Friday, Aug 28, 2015
Carol Marks
  • The Ravenswood Bay Trail connection will close the half-mile gap in the Bay Trail, located at the boundary of East Palo Alto and Menlo Park. When completed, this project will create an 80-mile segment of continuous trail and will link three counties and a toll bridge!

    Because of this gap, bicyclists and pedestrians have to detour two (2) miles on city streets. When completed, this connection will eliminate the detour, make the route more scenic and make it safe for both pedestrians and cyclists. The connection will be situated along an active transportaiton corridor that serves major employers in the region. That will encourage some workers to get out of their cars and bike to work instead!

    The trail gap is complex because of its location; the new portion of the trail will be constructed across wetlands, a railroad line, and the Belle Haven residential Menlo Park neighborhood. The project will cost approximately $2.1 million, but a public-private partnership that includes multiple entities pledging various amounts of funding, has made the completion of the Bay Trail possible. San Mateo County has awarded $1 million of Measure A funds to the project, thanks to a funding request submitted by ABAG on behalf of the partners. San Mateo County Parks already incorporated this project into their Measure A budget, which was tentatively approved in June and is set for foraml approval in September when the budtet is adopted.

    Additionally, the Santa Clara County Stanford mitigation fund awarded the Ravenswood Bay Trail Connection project $400,000 in 2012. In 2014, Facebook agreed to construct another Bay trail segment along University Avenue between the Ravenswood Connection and the Bayshore Highway.

    This Ravenswood Trail connection is the culmination of years of extensive planning and hard work by numerous City, County, and private partners. Public workshops and working groups held in East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and SFPUC were also vital to the planning of the Ravenswood Bay Trail Connection.

    The final agreement required an alignment study that conducted topographical surveys and construction cost estimates. On August 26, officials from San Mateo County Parks, City of Menlo Park, East Palo Alto, ABAG, MidPeninsula Regional Open Space District gathered to walk the land and discuss alignment issues and options.

    The Ravenswood Bay Trail Connection is an extraordinary example of the public and private sectors effectively working together for the betterment of the region. I am looking forward to the day in the not too distant future when we can walk and bike this new stretch of the Bay Trail!