Association's Goal Association's Boundaries Home Page Association's Accomplishments Contact the Association
The Top Priorities
of the Strong Neighborhoods Initiative
for the Greater Gardner Area
by Ken Eklund
August 2003


SNI funding, which was halted while the City analyzed its financial situation, has been released again. The City has not cut any SNI projects, confirming that neighborhoods are a priority.

Among the funded SNI projects is the long-anticipated improvement to "Fuller Plaza" (the open space along North Fuller Avenue, from Bird to Prevost).

Paradoxically, the City also has Fuller Plaza on a list of public properties to consider for sale. The most likely explanation for this is: it's a boo-boo. Fuller Plaza will almost certainly be removed from the list by City Council this month.

Through San Jose's Strong Neighborhoods Initiative, the city is making money available for certain neighborhood areas to improve themselves. The Neighborhood Action Committee for Greater Gardner has identified these issues to be the top priorities for its area, which includes much of North Willow Glen:

1. Repair deteriorated
streets and sidewalks.

The first step here was to do a geotechnical soils study, so that the repairs take our shifting soil conditions into account. The soils study is complete for the northeast corner of the Gardner area. The Greater Gardner NAC is now identifying which streets are the highest priority for repair. Price tag: $2,530,000.

2. Improve traffic flow and
parking at Gardner Academy.

To improve safety and reduce nuisance, the neighborhood wants to establish bus and vehicle loading zones, add parking and lighting to west William Street, and improve that scary pedestrian path leading out to Bird Avenue. Price tag: $330,000.

3. Improve and maintain
"Fuller Plaza" (the open space
along north Fuller Avenue).

The neighborhood would like to landscape to this open space, and widen Fuller Avenue from Delmas to Prevost, to improve the parking situation. Price tag: $680,000.

4. Improve code enforcement
throughout the neighborhood.

We're working with the city to sweep regularly for building and safety code violations and more aggressively pursue corrections. Cost: none.

5. Improve retail properties
and encourage more
appropriate merchandise.

We would like to find ways to improve the appearance and safety of neighborhood businesses and work with owners to make the businesses more appropriate for our neighborhood. Price tag: $620,000.

6. Improve the streetscape and
pedestrian crossings on Virginia Avenue.

Price tag: $635,000.

7. Improve the streetscape and
pedestrian crossings on Delmas Avenue.

Price tag: not yet determined/approved.

8. Calm neighborhood traffic.
We are working to keep traffic speeds down in our neighborhood, to reduce the risk of a pet or child being hurt or killed. Cost: none (the city Traffic Department funds the traffic calming measures).

9. Calm traffic and
improve the streetscape and
pedestrian crossings on Bird Avenue.

It's inappropriate to have a six-lane expressway extend into a residential neighborhood and suddenly end, but that's what happens with Bird Avenue. We want to investigate calming traffic and improving the appearance of Bird Avenue and altering the Bird/Coe/Fisk intersection so that it makes more sense. Price tag: not yet determined/approved.

10. Establish a plan for the
open spaces in our neighborhood.

Our neighborhood has a number of undeveloped open spaces, owned by either the City or the railroad. We want to improve the appearance and maintenance of these spaces, and make them assets rather than liabilities. Price tag: not yet determined/approved.

To see how the boundaries for the SNI area and North Willow Glen interact, go here.

Copyright 2003