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Perimeter Trail History

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In 2012 Santa Clara County established a special grant fund of $10.4 million to provide recreational opportunities for Stanford campus residents and facility users.  (Note: Stanford provided the $10.4 Million to the County in accordance with the 2006 County/Stanford Agreement on Trails.)

The City of Palo Alto and Stanford submitted a joint application for “The Stanford and Palo Alto Trails Program” — a set of connected trails and bike lanes in the City and Stanford providing a long-desired route for bicyclists and pedestrians from the Palo Alto bay lands to the ridge (Arastradero Preserve). 

The joint Stanford and Palo Alto proposal received broad community support, and the County Board of Supervisors voted in December 2012 to allocate $10 million to the Palo Alto and Stanford program ($5.5 million to Palo Alto trails and $4.5 million to the Stanford Perimeter Trail), subject to final approval of more detailed project implementation and funding agreements.

To refine the proposal for the Stanford Perimeter Trail, Stanford conducted two public outreach meetings in 2013 and additional consultations in 2013 and 2014 with representatives of the City, the Stanford Campus Residential Leaseholders, the Palo Alto School District, the Palo Alto PTA, the Safe Routes to School programs at Nixon and Escondido Schools, the Committee for Dish Access, public safety officials, and the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition and other bicycle groups.

After the community consultations, Stanford’s improved and detailed project plans for the Stanford Perimeter Trail (as described in 'Trail Details' pages of this website) were submitted to the County for evaluation, review, and approval.  On December 11, 2014, the County’s Architectural and Site Committee held a public meeting on the project and after hearing public testimony voted unanimously to approve the project.  That approval decision was open to the County’s normal appeals process, but when no appeal was filed within the permitted time, the decision became final. 

One final matter remained.  In order to receive the $4.5 million dollars allocated by the Board of Supervisors in 2012, Stanford had to reach agreement with the County on certain conditions for County funding. When Stanford and County staff could not reach agreement on all the terms of a funding agreement, Stanford chose to move forward with the project using its own funds. 

Read the Stanford decision letter to the County