Dan's Outside

I go, I see, I do, I walk, I think, I like…

Park Access – How and for Whom?

Tom Mangan (Two-Heel Drive) raises some interesting questions:

Report: Wilderness too far from inner city. I’m hoping my colleagues in the biased news media have unfairly portrayed the contents of a recent report, which slams the East Bay Regional Parks System for the unmitigated gall of having all its parks in areas full of rich white people.

In a new application of the environmental justice theme, a San Francisco law professor says low-income minorities in the East Bay’s flatlands deserve better access to regional parks located mostly in the hills near affluent homes.

The East Bay Regional Park District should do more to improve bus service to its parks, and consider putting more emphasis on acquiring lands in flat areas like Richmond and Oakland, according to a new report released today by Paul Kibel, an adjunct professor at the Golden Gate School of Law.

“The majority of East Bay Parks acreage is located adjacent to affluent white neighborhoods,” Kibel wrote, “and the amount of agency holdings in or near low-income minority neighbors is still fairly minimal.”

You can read the rest of Tom’s post by following his title link.

I do have a concern about the ethnic, economic, and other imbalances in many of our parks. (At least in some cases, but not in others – hike Mission Peak for an wonderful and atypically integrated outdoor experience.) For the moment I’ll pass on that very important topic and just jump the transit question.

I, too, would be very pleased to see better transit opportunities for those of us who want to get “out there” without burning excess fuel. While I’m able to leave my car at home on most work days and take the bus, I can’t really do the same when I want to head out for a weekend hike in the South SF Bay Area – at least not in the vast majority of the cases, and in some of those cases where transit is available I would end up spending more time getting there and back than hiking, unless you count the long walks on city streets between the transit stops to the trailheads.

Given that buses run on greatly reduced schedules on weekends, at least where I live, I wonder if it might be possible to run something along the lines of “recreation express service” to some of the destinations where the parking lots are otherwise full of cars on weekends. I know I’d take advantage of this.

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October 19, 2007 - Posted by | Commentary

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