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The Rebirth of St. James Park

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This article was submitted by VTA Senior Transportation Planner Melissa Cerezo.

VTA is working with the City of San Jose Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services (PRNS) Department to imagine the future of St. James Park in Downtown San Jose.

In fall of 2016, the City held a design competition to attract transformational design concepts for the park. The design jury selected CMG Landscape Architecture’s proposed park concept, and the City Council gave the go-ahead to the designers to continue developing their concept. VTA has been working with City staff and the designers to test how different park concepts would work with the current and future transportation features within the immediate area of the park, including VTA light rail and buses.

VTA regularly works with local jurisdictions to take a comprehensive look at how future land use changes affect the transportation system. In the case of St. James Park, planning a revitalized park is a prime opportunity to ensure that travelling to the park is safe, comfortable and attractive by foot, bike or transit.

For St. James Park, the designers developed an updated concept that takes into account input from numerous stakeholders, including VTA, given at an October 25 community meeting.  Attendees were asked to weigh in on issues from future park operations to existing quality of life concerns.

On November 1, the City and designers presented the plan and recent community input to the City’s Parks and Recreation Commission (PRC). The PRC accepted the concept plan, and had a good discussion on a number of topics including parking, transportation access, and park operations. City staff and the design team will proceed with developing a full park design, with construction phases and cost estimates. The final design, phasing, and cost estimates will be presented to the PRC prior to moving forward for the City Council’s approval in mid-2018.

We encourage you to follow the City’s St. James Park redesign process and stay tuned for future engagement opportunities through the City of San Jose’s St. James Park website.

 

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