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Foothills Park at 48

Original post made on Jun 29, 2013

On a warm Sunday morning early last fall, 24-year-old Katie Williams rode her bike from her East Palo Alto home up Page Mill Road to the entrance of Palo Alto's Foothills Park. After reaching the park's entrance, Williams was stopped by a park ranger at the gate.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, June 28, 2013, 12:00 AM

Comments (10)

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Posted by danielle
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 29, 2013 at 7:43 am

it's time to open Foothills up for everyone


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Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 29, 2013 at 8:03 am

"Over the years, Kniss has revisited the residency requirement and expressed an iinterest in opening up the park to Stanford University students and faculty, but only in exchange for something valuable, she said."

How about Stanford continuing to allow palo residents into the dish area, is that valuable, Liz??

This article needs better or any kind of proofreading. The article states:
"...allows present and former city employees to enter..."


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 29, 2013 at 8:18 am

As someone who frequently visits Foothills Park on Saturday mornings, it is unusual to find a Ranger at the gate until 9.30 or 10.00 am and the park already has many visitors at this time.

Didn't realize there was a 1,000 visitor limit, but that limit must be just the 1,000 visitors who arrive after the Ranger has arrived. Theoretically, 1,000 visitors from anywhere could have already arrived by the time the Ranger arrives on a Saturday morning.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 29, 2013 at 9:33 am

Do not open the park up ... there is a serious lack of maintenance in the park now, and opening it up for more use will make that worse.

I doubt there are parking spaces enough to allow for more than a thousand people so that is probably self-regulating to some extent. I've never been there when it has been hard to find a parking place.

I remember when the roads around Foothills Park and the area were not so developed and you could pull off to the side in some place and park and go into the park or just enjoy the view.

I have not been up the park in a while, but it is a nice place, a great resource, but that does not mean that no one in our city government can screw it up ... they seem to have an amazing talent for that.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 29, 2013 at 9:37 am

> Williams, who had biked all the way up hilly Page Mill. The ranger kindly told Williams that she would make an exception for her once, letting her into the park, but added that Williams couldn't come back.

NICE ... that's the way to handle that ... well done, some compassion and personal responsibility and judgement!

That is a hell of a bike ride, I used to do it all the time. A little easier on the way back though!


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Posted by resident
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 29, 2013 at 10:02 am

If the problem is too many cars in Foothill Park, how about making it easier to access the park by bicycle? There is an existing path into Foothill Park from Arastradero, but there are big "NO BICYCLES" signs along this path. Of course, walking to Foothill Park is much too long a distance for most city residents and bicycling up Page Mill Road is way to scary for pre-teen children. If the city allows bicycles in via the existing path, there will be a lot less people driving up Page Mill Road to the park.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 29, 2013 at 12:38 pm

How about adding a Resident preference to the rest of the Palo Alto parks? I'm guessing that most of the users of Mitchell Park are not Palo Alto residents.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 29, 2013 at 12:51 pm

The 1,000 person rule is new to me. If we assume that means an average of 500 cars, there is definitely not enough space for 500 cars to park.

There are many bikes in the park already and as far as I know there is nowhere for them to be locked up.

One potential problem with bikes is that I don't want to see them on the trails unless new mountain bike trails are built. Mountain bikes and hikers do not mix well on the same trails and mountain bikes can do serious damage to hiking trails.

I love the peace and serenity of hiking in Foothills without hardly meeting a soul. There are very few places where you feel idyllically alone in the Bay Area and it is a wonderful feeling. I can hear the birds and other wildlife as well as my heartbeat and not a human made sound.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 30, 2013 at 1:24 pm

The same article seems to be listed twice with different headlines!


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Posted by TimH
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 15, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Foothills Park is unique as a "civic" land preserve but is not a "public" open space. There is no legal or moral reason for Palo Alto to "open" it up to everyone, as the other 99.99% of public land is already open to everyone. When I was young, Rinconada Park quickly transformed from a serene place to one for sloppy, noisy picnics and soccer games instead of the public resource of its intent. Of course, some people claimed the same "elitism" when the city required "reservations" with true residents having priority. It certainly removed the marathon soccer games that tore up the grounds.

Regarding Foothills Park, what is the actual benefit for making it 100%? It is actually "elitist" for those who insist on opening the park, perhaps in search of public votes or support for other projects in mind. This article points out a very correct point, in that Foothills Park is still well-preserved after 48 years as a result of this simple control. If Palo Altans truly feel the need to open up this to a vote, then so be it - but it would be a mistake to give up this tiny bit of peaceful civic privacy to attain some misguided sense of public obligation.


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