Guest opinion: Another perspective on Stanford funding for trail Other Topics, posted by Editor, The Almanac Online, on Aug 6, 2012 at 10:20 am
The June 29 guest opinion in the Palo Alto Weekly submitted by Stanford's James Sweeney is laden with misleading and selectively chosen arguments. Mr. Sweeney's piece (Web Link) addressed the $10.3 million Stanford failed to impose on San Mateo County on three separate occasions to build a multi-use bicycle path along Alpine Road.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, August 1, 2012, 12:00 AM
Posted by Andrew Boone, a resident of the Menlo Park: The Willows neighborhood, on Aug 6, 2012 at 10:20 am
Steve Schmidt is right - it's appropriate to spend funds allocated to the mitigation of the loss of recreational opportunities associated with Stanford's campus expansion since 2000 on improvements that would benefit the greatest number of residents, whether they live on the Stanford Campus or not.
It's shameful that Stanford is trying, 12 years later, to prevent Santa Clara County from making key improvements to the Bay Trail - a world-class recreational facility that's used every day by thousands of local residents, including Stanford Campus residents.
Completing the missing section of the Bay Trail in Palo Alto and construction the Adobe Creek Bike/Ped Bridge over Highway 101 are far more useful for recreation than any trail improvement on the Stanford Campus could possibly be, given that the campus is already blessed with a multitude of walking, jogging, and bicycling trails.
Posted by Adina, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Aug 6, 2012 at 12:23 pm
Peter, it is not a fine. It is a mitigation measure that *Stanford agreed to* in its General Use Permit agreement with Santa Clara County in 2000. Stanford agreed to compensate the public for the loss of publicly accessible trails that it closed off as part of its plans to expand campus.
The money was committed more than 10 years ago, and has been gathering interest rather than building trails.
Posted by Margaret Pye, a resident of another community, on Aug 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm
I'm afraid Mr. Carpenter is missing the point here. Stanford already agreed to pay this $10 million, years ago, because they realized their expanded building projects would impact traffic badly in the entire area. This is not about "fining" Stanford $10 million.
I strongly agree with Steve Schmidt that the best use of this money (which has already been promised by Stanford) is the completion of the Bay Trail and the Adobe Creek / 101 overcrossing.
Posted by a promise is a promise, a resident of the Portola Valley: Ladera neighborhood, on Aug 6, 2012 at 7:32 pm
I agree with Mayor Schmidt. Stanford made the promise to build these trails in return for various building permits and accommodations by neighboring cities. Stalling for 12 years is abhorrent. Stanford had plenty of time to do the right thing, but they chose not to. The government was negligent in not pushing harder. Now it is time to take charge and get something done before the people hurt by Stanford's actions are dead and gone.
If Stanford continues to refuse to build a direct trail from campus to the Arastradero Preserve, then the bridge over Hwy 101 and Bay Trail segment are the most worthy alternatives in the local area.
Posted by Reality Check, a resident of another community, on Aug 8, 2012 at 9:36 pm
Peter Carpenter does everything but acknowledge and address the fact that Stanford is sleazily reneging on a promise made. A deal's a deal, and Carpenter's endless enumeration of non sequitur facts/observations has no bearing on that. Irrelevant.
A fine honorable upstanding citizen (literal or figurative) keeps his (its) word ... regardless of how many good deeds and philanthropic actions his defenders and apologists proffer on his behalf.
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, on Aug 8, 2012 at 10:23 pm Peter Carpenter is a member (registered user) of Almanac Online
Stanford has totally complied with its agreement with Santa Clara County. Only people who have not read the agreement can continue with the lie that Stanford has not done so.
Stanford signed a legal agreement with Santa Clara County that provided that Stanford fund or provide trail enhancements in the immediate vicinity of the campus. The southern trail has been built and for the northern trail Stanford has repeatedly tried hard to get San Mateo County to accept the $10 million and the county has refused. The funds then reverted to uses in Santa Clara County.
Posted by amazed, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Aug 9, 2012 at 2:36 pm
Yet again those with their own agendas eye Stanford's money as their own and begin to put forth the lies to base their claims to deciding how it should be spent.
Mitigation ... of what? The loss of lands for recreation use to the STANFORD residents, not us. Traffic mitigation? Exactly how many cars have been taken OFF of our roads by all the housing they put in?? Where is the housing in oh... say Menlo Park? or Portola Valley? They are just getting around to that. Stanford is DONE.
We'd have the Alpine situation halfway completed by now if not for the lies about the SIZE of the trail that the naysayers created to make sure that the offer died. A trail across the Dish? Never promised. Go find the lawyer to prove it. That's issue is dead!
A trail that doesn't even come close to Stanford as mitigation for the recreational areas taken away? Fat chance!
You want to get angry? Get mad at those that pushed the idea the Stanford wanted to create a freeway out of Alpine and now have to figure out how to find the money to keep it from falling into the creek.
How many millions has Stanford pushed into the local economy vs all the corporations that are sitting on their earnings? All that, and they still can offer you an education at the same cost as a UC (much easier these days) if you can't afford the full cost.
Palo Altans? You feel the need to have MORE given to you when you keep your own park closed to the rest of us in the area? Now THAT is cold. Stanford only keeps us out when it's not safe. How many San Mateo open spaces can you visit? How 'bout you mitigate some money to us?