The District is studying two potential areas to provide additional parking at Mission Peak Regional Preserve
The Issue: As Mission Peak has become increasingly popular in recent years, parking at the Stanford Avenue Staging Area is full throughout the day, resulting in overflow parking in the surrounding neighborhood streets. The Stanford Avenue Staging Area accommodates 47 cars, and overflow parking demand vastly exceeds that. On busy weekends, over 300 cars park in the surrounding neighborhood streets, creating problems for neighbors and park visitors alike.
What is the District doing about this? The District is analyzing two locations for additional parking within the boundaries of Mission Peak. Each location would provide a maximum of 300 parking spaces and would include connecting trails, picnic tables, restrooms, and vegetated infiltration swales that would serve to capture and treat parking area run-off and provide visual screening.
Option A is located in an area of open grassland that has a bowl-like topography off the Hidden Valley Trail, fairly close to the entrance gate.
Option B is located in the area currently used by the District's grazing contractor off the Peak Meadow Trail.
The District is also analyzing the No Project Alternative. With this option, no additional parking will be developed at Mission Peak and all existing conditions will remain the same as they are now.
Current Status: The District is completing preliminary design of the two parking areas being studied. We have hired an excellent consultant team to complete the required environmental analysis and prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the project. The EIR will analyze the potentially significant environmental impacts of Option A, Option B, and the No Project Alternative. We expect the Draft EIR will be available in the summer - fall of 2013 for a 45-day public review and comment period, during which time the District will host a public meeting in addition to accepting written comments.
Interesting in helping us? Please consider parking at Ohlone College ($2.00 fee Monday - Saturday & FREE on Sunday) and taking the trail from there - it also leads to the summit of Mission Peak. AC Transit is another option, with a stop right in the Ohlone College parking area.
If you park in the surrounding neighborhoods, please be considerate to our neighbors by walking on sidewalks, placing litter in receptacles at Mission Peak or packing it out with you, and keeping noise to a minimum. Thank you for your cooperation!
Hi there - I would hate to see the beautiful swale of park land in and adjacent Option A graded and paved under. Surely there are lower-impact solutions to the parking problems at Stanford Ave! I suspect that the existing parking challenge is actually a deterrent, and adding parking via Option A and B will simply draw more visitors. I recommend charging entrance fees, and adding new signage regarding the Ohlone College trailhead. Perhaps on weekends buses could run from lots TBD in the Warm Springs area. EBRPD: Please help maintain Mission Peak in its current state for future generations!
I agree with Mike. Adding parking lots will not resolve anything in fact it will cause more problems. EBRPD should working on perserving Mission Peak not ruining its beauty by adding parking lots.
Building a 300 spaces parking lot would only increase the traffic on Stanford Ave and cause more disruption to the neighborhood. Picture a Walmart parking lot,and that is how a structure that can accommodate 300 cars would look like!!! Another access to Mission Peak, whether via Ohole College or elsewhere should be developed and encouraged. At the same time, acess from Stanford Ave should be discouraged by charging parking fees or entrance fees. Stanford Ave and its surrounding streets are supposed to be quiet residential neighborhoods, not conduit to a busy 300 spaces parking lot.
Option A., B. & "No Project Alternative" are not going to help.
Agree with Mike, Preeti and Mary that he parking lot should not be added (what a sad use of open space), it is no longer reasonable to have Stanford Ave provide access to so many - an alternative entrance and improvements to Ohlone access, trails, & amenities should be made. However doing nothing or parking fees would encourage parking in front of people's homes even more. At the moment, residents have to deal with:
1. Broken glass from the break-ins to hiker's cars, trash, dog droppings
2. Having a miserable time trying to have a party or open house as there's no room for people to park off of driveways
3. Nowhere to put trash, etc out for collection other than blocking their driveways
4. Blocked hydrants
5. Partially blocked driveways and mailboxes
6. Hard to see to exit roads and driveways safely
7. People speeding down Stanford
8. Probably a whole bunch more I'm missing.
I'm not personally affected by any except 6. yet, but my neighbors are, and the problems are getting worse all the time.
Making the entire neighborhood resident's parking only might be unenforceable, but worth considering. Without enforced permit-only parking, it's hard to know what would discourage people other than, as suggested above, an entrance fee there and free at the other entrance(s), if the Stanford entrance could be staffed.
It would be sad to close this entrance completely, but what other new options are there that are fair to residents and hikers alike?
I hope the people with the power to help are really listening.
Survey stakes were set over the last month but there are few if any for Option B. It would seem to me if both options are seriously being considered then the potential area to be considered for Option B should also be delineated.
I question where the number of 300 parking spaces originated. The weekend and holiday traffic is significant however during the remainder of the week there is available parking in or near the Stanford parking lot. Why not set up parking for temporary access using the undeveloped spaces outside the park boundary for overflow parking and then chain them off during the week? Another option would be to set up designated parking near the resident's homes and continue to allow unrestricted parking everywhere else. wm
Creating parking lots inside the park will only bring on more visitors and the need for more parking spaces. It is best to leave things as they are and spend the money on restoring the park. It has already been ravaged by unruly hikers who do not follow the trails, who create short cuts that cause soil erosion and hikers who have no hesitation to hike on rainy days when the trails are most susceptible to damage and uncontrolled widening. The Park district should put more effort in educating hikers.
The only long term solution to the exponential growth in traffic is to limit access on some days of the week and on rainy days and the number of hours. Failing this, the problems will only grow and the park and the residents around the park will continue to suffer.
You're right, a parking lot isn't going to help. It's capacity will be exceeded almost immediately, as it will attract even more hikers. So thoughtless, littering people will be outside everyone's homes throughout the surrounding neighborhood again. The residential roads leading to Mission Peak will have non-stop traffic and be even less safe. I hike and don't even live on an affected road (yet), but I'd rather see the Stanford park entrance close than have my neighbors subjected to this.
As residents have suggested, please, City Council / Park district- make changes that will "manage" the visitor traffic e.g.
- CHARGE an entrance fee at this entrance to all non-Fremont residents (this is a practice EBParks uses in Pleasanton @ Sunol ridge)
- Make it a higher fee for non-Alameda Co. residents who are NOT contributing tax dollars for the EBParks
- Advertise/ market the Ohlone entrance (no entrance fee),
- Create other access points to the trail.
Having people collect fees would create jobs, and could cover their salaries. I'd be happy to pay a fee despite being a resident, if it meant the above were done and we could have a clean, safe neighborhood again.
Hi Joanne - I do indeed receive and read these posts! Thank you so much for taking the time to provide feedback - that is exactly what this site is intended for.
The District and it's consultant are continuing to work on the Environmental Impact Report for the Stanford Avenue Staging Area Expansion Project and the District is working on a seperate document to address the management options you have listed. These will be available for public review upon completion. I will have a better idea as to when public review will occur sometime next month.
The only item I wanted to specifically comment on is the paid entrance at Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park. I think the entrance you are thinking of is through Augustin-Bernal Community Park, which is a City of Pleasanton facility. The staging area is within the Golden Eagle Farms gated community. Non-residents of the Golden Eagle Farms community can use the staging area after they obtain a pass from the City of Pleasanton. I don't think there is a fee associated with the pass.
Thank you again for your posts! ~ Michelle
The issue with parking is that it is needed. The current parking lot is too small and a larger lot needs to be constructed. It is true that providing more parking may create more traffic and thereby use of the park. On Saturday (1/25/14 at 9:30am) there were cars lined up to Mission Blvd on both Stanford Avenue and Antelope Drive. Parking extended on Antelope Drive north onto Boar Circle for the first 9 houses on either side. Creation of a larger parking lot would contain the majority of these visitors to use of the EBRPD lot. There could still be some use of the residential streets outside the park however this would most likely be limited to a few holidays or weekends. In counting the available parking outside the park on Antelope Drive, Vineyard Avenue and Stanford there are over 300 parking slots that are not in front of houses, driveways or fire hydrants. I asked the Fremont Police Department if restricted parking could be established in front of the residences and was told that they do not want to go down that path as other Fremont communities also want restricted parking and policing it is costly.
The bathrooms at the existing parking lot at Stanford need to be upgraded with additional stalls. The new parking lot would allow for an upgraded toilet facility which based on the number of people waiting for access on weekends would be appreciated. A renovated toilet might also make it easier for the Rangers to clean them since the single stall can get pretty disgusting on weekends.
Another advantage of the parking lot could be the use of a traffic barrier for entrance to the park after hours. If a gate were used to restrict traffic after 10pm and before 5am then a limitation could be established over parking lot access after hours. A simple steel traffic barrier mounted in the exit gate path like that used at the Sunol Pleasanton Regional Park would shred tires if an attempt was made to avoid the closed entrance gate and use the exit gate for ingress. This will not prevent people from accessing the park after hours but would restrict vehicular traffic to the Parking lot.
Finally, development of the Vargas Pleateu staging area and linkage of the Bay to Ridge Trail from Garin to Mission Peak will provide additional staging areas for Park Access. We need better access to the Regional Parks since getting people out for a hike benefits all of us.
We need to accept the fact is that this park is too small for the number of people that visit it. A parking lot inside the park will be a major insult to the park that is already in serious decline,ecologically. Some scheme has to be created to limit the traffic. It is already causing us local residents a lot of problems with non stop traffic all day with people littering, shouting, playing music, sometimes carrying boom boxes.
Why are folks coming all the way from other distant cities that have their own parks and hikes all the way here? It is because no restraints have been put in place. A hike in Mission peak has become a kind of entertainment, which would be fine if the park could withstand that. A lot of damage and erosion has taken place in the park. The top of the peak has become a field of rubble, The trails have widened several fold in the past ten years. A lot of ground cover has been lost. This has to stop if we want to save the park.
Given the amount of acreage in the park only a very small subset is actually used by hikers, bikers or walkers. Much more ground is negatively impacted by cattle that have terraced many of the hillsides and created erosion in those areas fed by the many natural springs. I have hiked on many of the ridgelines to Mission Peak and rarely see people outside the three major trails (Peak Trail, Ohlone Wilderness Trail and Horse Heaven Trail). In fact, over the last 2 years EBRPD has done a fantastic job of keeping hikers on these trails and not allowing them to traverse the many bootlegs that used to exist on the Ohlone Wilderness Trail and Peak Trail. Two years ago there were over 21 major bootlegs just on the Ohlone Wilderness Trail. The majority of these bootlegs have been reduced or eliminated through fencing, signage, netting and installation of wattles. I believe the majority of the trails are in much better shape now than two years ago even though there has been a significant increase in usage.
The Parks are open to all and are not just a local neighborhood or City of Fremont resource. My recommendation is that we work together to repair the damage which has occurred on the trails at the top of the Peak. The majority of hikers and bikers traverse a 14' wide road on the Ohlone Wilderness Trail which is necessary for ranch, EBRPD and or emergency vehicles. Once at the top the need for the road is minimized and a much smaller trail could be utilized. A 3' - 6' path leading to the Peak with offsets for those needing a rest or to allow through hikers to pass could be maintained. The path could be build with a combination of gravel, wire mesh or wooden structures to hold the path in place and thereby limit the expansion of the trail. This would have two benefits in that a path with a steps would encourage people to stay on trail and it would limit injuries due to people falling or twisting ankles on loose rocks.
Joanne, Surinder, & William - Thank you all again for sharing your thoughts & comments on this site. Just letting you all know that these posts have been shared with the District staff who are working on Mission Peak issues. Your contributions on this site really do help to provide valuable information to us.