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

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 environme83″>ly 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:

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