Editorial: The new trail to nowhere | May 20, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |


Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - May 20, 2011

Editorial: The new trail to nowhere

Despite abundance of land and money, Stanford fails at trail-building project

As a world-class university with one of the largest endowments in the country, Stanford has never had a problem funding a continuing growth program that will culminate in a few years with the $3.5 billion expansion of the Stanford Medical Center, Medical School and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital.

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Posted by trail to nowhere, a resident of Midtown
on May 23, 2011 at 7:25 pm

I heartily agree that the "trail to nowhere" is a big embarrassment to both Stanford and to Palo Alto. It is an embarrassment to Stanford for building an almost useless trail. And it is embarrassment to Palo Alto for letting them build this when they had promised a useful trail connecting the campus neighborhoods to the Arastradero Preserve.

I also agree with this article that Stanford was trying to scam the city all along. What a shame. The residents of Palo Alto deserve so much better.

Posted by Local resident, a resident of Los Altos Hills
on May 23, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Wait a moment folks we don't need a trail alongside Page Mill Road. That land should be left to mountain lions, deer and the occasional horse.

Over the years more and more humans have been taking over the foothills, leave them for wild life. Maybe I've lived here too long but I can remember when deer creek road really did have deer on it.

Posted by trail runner, a resident of Fairmeadow
on May 23, 2011 at 10:51 pm

I think there still are deer out there. Not too many years ago, I was driving toward Arastradero Preserve on Page Mill Road near Coyote Hill road, and a deer leaped from the brush along the road and hit the side of my car. The deer did not survive and my van had $3000 worth of damage. I think the roads present a lot more danger to the deer than a pathway.

Posted by registered user, Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on May 24, 2011 at 5:20 pm

A trail to nowhere? Hell, that is what I thought the whole idea of trails was. If you want to commute, use the roads. If you want to walk, walk in a circle.

Posted by registered user, peter carpenter, a resident of Atherton
on May 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm

"Stanford really doesn't want to provide access to its lands in light of how popular the Dish loop has become."

Why should they? Would you want a trail through your backyard? Why does the public feel that they have a right to trepass on Stanford lands?

Posted by Chronic whiners, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 24, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Right on, peter. Notice how much of the opposition is from people that do not want talks near their home. So why should stanford give up it's land. Too many people have a sense of entitlement when it comes to what belongs to stanford, led by the committee for the green foothills, peter drekmeier and other like minded organizations and people. Read the nasty letter in todays PA daily news for an example of the mindset of these people. Time for stanford to rethink free access to the dish area for palo alto residents. BTW , the above editorial is poorly written and ignores the history of this whole issue.

Posted by trail to nowhere, a resident of Midtown
on May 24, 2011 at 6:08 pm

These trails are not a generous gift to local residents. As spelled out in the article, the city and county government traded numerous rights and permits to Stanford in exchange for publicly useful trails to connect local neighborhoods to parkland west of I-280. Stanford went ahead with their 2 million square feet of building projects, but never fulfilled their end of the deal. This is all a big scam by Stanford.

Peter Carpenter asks why should Stanford fulfill their promise? Because a promise is a promise! Why can't Stanford understand that?

Posted by registered user, peter carpenter, a resident of Atherton
on May 24, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Stanford fulfilled their promise - some people just don't like the result.

Again, would you want a trail through your backyard even after you had already built one in your front yard?

The ONLY reason that Palo Alto is able to engage in this extortion is because Stanford annexed the site of the hospital to Palo Alto years ago when Palo Alto was a part owner of the hospital. When Palo Alto walked away from its hospital ownership Stanford should have reclaimed the land from Palo Alto's planning jurisdiction.

Posted by Chronic whiners, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 24, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Trail to nowhere ignores the real facts and parrots the rhetoric from organizations like committee for the green foothills, claiming that stanford had not kept their end of the bargain. This is another example of people never being satisfied with what stanford has given you and feels that stanford should be subject to endless extortion from some people. Time to rethink free access to the dish for palo alto residents.

Posted by I agree, a resident of another community
on May 24, 2011 at 7:51 pm

We should let the rich and powerful, the huge endowment, the big staff of lawyers and developers at Stanford have their way.
So they lied, not a new phenomenon.

Posted by Nora Charles, a resident of Stanford
on May 25, 2011 at 11:27 pm

Walter, great comment!

For many, dissing Stanford will always be a spectator sport.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 26, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Nora Charles, so nice to read your post! How have you been? I liked Walter's comment, too. I always loved trails that led "nowhere" because one person's nowhere is another person's somewhere or doesn't-matter-where-because-I'm-happy-to-be-alive-&-kicking where ;-)

Posted by Bryan Wilson, a resident of South of Midtown
on May 27, 2011 at 7:43 am

I agree it's not very useful as a bike trail, but for a run or a walk from Barron Park or the Stanford Research Park area the new trail is really very nice, and it does provide access to an area that was previously off limits. Maybe some day we'll still be able to get that connection through the tunnel to the Arastradero preserve.