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Feb. 5, 2002

Michael Mewhinney

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

Phone: 650/604-3937 or 650/604-9000

mmewhinney@mail.arc.nasa.gov



Laura Thompson

Bay Trail Project

Phone: 510/464-7909

LauraT@abag.ca.gov



RELEASE: 02-14AR

NASA, ASSOCIATION OF BAY AREA GOVERNMENTS STEP OUT ON BAY TRAIL

NASA Ames Research Center, located in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to begin the process of connecting the San Francisco Bay Trail between the cities of Mountain View and Sunnyvale, Calif.

The agreement provides a planning framework for NASA and ABAG’s Bay Trail Project to work together to define a potential route and preferred alignment for an approximately two-mile segment of the Bay Trail along the perimeter of NASA Ames. When completed, the Bay Trail will provide a continuous 400-mile network of bicycling and hiking trails around the perimeter of San Francisco and San Pablo bays. This recreational corridor will provide connections between more than 130 parks and publicly accessible open space areas.

"We are pleased to be working with the Association of Bay Area Governments to help plan for the completion of this segment of the Bay Trail," said NASA Ames Research Center Director Dr. Henry McDonald. "The connection of the trail between Mountain View and Sunnyvale will benefit not only our local communities, but also the entire region," he said.

"The Bay Trail Project is committed to working with NASA and other parties to identify a new preferred alignment. We hope this spurs construction of a long-awaited continuous pedestrian and bicycle path between Mountain View and Sunnyvale," said Bay Project Trail Manager Janet McBride.

A portion of the eventual trail’s alignment along NASA’s border is expected to pass property occupied by the 129th Rescue Wing, California Air National Guard. In order to accommodate the proposed alignment, the California Air National Guard agreed last year to relocate and consolidate some of their munitions storage facilities.

"The 129th Rescue Wing continues to enjoy the hospitality of the cities of Mountain View and Sunnyvale. We're pleased we could find solutions to old problems and open our portion of the Bay Trail to our neighbors. We look forward to a future filled with new opportunities and positive change for the area," said Colonel James T. Williams, Commander, 129th Rescue Wing, California Air National Guard.

Ames has been working with the Bay Trail Project for a number of years on its proposal. Prior to construction of the trail, a joint California Environmental Quality Act/ National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 document analyzing the environmental impacts of the trail would be required.

"I am thrilled that NASA is committed to completing this difficult portion of the Bay Trail that will enhance the opportunity for current and future generations to enjoy the beauty of the bay and nature," said Sunnyvale Vice-Mayor Julia Miller, a member of the Bay Trail Project board of directors.

"We are pleased that NASA is working to see this important project completed," added Mountain View Mayor Sally Lieber. "The Bay Trail will provide an environmentally sound alternative commute route for the many avid cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts who live in this area."

The new agreement with ABAG will provide for future agreements, including those that will provide an easement of NASA property for the eventual construction of the Bay Trail. While NASA will provide an easement for the trail to be built, planning and construction of the trail, including all required environmental impact studies, will be the responsibility of the Bay Trail Project and local agencies.

The Bay Trail plan was prepared by ABAG pursuant to Senate Bill 100, authored by then-State Senator Bill Lockyer and adopted into law in 1987. The law directed ABAG to develop a plan for this ‘ring around the bay,’ including a specific alignment for the Bay Trail. Adopted by ABAG in 1989, the plan also calls for connections to existing park and recreation facilities; creating links to existing and proposed transportation facilities; and for the trail to be designed to avoid adverse effects on environmentally sensitive areas. ABAG created the San Francisco Bay Trail Project in 1990 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to planning, promoting and advocating implementation of the Bay Trail.

The Bay Trail is envisioned to provide easily accessible recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts and as a commute alternative for cyclists. When completed, the Bay Trail will connect the shoreline of all nine Bay Area counties, link 47 cities, and cross the region’s major toll bridges. To date, approximately 215 miles of the alignment–or slightly more than half the Bay Trail’s ultimate length–have been completed.

For more information about the Bay Trail Project, please see the project web site:

http://baytrail.abag.ca.gov

For information about the NASA Research Park, please see the project web site:

http://researchpark.arc.nasa.gov

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