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Re the article's recital that parking opponents "noted that the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People requires governments of signatory nations to obtain 'free, prior, and informed consent' from tribal leadership for projects that impact indigenous cultural heritage": the United States is not a signatory nation. We voted against the UNDRIP treaty and it has no legal force in this country. Even if we'd voted for it, the U.S. Senate would have to have ratified it for it to have any legal effect, and the Senate hasn't done so (naturally, inasmuch as it hasn't had to even consider the question).
Jose Perez, the problem is at the Stanford Avenue trailhead, not the Ohlone College one. Making it more expensive to park at the Ohlone College trailhead will worsen, not improve, the situation at Stanford Avenue.
I am an EBRPD volunteer bicycle trail patroller. Here is the situation:
1. About two or three years ago, Fremont's large Asian and South Asian communities discovered Mission Peak. Theretofore the preserve got little visitation. Mission Peak outings have become the thing to do on weekends for those two ethnic communities. The phenomenon has been written up in The New York Times (see below).
2. As a result of this discovery, thousands of people are becoming more physically fit, seeing the snow-capped Sierra Nevada (yes, from just above Fremont), and acquiring conservation and recreation values.
3. The Stanford Avenue staging area is the main one. It has space for maybe 20 cars, which worked when hardly anyone went to Mission Peak.
4. Now, however, people are parking all over the nearby residential neighborhoods starting at 6 a.m. on weekends, or even earlier. They make noise. Their dogs bark. Their car alarms chirp. No one can sleep past 6 a.m.
5. If you ban parking in those neighborhoods, you consign thousands of people to not visit Mission Peak, sit on couches, lose interest in parklands, and gain weight.
6. So the parking lot is absolutely necessary.
7. I bet my house and the houses of most people reading this are on some sort of Native American sacred land. Probably the whole Bay Area is sacred land. Are we offering to return our homes to Native Americans? No.
That said, I have proposed to EBRPD that it contract with a private shuttle company to run a frequent shuttle to the trailhead from Mission Boulevard. A large parking structure could be built on or near Mission Boulevard and a shuttle service would take people up for perhaps $2. I think it would be a big moneymaker for a shuttle service whose business is imperiled by Uber. That could be the solution.
This is good news on several levels.
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here's an idea, why not have ohlone college charge parking on weekends for mission peak visitors?
Another important data point that EBRPD needs to consider is that mission peak has the highest density of nesting eagles. See excerpt below from
Joe DiDonato spent part of the late 1980s in a cabin in the Ohlone Wilderness, surveying eagles. He recalls that his estimate of more than 20 nests between Mission Peak and Del Valle was met with incredulity. But later surveys by biologists Grainger and Teresa Hunt, who did extensive trapping, banding, and radio-telemetry, confirmed that number. “We have the highest density of nesting golden eagles anywhere in the world,” DiDonato says. In part that’s due to a bountiful prey base, primarily ground squirrels. A resurvey by the Hunts in 2005 found that all 58 territories documented in 2000 were still occupied. Most local goldens, sensitive to human disturbance, nest in remote places.
Trickle down politics
So, pipelines and selfies are perfectly appropriate reasons to destroy Native culture in the 21st century?
Do you know what makes this more infuriating? The Ohlone College entrance to Mission Peak is always empty on the weekends and has spots for hundreds of visitors. More than enough to accommodate the demand.
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