

The proposed bicycle and pedestrian path would replace the current trail along Alpine Road, connecting Menlo Park at Santa Cruz Avenue and Junipero Serra Boulevard with Portola Valley’s own portion of the path. Stanford also funds construction on that section under this deal.

Public response at Tuesday’s meeting was mixed. While some residents called for the county to take advantage of Stanford’s offer to fix what they said was an unsafe trail, others expressed concern that the trail would increase traffic to a dangerous level.

As part of the agreement, the University is required to offer the $10 million dollar deal through the end of the year, although it has said it would be willing to extend the deadline to 2013. Should San Mateo County reject the deal, the money would go to Santa Clara County.

— Ivy Nguyen

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