Future Linear Park in East Palo Alto

How can East Palo Alto work with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to construct a new linear park on their land?

In December I visited the 2021-opened Fayette Greenway Park in Mountain View, CA. It is a "collaboration between the City of Mountain View and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and is constructed on SFPUC-owned property" (Source).

Every time I have been there, there have been at least 10 people in the park at a given time, plus their dogs (which is almost like a one-to-one ratio). One friend who lives nearby told me they love the prevalent purple flowers which attract hummingbirds. Needless to say, the park seems very successful in activating the space and bringing the community together.

Fayette Greenway in Mountain View, CA, adjacent to Domus on the Boulevard near El Camino Real and San Antonio Rd.
Hummingbirds love these flowers in Fayette Greenway Park.

The question I have is: how can East Palo Alto expedite the process and also work with the SFPUC to use an even longer right-of-way in the northern University Village neighborhood to create a new park? Unlike my other idea of acquiring a 0.66 acre lot for a new park, this land has been identified in our East Palo Alto Parks Master Plan.

East Palo Alto Should Acquire 0.66 Acre Land for $100k for New Park
I think the City of East Palo Alto should acquire the ~0.66 acre land at the end of Verbena Dr for a new park. In this blog post, I aim to outline why I think residents would benefit from this and I outline a “design doc” for how the city can acquire the land for a new park.
Notice the long green strip of SFPUC-owned land in the northern University Village neighborhood of East Palo Alto, CA. This photo is from Apple Maps 3D view,
Notice the long green strip in the northern University Village neighborhood of East Palo Alto, CA. 

The land we have is also the same ~100 foot wide dimensions (I measured on Google Earth) as the land for Fayette Greenway. Our land is a lot longer too, and would benefit the entire University Village community that surrounds it and does not have any internal parks.

While I have not heard any mention of plans or fundings to create a similar greenway in East Palo Alto, I have heard about progress being made to open the gates on Tulane Ave (and possibly other streets) which are locked. As a result, neighbors have not been able to access the San Francisco Bay Trail unless they detour all the way around.

On our recent Public Works & Transportation Commission Meeting, public works director Humza Javed mentioned that we are expected to open an automated gate for pedestrians sometime in the spring this year. This would be a huge win for the community, and after we have this we should really work towards opening the linear greenway.

One safety issue with the greenway is that because it is so long, if someone were to be targeted with violence, it would be very difficult to escape as the 2 entrances are far away. It would be nice if the city could work with single family homeowners - one of the left side and one on the right side - to grant an easement into the park. For instance, an entrance along Hunter St and another along Stevens Ave would be great. I have seen similar examples in Palo Alto, CA, where the city has pedestrian walks ways between single family homes that connect residential roads with parks where they otherwise would not have been an entrance.

Share this article: Link copied to clipboard!

You might also like...