Image: Dumbarton rail corridor where it crosses Middlefield Road in North Fair Oaks

As we shared early last month, SamTrans does not recommend a multiuse trail on the Dumbarton right of way from Redwood City Caltrain to Dumbarton Bridge in the Draft Corridor Study (more background and the full study here).

SamTrans is in the midst of a round of presentations at commissions, city councils, and other forums (for a full list, see below and at this link). At many of these meetings, SamTrans is hearing that residents are concerned with the lack of a trail on the Draft Study.

SVBC is working with a coalition of other non-profit groups to overcome the technical reasons that a trail wasn’t recommended by discussing various ideas with SamTrans. As many of you have read the study, you’ve come to us and SamTrans with innovative solutions for accommodating all the modes in this project. SVBC believes there are options out there and we want SamTrans to be creative and open-minded in figuring out a vision for this important resource.

In the meantime, we encourage you to continue attending meetings, sending in comments, and contacting your elected officials (city council, San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, and the SamTrans Board of Directors) to let them know why a trail alongside transit on this corridor makes sense for you. Comments should be shared with SamTrans staff, Melissa Reggiardo: through the end of September. The SamTrans Board will vote on an updated plan in early November or December.

In addition to the public presentations by SamTrans, we are working with our allies on two community forums on this topic in Menlo Park and Redwood City. The first is coming right up on Monday, September 11 at 6:30 pm at the Menlo Park Senior Center with SVBC as a panelist. This will be an opportunity to learn and discuss how the proposals relate to community goals, including:

  • Relationships with local land use plans to create “live work play” neighborhoods with housing, including affordable housing and local-serving retail
  • Improving walking, bicycling, and public spaces for all
  • Improving mobility, addressing congestion and cut-through traffic

We hope you can join us! RSVP here.

Talking points for meetings/comments:

  • SamTrans should continue to investigate the minimum standards for bus, rail, and trails to find creative solutions to accommodating all modes on the corridor.
  • SamTrans should look into alternative solutions for buses in one direction or for segments of the corridor. Are there roadway alternatives that would be more straightforward or faster?
  • A paved bike/ped trail within the Dumbarton Rail Corridor would:
    • Provide a safe and critical bicycle/pedestrian transportation connection from across the Dumbarton Bridge to downtown Redwood City and destinations in between.
    • Reduce traffic congestion, particularly during commute hours.
    • Create recreational and health opportunities and safe routes to destinations in communities underserved by safe bicycle and pedestrian transportation alternatives, including North Fair Oaks, Ravenswood, and East Palo Alto.
    • Be a transportation option for short trips compatible with a parallel rail and/or bus transit.
    • Offer a cost effective option for transportation that could be achieved in the short term.