By Beki San Marin
Richmond, CA December 8, 2022 – It’s Bridge Week in Richmond and through Saturday, people can attend events that showcase the proposed Richmond Greenway Bridge over 23rd Street, a project that would close the Greenway trail’s remaining gap, providing an uninterrupted 17-mile biking and walking path from Berkeley to Marin County.
The proposal grew out of the Richmond Greenway Gap Study, which was funded by a $280,000 grant from the California Department of Transportation.
“It’s going to blow everyone’s minds. It’s going to be really cool!,” said Catherine Waller, an artist and West Contra Costa resident who attended Monday’s Bridge Week kickoff at Armistice Brewing Co.
The weeklong series of events is hosted by Pogo Park, a Richmond-based organization that works to rebuild city parks. Pogo Park collaborated with the city and Civic Well, a nonprofit that helps local governments implement sustainability projects, to carry out the study.
According to Patrick Phelan, infrastructure administrator in the Richmond Public Works Department, the project started in 2021 to close the final gap in the Richmond Greenway that divides the east and west portions of the trail.
This is the first phase of the project. The next will be securing funding for construction, possibly from the Contra Costa Transportation Authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, among other entities. Toody Maher, Pogo Park’s executive director, said the bridge is expected to cost between $30 million and $40 million to design and build.
The trail used to be railroad tracks, which were converted in the early 2000s to a Greenway. It is divided by Carlson Boulevard, railroad tracks, and BART tracks, forcing users to exit and travel over half a mile to get back on. Closing the gap will allow for uninterrupted travel from the East Bay, across the San Francisco Bay, to Marin County.
Richmond, CA December 1, 2022 – Iron Triangle-based nonprofit Pogo Park is unveiling the conceptual design for a new bicycle and pedestrian bridge on the Richmond Greenway that would cross over 23rd Street, the Union Pacific railroad tracks and Carlson Boulevard, closing a significant trail gap.
The design will be unveiled during “Bridge Week,” a series of public events from Dec. 5-10 in Richmond, according to Pogo Park.
Donald MacDonald Architects, which creates award-winning bridges around the world, including the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge, has worked with hundreds of Richmond residents and key stakeholders over the past 18 months to create the proposed design for the 23rd Street Bridge Project. Funding to plan, design and develop the bridge concept came from an Environmental Justice grant.
The design is inspired by the shape of an osprey diving into the water. The osprey is Richmond’s official bird. Pogo Park says the design delivers on community requests for a unique, iconic bridge that puts Richmond on the map.
Richmond, CA March 29, 2022 – For years it’s been a dream of many to connect the Eastern and Western sides of the Greenway at 23rd Street. To continue traveling on the Greenway, you have to go under a dangerous overpass and walk through a confusing set of city streets to get to the other side.
The City of Richmond and a team of partners secured an Environmental justice grant from Caltrans to plan, design and develop a concept for a bridge across 23rd Street that would close the Greenway Gap.
We invite you to attend the Greenway Gap Community Planning and Design event on April 12, 13 and 14.
For information about attending this event read the flyer linked here.
By Cathy Chouteau
Richmond, CA March 8, 2022 — The City of Richmond has been awarded $10 million in grant funding from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Clean California Local Grant Program to fund several efforts to improve city parks and roads, City officials announced today.
The program funding will allocate $5 million to the Richmond Communities Clean Collaborative and nearly $5 million to the Yellow Brick Road: Clean, Green and Beautiful project.
Richmond is one of 105 total grant awardees that received funding from the $296 million available. In all, Caltrans’ program received 329 applications requesting $758.5 million in funding, said officials.
By Toody Maher
Richmond, CA. October 25th, 2021 — Communities should be empowered to create safe, green, vibrant spaces and parks that everyone can access. Read how a group of citizens pursued this vision, and learn about a $7 million funding opportunity to support park equity and racial justice.
The first time I visited Elm Playlot was on a bright, sunny afternoon in May 2007.
Elm Playlot is a small, one-half acre pocket park in the heart of Richmond, California’s “Iron Triangle” neighborhood. It is one of the few city parks and playgrounds in the Iron Triangle. The park serves a densely populated, diverse neighborhood that I knew was chock-full of children. However, when I visited Elm Playlot that afternoon in May, I didn’t see a single child playing there.
It wasn’t hard to figure out why.
How one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s toughest neighborhoods is creating new recreational, health and economic opportunities for its residents.
Richmond, CA. August 9, 2021 — Getting its name from three railroad tracks that form its boundaries, the Iron Triangle section of Richmond, California, has a reputation for being the “wrong side of the tracks.” Poverty, crime, gangs and pollution have held this community back, depriving its youngest residents of safe places to play.
Over the last 30 years, California’s land conservation community has protected millions of acres of forests, grasslands, rivers and working lands that define the State’s natural grandeur and abundance. It is a remarkable achievement. However, as California’s population becomes increasingly diverse and urban, the need to provide accessible open space and safe places to play in communities like the Iron Triangle has become apparent and urgent. Yet, the traditional approach to conservation is not up to this new challenge—a 2015 report by the California Council of Land Trusts noted that: the state’s land trusts generally do not reflect the demographic make-up of California; existing protected lands are not readily accessible to most Californians; and they do not provide the range of outdoor experiences many Californians seek. In short, we have been challenged to find a new approach to conservation, one that marshals our resources, expertise, and funding to create new parks and open space that meet the needs of urban and other underserved communities.
RICHMOND STANDARD: Groundbreaking celebrated for Yellow Brick Road project in Iron Triangle
By Kathy Chouteau
Richmond, CA. June 10, 2021 — Richmond officials joined the nonprofit Pogo Park and other stakeholders in the Iron Triangle neighborhood on Wednesday to celebrate a groundbreaking for the long-planned, youth-inspired Yellow Brick Road project, which aims to create a safe pedestrian and bike route in the neighborhood that will connect schools, parks, stores, churches and other key community places. Yellow-stenciled bricks along the route will help designate the path.
Backed by $13 million in funding from the State of California and Caltrans, Yellow Brick Road project transformations will impact 25 intersections in the Iron Triangle, according to organizers, employing procedures to slow traffic, including extended curbs, elevated crosswalks, stop signs and roundabouts.
Other project enhancements will include a “Green Street,” where a six-block area on 8th St. between Pennsylvania Ave. and Barrett Ave. will have 93 new trees to “filter the air, storm water planters to filter runoff water and 11,000 square ft. of planting to beautify a neighborhood that suffers from a critical lack of green space,” say organizers. They pointed to living wage-jobs and opportunities for local residents to develop workforce skills as other project benefits.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Groundbreaking Ceremony for Yellow Brick Road® Marks a Milestone Achievement in Richmond
Richmond, CA. June 4, 2021 — The City of Richmond and nonprofit partner Pogo Park announce a groundbreaking ceremony for the Yellow Brick Road® to take place at noon on Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at 8th Street and Ohio Avenue.
The Yellow Brick Road is a safe bike and walking route through Richmond’s Iron Triangle neighborhood that connects important community assets such as schools, parks, stores, and churches together.
The original idea for the Yellow Brick Road was born in 2009 when youth from Iron Triangle participated in a summer program that challenged them to dream up solutions to problems that plagued their community. As an answer to high levels of gun violence, blight, dangerous streets and speeding cars, the youth proposed stenciling yellow bricks across roads and on sidewalks to create a designated safe bike and walking route through the heart of their community.
Click here to read entire press release