Letter to the Editor: Hillwood Park needs a walking loop and updated play equipment

Saturday, January 14, 2023

To the Editor:

The January 7th SAN article ($6million shortfall for Shoreline park improvements) stated the basics of the funding shortfall for the Parks Levy. During the Council meetings it was acknowledged that the budget figures were out-of-date, but there was no time to update the budget and still get the levy on the ballot in a timely manner. The levy passed. I am pleased that the Council found a way to make up the budget shortfall. But there’s more to the story.

“Concept designs” are featured in presentations and are prominently displayed in the parks. Voters may believe they are a realistic depiction of improvements agreed to following community input. However the designs have not been reviewed in terms of implementation and cost. The primary requests for Hillwood Park were a walking loop and updated play equipment. But both the walking loop and updated play equipment are being eliminated from the design. This is unacceptable.

Hillwood Park appears level from your car. But on foot, the grassy area is often uneven and can be difficult to navigate, and is reached by going down a slope. People with mobility limitations may also find it difficult to access it, the play area to watch their children, the picnic tables, or the bathrooms. Except for the parking lot, there is no level area.

During non-school hours people can walk on the Einstein track. But no dogs, no wheelchairs, no walkers or strollers.

The walking loop is needed to provide a place for parents to walk with children in strollers, joggers, seniors, parents with children learning to ride a bike, and people walking their dogs.

When I was pregnant with my son, I was pleased the park was within walking distance of my home, and looked forward to park upgrades. My son turned 40 years old in 2022. I’m still waiting.

Pam Cross
Hillwood neighborhood


Anonymous,  January 16, 2023 at 7:28 AM  

I agree that the walking loop and updated play equipment are essential for the community. These are simple components, and not high-priced items. They must be retained.

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