Photo: Carlos Lopez, Suarez and Munoz Construction
The moment we’ve been waiting for: On December 15 at 10:00 am, Alameda Recreation and Parks will cut the ribbon on the brand new Jean Sweeney Open Space Park, which includes a bike and pedestrian trail from Sherman Street to Constitution Way. This new trail segment is a large piece of the future Cross Alameda Trail that will connect the entire island from Fruitvale to Alameda Point.
- WHAT: Grand Opening of Jean Sweeney Open Space Park
- WHEN: Saturday, December 15, 10:00 am
- WHERE: East entrance of the park at Atlantic and Sherman
Years of advocacy from Bike Walk Alameda and its precursors Bike Alameda and Pedestrian Friendly Alameda as well as parks and open space advocates have led to the successful construction of Jean Sweeney Park on a 25-acre piece of land that used to be owned by Union Pacific Railroad. In the 1990s, local resident and advocate Jean Sweeney did extensive research to find the original contract between the City of Alameda and Union Pacific, which allowed the City to buy back the land from the railroad for under $1 million. Her vision for an open space park in Alameda is now a reality, and advocates with Bike Walk Alameda have not only helped ensure that it includes a bike trail, but also that the bike trail connects with other bikeways to create safe access across the island.
Jean Sweeney Open Space Park sits in the middle of Alameda on the former Alameda Belt Line railroad. Anyone who has biked along Clement or Blanding Avenue near Park Street is familiar with the old tracks set into the street, and the landmark lift bridge at Fruitvale Avenue used to connect the rail line to Oakland. Now, piece by piece, the vision for a bike and pedestrian trail along this corridor is becoming reality as sections of the Cross Alameda Trail are built.
In 2019, at the west end of the island, construction will begin on the trail segment along Ralph Appezzato Memorial Parkway out to Main Street. Moving east, two-way protected bike lanes will go in on Atlantic Avenue to connect to the new trail in Jean Sweeney Open Space Park. Several more trail segments will come later on when planned development connects the Jean Sweeney Open Space Park to the existing separated cycle track on a portion of Clement Avenue, as well as a future separated bikeway out to “Spirits Alley” at Alameda Point. An on-street segment along the rest of Clement Avenue still needs strong community support and advocacy for a separated cycle track to continue the trail all the way to Fruitvale on the eastern end of the trail.
Bike East Bay will continue to work alongside our local partners in Alameda to advocate for a complete Cross Alameda Trail in the coming years. In the meantime, join the celebration on December 15 and enjoy the brand new Jean Sweeney Open Space Park!