Measure-A Grant to Help Plan and Build Ravenswood Bay Trail
Tuesday, September 1st 2015
Today San Mateo County and Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (Midpen) entered into a much-anticipated partnership to design, engineer and complete a critical 0.6-mile section of the San Francisco Bay Trail over the next two years using $1 million in San Mateo County Measure A funds, $700,000 in Midpen Measure AA funds and $400,000 from the Santa Clara County Stanford Mitigation Fund. When completed, San Mateo County residents will have access to an 80-mile contiguous stretch of multi-use trail where bicyclists and pedestrians will be able to enjoy the shoreline, commute to school and work, and exercise outdoors with friends and family.
The Ravenswood Bay Trail is located between Midpen’s Ravenswood Open Space Preserve and University Avenue, along the boundary between the cities of East Palo Alto and Menlo Park. This project will give hikers, bicyclists, joggers, bird watchers and outdoor enthusiasts improved access to local and regional parks, connected trails and the restored wetlands that are a natural buffer to rising sea levels. The project’s close proximity to the Dumbarton Bridge and major employers along the trail including Facebook, Google, Yahoo and LinkedIn, make it a key regional bicycle transportation corridor and commute alternative, with the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the project will provide Peninsula residents with greater access to the shoreline and will improve the infrastructure for healthy lifestyles in East Palo Alto and the Belle Haven area of Menlo Park.
“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.
The County, Midpen, and the cities of East Palo Alto and Menlo Park have been working diligently to fill this gap for the last ten years. Some of the challenges have been a nearby railroad line that could be activated in the future, salt pond restoration projects, Hetch Hetchy water pipes, multiple jurisdictions and property owners, wetlands and habitat protections, and the required clean up of a former gun club.
The San Francisco Bay Trail is a regional trail whose completion relies on continued collaboration among shoreline property owners, cities, local governments, regional, state and federal agencies with jurisdiction over the trail alignment, nonprofits and advocates. Today, the trail is approximately 338-miles long and passes through 47 cities. When complete, it will be 500-miles long and will encircle the San Francisco and San Pablo Bays.
San Mateo County’s Measure A is a 10-year, half-cent general sales tax approved by voters in 2012 to fund essential services and maintain or replace critical facilities. According to San Mateo County Parks Director Marlene Finley, “We’re pleased to partner with MidPen on the Ravenswood Bay Trail as regional trails are a high priority for County Parks. This project is a great example of how Measure A funds are being used to develop trails that enhance the quality of life for residents and park visitors.”