Nov 14 2022

OPINION: Move Blair Park

    Blair Park, along Moraga Avenue, is a perfect place for high density housing!  The site is easily accessible for developers.  Everyone who drives on Moraga Ave. past Blair Park knows that it is very underused!  Who wants to be in a park with such heavy traffic speeding past?

Please move the new Blair Park from its current 4.85 acre location in Moraga Canyon. The park, not housing, would be better located on a portion of the original 75 acre Blair Park site, above Coaches Field-high on the hillside (see search Blair Park)!  All Piedmont residents could enjoy this superior park location high on the hill with its mature trees, some of the original graded trails, and unsurpassed views!

Following is a description of our magnificent hillside from the San Francisco Morning Call newspaper, Sunday, March 22, 1891. Page 8: “a splendid view is had over the whole of, what ranges from the Golden Gate inward to the Contra Costa shore.  To gain this view at the back to an altitude of some 700 feet, dominates the whole surrounding country and gives the view in panorama of everything from Berkeley to Alameda on this shore and from Mount Tamaulipas down along the Coast Range.”

Isn’t it better for our climate issues, if Piedmonters just walk out of their houses’ to a majestic new Blair Park on the mountain for exercise, rather than jumping into their cars to drive somewhere else?  It was a highly desired destination for people in 1891 and it could be again!

Chris Read, Piedmont Resident

Editors’ Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.

4 Responses to “OPINION: Move Blair Park”

  1. 1891? The land is there but I think times (and surrounding development) has changed to make this area not a great location for a park. And I recall from my time on Council that the city has a fire easement to that parcel, so I am not sure it is either possible or wise to develop it for public use. And wouldn’t that require a vote? Why not put housing there instead?

    High density housing works best with pedestrian access and public transit – where is that for Blair Park?

    The best solution for our climate issues is to locate all new housing on the Corp Yard side of Moraga Canyon and move the Corp Yard to Blair Park. Coaches/Corp Yard is pedestrian ready and vehicle egress works with the existing traffic volumes and flow of Moraga Ave. Previous analyses have shown that slowing traffic on Moraga Avenue to accommodate vehicles to/from Blair Park increases CO2 output as cars slow or stop. Coaches/Corp Yard is much more pedestrian/vehicle friendly for all Piedmonters to access. Piedmonters would likely drive to Chris’s new “park” – are there even sidewalks up there?

    Speaking of easements, it would be great for the City to get one from EBMUD or Scenic Avenue residents to Blair Park so the community could access the park from Scenic Ave. That’s a walk many Piedmonters would make.

  2. Are there sidewalks in Joaquin Miller Park? All parks do not have or need sidewalks! The open space high on the hill above Coaches/Corp Yard would need some work for it to be a great park again. However, it would be far less work than grading for roads, installing utilities and building housing way up there. Keep the housing along Moraga Ave where it will be easily accessible. Develop the open space high on the hill as a Park. The new occupants and establish occupants of Piedmont should have a nice peaceful park for hiking, being in nature and taking in the fantastic vistas of the Bay Area!

  3. I was asking whether there are sidewalks TO the park, not IN the park. Hiking up
    Maxwellton is unsafe. There’s the path in the woods, but that only gets you halfway. Move the Corp Yard to Blair Park to get better housing in Coaches and develop that park you suggest. Win win.

  4. Garrett Keating is correct. The best solution is to put housing on the Coaches Field side of Moraga and move the Corp Yard to Blair Park. EIR’s and other city studies repeatedly find access to Blair Park dangerous for motorists and pedestrians alike. The only objective served by housing poor and minority families in Blair Park would be to segregate them from the remainder of Piedmont.

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