Sand Hill Road

From Academic Kids

Sand Hill Road is a road in Menlo Park, California, notable for the concentration of venture capital companies there. Its significance as a symbol of private equity in the United States may be compared to that of Wall Street in the stock market. Connecting El Camino Real and Interstate 280, the road provides easy access to Stanford University and Silicon Valley. For several years during the Dotcom boom of the late 1990s, commercial real-estate on Sand Hill Road was more expensive than anywhere else in the U.S. (even Manhattan).

Some of the areas Sand Hill Road venture capitalists invest in:

Sand Hill Road also serves as home to the Stanford Linear Accelerator.


For many years, Sand Hill Road's northern end terminated in the middle of Stanford Shopping Center's parking lot, and the only four-lane segment was the section from Interstate 280 to Alameda de las Pulgas (the section where all the venture capitalists are housed).

This situation resulted in two severe bottlenecks which made it difficult to travel to and from Stanford Shopping Center, Stanford University, and Menlo Park.

Extension and widening of the road was ferociously opposed by environmentalists who were concerned about the road's proximity to San Francisquito Creek, and by residents of Menlo Park, who feared that completion of the road would increase traffic congestion in their area due to the mid-Peninsula region's lack of a direct north-south arterial.

After three decades of lobbying, negotiation, and litigation, the road was finally completed to El Camino Real in 2001. Oddly, only the existing portion from just north of Alameda de las Pulgas to just south of Stanford Shopping Center was widened to four lanes; the new extension past the shopping center was built only as two lanes.

The bottleneck near Alameda de las Pulgas is currently being fixed and should be taken care of by 2006. The project was delayed because the stretch of land at issue was the only segment of Sand Hill Road which runs through Menlo Park; the city reversed its stubborn opposition to the widening of its segment only after it saw how well the widening of the northern Palo Alto segment turned out.


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