Despite dire warnings about the George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon not ready to be opened, it’s already turned into busy walking trail.
Circling the News has been on the path, with her doggies, almost daily since the park opened on December 10.
In just over a week, this editor went from being the lone person in the park, to passing and seeing numerous residents and having lovely conversations.
The three gates to the park are: on Frontera, off the baseball diamonds at the Rec Center, and on Friends Street. The park is open from dawn to dusk. No one should be in the park overnight and if residents see someone, they should call the police
The trails are even and even those with mobility issues should be able to navigate the wide lanes, while walking the pathways towards the ocean.
Almost from the beginning of the trail, one can spot the Pacific Ocean beckoning at the mouth of the park.
The restrooms, off Frontera, are unique. One pushes a button, and a door slides open to reveal a nice-sized restroom that has room for two dogs, a stroller or a wheelchair.
These bathrooms alleviate a big problem at the Rec Center, which does not have ADA accessible facilities. If a mom has a kid sleeping in a stroller, and a toddler who is recently potty trained and has to “go right now,” you can’t bring the stroller into the restroom, which means you have to wake the kid up to take the other one potty. Forget access if someone is in a wheelchair or a walker, there’s no way they can navigate the small-cramped space of the 1950s restrooms.
But, the Potrero bathrooms . . .stainless steel and state-of the art. Press a button to open the door, go in, press a button to shut the door. Music starts playing. Press a button to receive some toilet paper. On the way out, one is reminded the toilet will automatically flush after washing one’s hands or when the occupant leaves the restroom. Walk outside and the door automatically closes. What does a restroom like this cost and how could Palisadians get one by the playground?
The grassy area just below the ball diamonds is already being misused by dog owners, who are allowing their dogs to run off-leash. Two residents stopped this editor on the street, to report that dogs were being allowed to run up the side of the hills, where native landscaping is trying to get a hold. They said that there were two big piles of dog poop that had not been picked up.
Perhaps there needs to be a live cam installed in that area. One could call it a wildlife cam, and people could turn in periodically and see what animals are returning to Potrero. Or conversely, see the residents who are acting like wildlife and letting dogs run and defecate everywhere.
CTN was told that the City is working on Caltrans to share its right-of-way between Potrero and Temescal, so a path can be installed to connect this park to Temescal Canyon Road. Congressman Ted Lieu, on July 5, had a $1.15 million grant approved to fund the construction of a 12-foot-wide decomposed trail. A protective fence would be installed that would run along Pacific Coast Highway.
Still in the works is a pedestrian bridge, proposed for the base of Potrero that has been funded by the state for $11 million. The L.A. City Bureau of Engineering is supposed to be working on the design. Once that is in place people from the Palisades could walk down the Wolfberg Park to Will Rogers Beach and back.
In the meantime, make plans to go and stroll in this park that was decades in the making. The city park was initially conceived and built in order to prevent the entire rim from caving in, taking house after house down into the abyss.
The cost from grading to filling to landscaping to fencing will probably come in somewhere under $100 million, if the pedestrian bridge is ever completed. It is a beautiful park, and one can hardly wait until the landscaping grows in.