Gateway Park at the foot of the Eastern span -- pump track for kids?-
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  1. #1
    Reputation: Entrenador's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    Gateway Park at the foot of the Eastern span -- pump track for kids?

    I just received this message today. There's been talk in the past about building a pump track or other skills park (Colonnade style) in the urban East Bay, and finding a location seemed to be a major concern. Wondering if this is a possible site for such a project.

    Hello Friends,

    An enterprising group of people are working to wake up the process and the discussion around a public park space being proposed at the east end of the new Bay Bridge. Ideas that are being bandied about include support for the fabrication and display of monumental artwork, unconventional artist in residency programs, evolving projects employing shipping containers, innovative uses for a span of the old bridge, and other interesting and like-minded ideas. None of these concepts is being put forward as a concrete proposal at this point, but we need your help to engage in the public process NOW if we are to have any hope of expanding the conversation about the use of this space in interesting directions.

    Wednesday, JUNE 2 at 6:00pm
    Caltrans Building, Auditorium (1st floor)

    111 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA

    p.s. Feel free to spread the word to anyone you think might be interested, and if I'm likely to see you there, please let me know.

    * * *

    Gateway Park: An Opportunity for Extraordinary

    “Gateway Park” is a nascent idea for a waterfront park at the foot of the new Bay Bridge east span, on an oddly shaped parcel of land wedged between the eastern touchdown of the bridge and the Port of Oakland’s outer harbor. Representatives of nine agencies are working to explore the possibilities for this space, and to engage the public in refining the vision and early park design concepts.

    The default direction this project could and may take is toward a conventional park with picnic areas, nature trails, bike paths, waterfront access, and a dog run. But this site cries out not to be treated like the ordinary. It is windswept, loud, and framed by the massive architectural elements of the Port’s iconic cranes and stacked shipping containers, and the twin decks of the region’s newest bridge. The historic buildings on the site are electrical substations built in the 1920s. A quarter million vehicles drive past daily. What the site offers is an opportunity not to simply mitigate the surroundings, but to extract unique cultural and recreational value from this one-of-a-kind tract of land.

    We feel it would be exciting to explore the possibilities for a public space that reflects the industrial setting, celebrates the built environment, and offers a human experience of the immense scale of the surrounding urban infrastructure. Might it provide a home for a resident art park for monumental art? Could we repurpose sections of the old east span to house an interactive museum dedicated to the engineering marvels of bridge building?

    With creative thought, a compelling vision, and public engagement, Gateway Park could be a truly innovative, unique and magnetic destination for the Bay. We are at a tipping point in the visioning process. The aim is to settle on a general park concept this fall, with design to follow. A public workshop on the evening of Wednesday, June 2 – and the public comments and feedback gathered there – will be pivotal in determining the direction of Gateway Park. Come have your voice and ideas be heard, while they can make a difference, so that we can continue to create a vision appropriate to the distinct and exceptional characteristics of the area.

    Gateway Park Public Workshop

    First Concepts: Design Ideas for Gateway Park

    Wednesday, June 2, 2010

    6 – 9 p.m.

    Caltrans Building, Auditorium (1st floor)

    111 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA

    For more details, visit

    By the description, it doesn't sound like it's currently being geared towards recreation specifically, but they did call it a park after all. Looking forward to reading reactions by the locals here.
    Last edited by Entrenador; 05-29-2010 at 12:08 AM.

  2. #2
    Obi is offline
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    I hope you don't mind my input and experience here with an opinion mixed in..

    I'm interested in seeing something go in as far as a spot myself, but at the same time concerned it will potentially end up like the Alameda Skatepark. Cordoned off because of problems and basically pretty much folding in on itself to where nobody wants to host an event there let alone ride there.

    What I see the place, erm.. (any place actually going in the area) needing is higher visability and traffic, both of which come with an "activities area", not a "park" (Jack London Square for example) where the higher traffic and recreational and food are a draw while simultaneously keeping the non-desirables at bay.

    Plan on something a little more than a non descript destination point with only one specific draw to hedge your bets and make something that will serve for the ages. It's in the middle of an industrial heavy freeway traffic area, which in the S.F. Bay region is almost always a recipe for failure if involving bikes and recreation, thus why so many little tracks pop up. Because it is no big deal if they fold in for a little bit, because the kids have the energies to build them back up, or find a new spot. Cities and Counties don't have those energies, let alone funds.

    Basically, this is not Seattle or Portland, some of what those places have used has worked because of multiple factors, and honestly, I do not see Oakland/Emeryville/Richmond being ready for this type of thing without some major commitments from parks, cities, and law enforcement.

    For that matter, coming back to Alameda, why not do something right next to the Skatepark and add in the rest I have suggested to make it a success.

    Not to dumb this all down, but think of it all like a "Ballpark for Bikes". How big a draw is a ballpark and what makes one successful, and how can we apply that to this idea?

    **Ever been to what is left of Red Devil? LMK if you want to get together so I can give you some insight and possibly answer any concerns you might have as a single post in a thread may not best convey what I forsee making this all work. We can meet over here and take a ride over.

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