The East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors voted unanimously Sept. 20 to approve a 300-space parking lot at the Stanford Avenue staging area of Mission Peak Regional Preserve, in hopes of providing improved public access and alleviating parking congestion at the popular Fremont open space.
The Board chose from two location options. Option A, which the Board selected, is directly east of the current parking lot and is estimated to cost $6.5 million. The new staging area will include picnic tables, landscaping and new flush restrooms, and would have less overall environmental impacts than Option B. Option B, expected to cost $9 million, was situated across a creek and would have required two bridges and creek restoration. Option A is also preferable because Option B was validated to contain both burial and village site artifacts important to the Ohlone people. . The Board appropriated $1 million toward planning and permitting of the project. The remainder of the funds will likely come from Measure WW, grants and outside sources.
The new parking lot, expected to be complete in 2020, will supplement the park’s current 43-space parking lot. One of the most popular parks in the District, Mission Peak attracts an average of over 20,000 visitors per month, over three-quarters of whom use the Stanford Avenue entrance.
Concerned about parking shortages, the Park District has encouraged visitors to enjoy trails leading to the summit from Ohlone College, about three miles away, and also to visit during off-peak times and not disturb neighbors in the nearby residential area. The Park District has also supported the City of Fremont’s new permit-parking program on the nearby side streets, which went into effect Oct. 1. In 2012, the District launched an environmental impact study for a potential new parking area. The Board certified that EIR on Tuesday.
“We’re looking at many ways to improve things at Mission Peak for the visitors, park staff and neighbors,” said Board Member Ayn Wieskamp, whose ward includes Mission Peak. “We see this parking lot as an important part of that process, and we’re excited to get the process started.”
The East Bay Regional Park District is a system of beautiful public parks and trails in Alameda and Contra Costa counties east of San Francisco Bay, established in 1934. The system comprises 120,000 acres in 65 parks including over 1,250 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and nature learning.