Jun 1 2013

OPINIONS: Does Dracena Park Need a Bridge?

On Monday, June 3 the City Council will consider the recent proposal for a  Dracena Park footbridge.

We are on notice of the proposed castle (er,bridge) to be constructed in Dracena Park by Eagle Scout candidate Cole Becker.We are totally in favor of the project.We just wish that Piedmont had more Boy Scouts like Cole. Wonderful project and will bring pride to the neighborhood.


Bob & Diane Coleman


I wanted you to know that I am very much in favor of the bridge project that has been proposed by Cole Becker.

It would be a great addition.





I have some questions about the proposed Dracena Park foot bridge that I hope you will address at Wednesdays hearing. I saw the drawings at the site but did not see any indication of how the bridge will be anchored to the slopes. If cement footings are needed, can you determine the size and design of these, and whether any trees will have to be cut down to build the bridge.  I think a full rendering of the bridge and required structures and potential tree loss is needed for the public to comment on the proposal and for you to make a recommendation.  Id also like to know about the impact of any footings on drainage.  Significant runoff is experienced throughout the park so I think it is important that we be don’t add to the problem. Finally, will there be illumination of any parts of the bridge?


I appreciate Cole’s motivation to improve the park and he deserves credit for the effort he has already undertaken for this ambitious project. From an entirely different perspective, however, I’d like you to weigh the value of not adding a bridge and restoring this end of the park to pristine redwood habitat. When I was on Park Commission, a long-term goal was to remove the large eucalyptus at this end of the park and restore the native redwood forest. The bridge does not prevent that but a legitimate question is whether, if restored, should this area be a pristine redwood stand with minimal hardscape?  Before the bridge and the eucalyptus, there was just the redwoods and I think there is value in restoring that condition to this end of the park.  For example, on Arbor Day last week, it was announced that genetic clones of ancient coastal redwoods were being replanted in California (http://www.ancienttreearchive.org/).  I think an equally valuable restoration project for the park would be to remove the footings of the old bridge and replant these cloned trees. That would require fundraising and physical effort and could be undertaken as a scout project.


Garrett Keating



I recently heard about the proposed project in Dracena Park, and would like to let you know that we strongly support it.  I admit, I do know Cole Becker, but I wouldnt write this unless I truly supported the concept.


Not only would the bridge look beautiful, it would be a huge help to older folks & young children.  On rainy or damp days, it is tricky walking down the steep path to get to the main dog walking area & a bridge would solve that problem.  My mother had a minor fall on that path & Ive seen young kids also take tumbles.

I do hope the many people who are in favor ofthis project let their voices be heard!

Thank you,


Ulla Smit



My name is Roger Ashton and my family and I reside on Dracena Ave. directly across the street from Cole Becker’s proposed bridge project. I am strongly in favor of the City’s approval for this project. There was a bridge that once existed in this same location which gives the project historical value in addition to its function. The bridge will have architectural appeal and come at no cost to the City. Please support this project, Cole Becker and his Boy Scout Troop.


Thank you. Roger Ashton


I am a Piedmont resident living on Park Way and would like to show my support in favor of Cole Becker’s Eagle Scout bridge project.

My family and I believe that the bridge will be great neighborhood addition and truly beautify the park and the surrounding neighborhood. We’ve been hoping for years that the city or someone would restore the bridge and restore it in a way that fits into the existing environment and has a sense of belonging and we believe this bridge through it’s design and use of natural material has just that.


The bridge is a low cost green project that won’t cost the city a large amount of capital and will be fairly easy to maintain. The bridge connects Park Way to Dracena Ave and will be a great access between the two streets, especially for kids that go through the park to get to school and for people who walk the park. Piedmont Park currently has a couple bridges in it so rebuilding a bridge at Dracena Park will also help tie together both parks and make the parks more cohesive while adding to the park experience.


Thank You


Brian Mahany and family



I am a Piedmont resident living on Dracena Ave. across from the park.  When I first saw the bridge design hanging in the park, I thought it was beautiful, harmonious with the environment, and that it would add a unique element to the park.  After learning that the bridge had historical meaning, it made it seem like an even more perfect fit.


As a neighbor and frequent visitor to the park, I have an interest in making sure that nothing negatively impacts it.  I understand that there are some residents who do not want the bridge project to move forward – and I have to say I don’t understand at all why. Change is a part of what makes a great community. Supporting a project like this that adds beauty, convenience, and supports a young man in our community simply makes sense.


I hope that the Parks Commission approves this project.




Franci Kursh



I just saw the drawings and mock up for the new proposed bridge by Cole Becker in Dracena Park.   I really think it looks great and would be an excellent project for his Eagle Scout.  I live on the corner of Carmel and Blair and have been a resident for 15 years and use Dracena daily.  I plan on contributing to the cause.  Please support this great addition to Dracena Park.


Thank you,


Don Eidam


I assume that the City is aware of the signs posted in the park about a proposed Eagle Scout project consisting of a bridge spanning the lower walkway/dog run area. I’ve been meaning to send you a note every time I go there & keep forgetting, but today it caught my eye again.


This seems like a totally unnecessary, intrusive idea that would mar the natural beauty of the trees and plants in the area.  Is there an ongoing discussion about this, including community input and City feedback? 


Patti Singer



You well may know, the leaves that fall in the park can be very slippery especially if they are wet. I am writing to let you know I am in favor of Cole Becker building a bridge for his Eagle Scout project for many reasons.


First and foremost, I believe it will be much safer to walk across a bridge rather than go down the hill to get to the other side, especially if you don’t have time to walk around. This morning I had to grab my dog quickly so I proceeded down the dirt hill and fell and slid the entire way. I consider myself to be in good shape and do not have balance issues. A bridge would have served me well today.


Secondly, I am certain that anything the Becker’s design and build will be of superior quality. This is yet another gift that the Beckers are providing to the City. I think we should applaud Cole’s vision and foresight and support this bridge that will serve our residents well.


Finally, there was a bridge there before and to recreate it would be in keeping with a historical design. I would be happy to share my opinion at any public forum if need be.


Best regards,


Pam Fullerton

Editors’ Note:  The opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Piedmont Civic Association.

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