Is Jim Beall trying to privatize ‘Communications Hill’ workout spot?

photo for Metro by Jennifer Wadsworth

photo for Metro by Jennifer Wadsworth

City-Sponsored Legislation SB 236 to Address Communications Hill Grand Staircase – State Senator Jim Beall has introduced SB 236 that would amend the Vehicle Code in order to exempt from the definition of “sidewalk” a stairway used or designed primarily for pedestrian travel. The public staircase located on Communications Hill was dedicated as a pedestrian right-of-way and currently is subject to the Vehicle Code. SB 236 will give cities the authority to regulate pedestrian staircases. SB 236 is expected to be referred by the Senate Rules Committee to the Senate Governance and Finance Committee for hearing. The last day for policy committees to hear and report out non-fiscal bills to the Senate Floor is May 15. For more information contact: Roxanne Miller, the City’s Legislative Advocate in Sacramento at 916-443-3946.

There’s a little blurb in the Metro about Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose) writing a bill SB-236 that seeks to change the way a pedestrian right of way is regulated, distinguishing it from a sidewalk. The effort is about the fact that a right-of-way part of a giant condo development in San Jose has become a popular gathering spot for non-residents. Reminds me of Lytton Plaza in Palo Alto, a small downtown park that was renovated 50 percent by taxpayers and 50 percent by a group of landlords who in turn wanted to over-regulate the park and drive away “undesirables” (their word) and “sketchy people” (likewise). My involvement there was to speak a half dozen times on behalf of street musicians at the park, who got over-regulated in the form of a new ordinance here in Palo Alto that bans amplifiers during business hours.

I would say, with due respect, enforce your existing ordinances, for noise, for drug dealing for indecent exposure but Beals law looks to me like a way for pro-development leadership to privatize a public asset, not in my Democracy the first 200 years playbook.

Tempted to drive down there– maybe on my way to Oak Grove Gunn CCS game tomorrow, and cheek it out. Reminds of Coit Tower and Sansome Steps and to a lesser extent the Philadelphia museum Rocky steps.

Edit to add: swapped this out for “The 39 Steps” playing closer to home, and my Scattante for my Cruze.


About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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One Response to Is Jim Beall trying to privatize ‘Communications Hill’ workout spot?

  1. Maryam KH says:

    We love the stairs as is. Please do not make any changes to it.

    I would say write to Beall and tell him so!

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