News

Board of Supervisors approves funding for Ravenswood section of Bay Trail

 

At its Tuesday, Sept. 1, meeting, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors awarded $1 million in Measure A funds to Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (Midpen) to close a gap in the San Francisco Bay Trail in East Palo Alto, according to a County of San Mateo Parks Department press release.

The work will be dedicated to the Ravenswood Bay Trail, a 0.6-mile gap in the contiguous 80-mile trail along the Bay connecting San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. The trail is located between the Ravenswood Open Space Preserve and University Avenue, along the borders of East Palo Alto and Menlo Park.

Midpen will also pitch in $700,000 in Measure AA funds. And another $400,000 from the Santa Clara County Stanford University Mitigation Fund will go toward the project.

The project will take place over the next two years. When completed, San Mateo County residents will have access to the multiuse trail, as well as to local and regional parks, restored wetlands and the shoreline. The project also aims to "improve the infrastructure for healthy lifestyles in East Palo Alto and the Belle Haven area of Menlo Park," according to the press release.

"We're very pleased that in a few short years, we'll be able to offer residents of the southern part of the County direct access to one of the nation's premier trail systems and a wonderful nature destination right in their backyards," said Steve Abbors, Midpen general manager, in a statement.

The San Francisco Bay Trail is in close proximity to the Dumbarton Bridge and employers such as Facebook, Google, Yahoo and LinkedIn, making it "a key regional bicycle transportation corridor and commute alternative," the press release reads.

Comments

7 people like this
Posted by andrew rich
a resident of Woodland Ave. area (East Palo Alto)
on Sep 1, 2015 at 3:48 pm

andrew rich is a registered user.

This is terrific news! Biking and running out in the Ravenswood Preserve is great, but a connection to the Bay Trail that doesn't go through residential EPA has been a huge missing link. There's some waffle language in that press release that bothers me, though, about "improving infrastructure for healthy lifestyles" -- which could mean just about anything. Still, as long as a trail connector from Ravenswood Open Space to the Bay Trail is finished and open, I'll be happy.


8 people like this
Posted by yes yes yes
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 1, 2015 at 4:39 pm

Can't wait for this bike path to open. Bicycling along University Ave to get to the Dumbarton Bridge is a most unpleasant experience.


4 people like this
Posted by yes yes yes
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 1, 2015 at 5:08 pm

P.S. Does anyone know what the "contiguous 80-mile trail" is going to be? I know there is currently a 20-mile contiguous trail from East Palo Alto to San Jose, but then there are huge gaps in Milpitas, Fremont, Redwood City, and South San Francisco. Is closing those gaps also part of the plan?


2 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 1, 2015 at 7:08 pm

Bay Trail website/maps -- Web Link

The online map is a little finicky in my browser, but I managed to navigate. It's the whole bay, zoomable to about 1 inch equals 500 feet, so you can see precisely where the entire trail goes.

This 0.6 mile section must be the dotted line running along the old Dumbarton railroad (tracks not shown on their map). There will still be 1/3-mile along University, but on a separated paved path.

Looks like there's nothing yet from Marsh Road to Redwood Shores.


1 person likes this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 2, 2015 at 9:55 am

This is a welcome enhancement to the Bay Trail!

Improving the access and safety will be worth it.


4 people like this
Posted by Mark Dinan
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 2, 2015 at 11:16 am

Mark Dinan is a registered user.

I wonder if this will cover the stretch between Runnymede and Cooley Landing? This part is a dirt trail and not good for bicycles, particularly in rainy weather. I am sure the many cyclists commuting to FB would appreciate riding entirely on the Bay to get to work instead of having to cut through city streets.


3 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 2, 2015 at 11:37 am

@Mark Dinan:

It doesn't look like it. It you look at the online map provided at musical's URL, the project site is the connection between University Avenue in Menlo Park and Ravenswood Open Space (just north of Tulane Avenue).

Here is the project plan document from the County of San Mateo parks division:

Web Link

The short gap of the Bay Trail at Weeks Street is not identified in the project plan.


Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 2, 2015 at 3:13 pm

@Parent, nice find. Doesn't seem to be any link to this document from the Bay Trail website. The 7th page answers my curiosity about the exact trail alignment. Facebook is credited for building the 1/3-mile paved path along University Avenue last year.


12 people like this
Posted by Pearl
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2015 at 8:22 pm

Pearl is a registered user.

Why are taxpayer dollars being spent on a trail that is used by only an estimated 1/16th of the local population? :(


3 people like this
Posted by Neal
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 2, 2015 at 8:50 pm

Pearl,

In your opinion what percentage of the local population should be required to use a public benefit to justify using tax payers dollars?


6 people like this
Posted by Pearl
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2015 at 9:31 pm

Pearl is a registered user.

Neal,

Considerably more than are using it now.


2 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 3, 2015 at 1:49 am

These aren't ordinary taxpayer dollars. It's special taxes we voted for specifically to fund these types of projects, at least regarding the Measure AA dollars, for which there was plenty of public input at the Midpen visioning meetings. I'll let someone else argue the Measure A applicability, which could be questionable, but looks good to me. The Stanford money is probably headed here just because this trail is one of the lesser controversial uses.

The $2.1M total is a bit short of the $2.3M construction cost estimate I saw earlier, but maybe they found some corners to cut. If I'm reading the map correctly, half the new trail length will be simply painted onto an existing SFPUC (Hetch Hetchy) service road. About 800 feet will be new pavement (asphalt?) laid on solid ground. Then over the wetlands there's about a 100-foot bridge and 600 feet of boardwalk, which I expect are the expensive parts. We could ask about their design lifetime and future maintenance costs.

My own pet peeve is that all the trails are not open 24/7, and it's very difficult to ascertain the permitted hours for any given segment.


Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 3, 2015 at 6:23 am

Good, but it's about time!

Now, how about some money for Rangers to patrol or some kind of monitoring or phone system in case people have problems?


Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 3, 2015 at 6:31 am

>> Bicycling along University Ave to get to the Dumbarton Bridge is a most unpleasant experience.

You are a braver person than me ... sooner or later the odds are going to catch up with you exposing yourself to that kind of accident risk, University Ave is one of those roads where people don't really think much about what they are doing ... half the time people are on their phones. Good luck!


Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 3, 2015 at 6:33 am

>> I know there is currently a 20-mile contiguous trail from East Palo Alto to San Jose, but then there are huge gaps in Milpitas

Where is that?

I had heard that this was the intention with the Steven's Creek Trail, but I was not aware it went to San Jose yet?


Posted by Parent
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis

on Sep 3, 2015 at 6:42 am


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1 person likes this
Posted by MV Resident
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 3, 2015 at 7:55 am

CrescentParkAnon,

The Bay Trail has had a paved trail from the Ravenswood Open Space to Alviso Marina County Park for years.

You should check out the maps at BayTrail.org. I know the City of Mountain View has free bike maps of the Shoreline area; the bike safety department passes them out at various events throughout the year.

Apparently Palo Alto Bicycles on University Avenue distributes the physical Bay Trail map.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 3, 2015 at 2:31 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Pearl - Where did you come up with your "only 1/16th of the population"?

East Palo Alto has 30,000 residents, and we have been waiting a long time for this. The trail will also be a boon to many other locals who cycle and walk. You know, that includes some of the techies who are responsible for the housing crunch that has driven your rent really high.Funny how when Facebook throws money at the community by paving a tiny bit of trail that our elected politicians decide to add more money.


6 people like this
Posted by Pearl
a resident of another community
on Sep 3, 2015 at 5:25 pm

Pearl is a registered user.

Hmmm - The population of San Mateo County as of 2013 was 747,373, so the number of people from San Mateo County using the trail would more accurately be even fewer than the 1/16th figure I initially posted.


5 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 3, 2015 at 5:49 pm

The fraction of taxpayers using my government-funded cul de sac is infinitesimal.


2 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 3, 2015 at 8:53 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Pearl - what I want to know if how you calculated that figure? Anyone can use the trail, even foreign visitors, undocumented immigrants, Ohlone Indians and other First Nations people, residents of any other county...or country.

Musical - have you been able to figure out what the per capita cost is of your cul de sac? ;-)


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