Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Sign up for Email Updates
CGF In the News
Stanford trails long time coming
When Stanford received permission from Santa Clara County in its 2000 General Use Permit for five million square feet of development, it agreed to undertake several actions to mitigate the impact from its development. Among other things, Stanford committed to develop two trails crossing Stanford lands as shown in the Countywide Trails Master Plan.
The proposed "S1" trail will roughly parallel Matadero Creek and Old Page Mill Road. This trail has encountered a series of problems with Stanford's refusal so far to accept any alignment that is both acceptable to neighbors and capable of providing real recreational mitigation for the development Stanford has received.
However bad the situation with the S1 trail may be, the other trail's situation is even worse. The "C1" trail should run on the north side of Stanford's property, more or less along the border with Alpine Road, San Francisquito Creek, and Los Trancos Creek. The university has proposed that its promised C1 trail would be an already-existing trail alongside Alpine Road, which Stanford would "develop" by remodeling the trail.
The Committee for Green Foothills has consistently opposed this flawed concept. On the most fundamental level, this proposal fails to achieve the central purpose of the trail that Stanford promised to deliver in 2000: to provide increased recreational opportunities in order to make up for the strain that Stanford's five million square feet of new development would cause. Labeling an existing trail as new mitigation for new impacts is ridiculous. Expanding the trail as Stanford has proposed does very little to help its recreational value, and may cause environmental impacts to San Francisquito and Los Trancos Creeks. And much of this trail lies within San Mateo County.
The Committee and other environmental groups continue to promote the "community-supported" C1-B trail alignment. The C1-B alignment runs on Stanford land, unlike much of the Alpine Road trail, and it is appropriate that Stanford's environmental impacts be mitigated by a trail on Stanford land. The C1-B alignment also stays within Santa Clara County, a crucial issue since it is the County that is supervising Stanford's compliance with the General Use Permit. Finally, the C1-B is a much superior and safer trail that winds away from road traffic, giving the public and members of the Stanford community a much better place to go.
The Committee will continue to work on the C1 and S1 trail alignments to ensure that the public receives the mitigation they deserve, which is what Stanford agreed to nearly three years ago.
For more information, see our Action
Page last updated September 13, 2010