Open letter on Union Point Park

The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter sent to the City of Oakland, the Port of Oakland and The Unity Council’s leadership. The letter discusses the condition of Union Point Park, located across the estuary from Alameda near the Park Street Bridge.

As concerned agencies who invested public funding into and authorized the creation of Union Point Park, the State Coastal Conservancy, the Association of Bay Area Governments and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) would like to hear from the City of Oakland the steps being taken to address the current encampment impacts at the park.

In recent months, each of our agencies has received complaints from the public about a range of undesirable or illegal activities occurring in the park, including: vandalism, graffiti, prostitution, drug use, dumping of waste, fires, threats to tenants of the neighboring Union Point Marina and a damaging act of arson at the marina’s shower and restroom facility. These activities are creating an unsafe and unwelcoming environment that is restricting the public’s ability to access and enjoy the park.

Union Point Park was created in partnership among our organizations with the explicit understanding that the state and regional agencies would fund and authorize the construction of this public space, while the City of Oakland would maintain the park in a way that would be inviting and accessible to all.

Maintaining safe access to the park and the shoreline are necessary to achieve the public benefits of state funding, as well as the regional vision for current and long-term enjoyment and continuity of the Bay Trail. BCDC, which permitted construction of the park and required associated public access areas and amenities, has a continuing interest in maintaining safe and inviting public access to the Bay shoreline. In sum, the current state of Union Point Park does not meet the goals mutually agreed upon among our organizations.

We recognize that this is a complex and challenging problem, we look forward to hearing from you, and would be happy to organize a meeting among our agencies to discuss the ways in which we can move forward together to restore Union Point Park to a safe and enjoyable public space that will benefit current and future generations.

 

 

Matt Gerhart, California State Coastal Conservancy; Brad McCrea, BCDC; and Laura Thompson, San Francisco Bay Trail Project