The second phase of Black Rock Canal Park is complete (see background). Overall the park looks great. There are some great additions to the site, and some other areas that could use some help in the future. The new “boat” sign looks great – a nice addition to the park that signals that you have arrived to a waterfront destination. The river-themed stone promenade along the water is also a nice touch – it sparkles in the sun. I like the ode to Black Rock – the big black boulder, referring the history of the park. There are also a number of Phase 1 completions that also look quite nice and inviting.
It’s great to see some Big Belly solar compactors at the park – unfortunately the one closest to the park’s entrance was overflowing with garbage earlier today – that will always be the most used one. There’s also (still) a lot of asphalt at this park, but I understand the need for additional parking to accommodate the boaters who use the ramp to “drop in” and then park. It would have been incredible had a permeable surface such as cobblestone been chosen instead of asphalt. As an aside, the boat ramp makes for an awesome aquatic dog park in the off-season, especially with the proximity of the relatively new dog park (small and large dog sections). My biggest grievance with the park is that it’s loud. Walking down the shoreline trail with my dog, I had a hard time hearing myself think with all of the passing semis. It’s too bad that we as a city can’t start to install sound barriers at waterfront parks that are in such close proximity to freeway traffic (until we can remove the freeways completely).
Grievances aside, they did a great job with the park – there is less asphalt (not as much of a “heat island”), great views, a quaint pedestrian bridge, good fishing, and it’s on the Greenway Trail (for cyclists). There are also some nice avian sculptures and a well-deserved K-9 duty and service memorial next to the dog park. If ever there was a place that is welcoming to dogs, this would be it.