Fullerton’s Most Useless Bridge

Yesterday, I wrote about the hideous stairs at Hillcrest Park and alluded to the City Council being asked to spend another $5.7 million on Hillcrest Park improvements.  This is Park Dwelling Fund money — an important distinction I will get to in a minute.  You can read the full Agenda Letter here.

A portion of that $5.7 million is slated for the construction of what would become Fullerton’s most useless bridge, if funding is approved next Tuesday night.  No, it won’t be painted orange, and I don’t know the exact type of bridge.

This is just a crude rendering of where the bridge would sit, scaled as best as possible using the City’s drawings.

Here’s the official drawing from the City.  The bridge across the creek is clearly visible below:

I keep scratching my head as to who would ever use this bridge.  It doesn’t align with any current or proposed trail, nor does it connect the park to crowds of people just dying to enter the “Great Lawn” as they want to call it.  The nearest City parking is FOUR spaces at Harbor and Valley View, 425 feet away.

Why would someone opt to walk another 425 feet, over the bridge, to access the “Great Lawn” when it’s right in front of their parking space?

When these parking spaces fill up, the few people desiring to use the bridge will probably just leave their cars at Ralph’s or Chase Bank — or just not bother using the bridge at all.   The next closest City parking lot at Hillcrest Park is 900 feet away on Valley View.  Either way, taking the bridge is the least convenient route to the lawn.

Second closest is the combined Hillcrest/Lions Field parking lot along Brea Blvd.  That measures out to 950 feet away on Google Earth, if, and that’s a big if, you can find parking there at all.  On the weekends, that lot is jammed full of cars with youth sports in session at Lions Field.  During the week, Parks and Recreation has the bright idea to lease parking spaces to St. Jude Hospital for employee use.  They also want to lease Lions Field to Hope International University, presumably during the week as well.  While your chances of finding parking there are questionable at this point, let’s just say you succeed.  From that parking lot, there is direct access to the “Great Lawn” without needing to use a bridge, cross the creek, or walk alongside Harbor Blvd.  A park road already exists.

As an aside, do you think it’s fair for park users to siphon parking spaces away from Ralph’s or Chase Bank and the other businesses there?  I sure don’t.

Park Dwelling Money

All of the proposed Hillcrest Park improvements are scheduled to use cash from the Park Dwelling Fund.  This is the fee charged to developers for every dwelling unit they build.

But wait a minute?  Can’t the Park Dwelling money be used for other, more reasonable purposes, besides a useless bridge?


Chapter 21.12 of the Fullerton Municipal Code covers this.

21.12.040   Use of funds.
All money collected as fees imposed by this chapter shall be deposited in the park dwelling fund and shall be used solely for the acquisition, development, improvement, and maintenance of public parks and recreational facilities in the City, as proposed by the City’s Five Year Capital Improvement Program.


Translation:  The $5.7 million could be used on things people actually want, such as acquiring land within Coyote Hills.

Really, people.  If you think this is a stupid use of funds, this is the LAST chance to do something about it.  The project itself has already been approved, but not the funding.  That’s what they’re seeking approval for Tuesday night.

Send the City Council an email:  council@cityoffullerton.com or attend the meeting on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 6:30pm and plan to speak during public comments.

30 Replies to “Fullerton’s Most Useless Bridge”

  1. Fullerton has multiple bridges with failing grades.

    Why are we building a bridge to nowhere instead of fixing ones with hundreds of vehicle trips per day?

    1. we need to fix the walk bridge over the drainage ditch on Prichard. It has loose boards, splintery hand rails, missing & loose nails, etc.

    1. And you know, describing this and the other truckloads of crap as ‘restoration and rehabilitaion’ is pretty rich, when the park would benefit most from taking a jackhammer to every one of these hideous affronts. No vision, no class, no clue, no shame.

      1. Hugo, Felz and Fitzgerald are the three worst things to ever happen to Fullerton’s parks. They waste our money on stupid projects like this and ignore the things that matter.

  2. Jan Flory’s law office is above Chase Bank. It would be hilarious if park users took all the parking spaces away and inconvenienced her.

    I’ll bet you guys a thousand dollars she will come back to complain about parking problems Even though she enthusiastically voted yes on this nightmare project,

  3. HA HA HA Curlee you did it again! A bunch of people on the lower floors of City Hall aren’t happy right now. You have a knack for getting people spun up like a top. I’m going to start bringing popcorn to work, this is great

    1. Hopefully the proponents of acquiring Coyote Hills will key on the points raised in this post that clearly states that the $10,000 + that the city of Fullerton collects for each new dwelling being built in Fullerton, now understand that that same money can be spent entirely on buying/acquiring land to buy Coyote Hills from Chevron and turn ut into a park.

      1. Great idea, and Griffin Structures can build some damned thing, maybe a visitors center, and some city lackey can oversee stuff. Wins all around.

        I am being facetious, because I really do want Coyote Hills to be preserved, but let’s get the city on the side of righteousness even if it’s for all the wrong reasons.

        1. Griffin Structures is finished in Fullerton.

          But no weeping for them, nipsey. Roger Torriero now owns the County Civic Center thanks to Shawn Nelson & Co.

  4. You could put in a super-rated prefab pedestrian/equestrian bridge across Brea Creek for a helluva lot less. The national forests are full of them – assuming you needed a bridge at all.

    When you note the $90,000+ for staff coordination and oversight you realize the body that is buried here. This represents a staff member who makes $45 per hour – doing NOTHING ELSE in an ENTIRE year besides “oversee” this project. That’s right. A full-time job for a year. And once you understand that you understand why Joe Fe;z and Fitzgerald are cramming massive developments down our throats – the park Dwelling fee is used for make-work projects that pay for parks department employees.

    And now notice the absurd level of contingencies – 25% ( a million dollars) on a park rehab project. Absolutely ridiculous – and I predict it will all be used up before these people get done, and that Fullerton staff will get most of it.

    1. Hmm, $92,300 for oversight and $317,000 in contract administration to watch someone else install a $85,000 bridge does seem a little steep.

  5. Was ANY of this BS (including the moronic wooden steps) approved by the Fullerton Landmarks Commission? Because of course Hillcrest Park is an official historic landmark.

    1. And check out Fitzgerald’s campaign contributions to see how much Roger Torriero and Griffin Structures have given her. It’s in the thousands and it’s criminal influence peddling.

  6. Why don’t they spend some of that money perttying the bridge at Valley View, cut into the hill to add a few more parking spots, and put the rest to rehabbing the rest of the park? I get that they want to have a spot to rent out for weddings and events and allow for some semi-quality photo locals, but the bridge dissapearing wont hurt that much. Time to go back to the drawing board to spend another $250,000 on more options.

    1. The only way this bridge will get foot traffic is if it connects with a sidewalk straight over to the courthouse. People could walk over there on their lunch break. More parking spaces could be facilitated here by cutting into the hilside on the adjoining road. The dirt could be used to fill the gutter after underground water channel is built there so the entrance would have the landscape go all up to the sidewalk. That would open up the park to get rid of the water dike with no need for a bridge there. Why build a bridge over a gutterway that could be enclosed. What the park needs is more interesting plants like ferns flowering bushes. Why spend all the millions on stairways and bridges instead of a backhoe and plants. Open up the duck pond that would bring people into the park again. The stairway/walkway should have been built with a trail diagnally from the duck pond up the hillside with a nice view of Lions Field along the way. The planners of this park will probably never visit it because its not pretty or functional. https://i.imgsafe.org/501c1dbf38.jpg

      1. “What the park needs is more interesting plants like ferns flowering bushes.”

        What the park needed and has needed for 50 years is a landcape plan, planting, and erosion control. The parks staff have ignored this park – except for what they could derive paid employment from – programmable space. That’s why when the last Hillcrest Park “study” was done in the mid 90s the only thing that came out of it was building that space behind the American Legion Hall – a place that gave Susan Hunt more space to rule over and charge the public for. And the trees kept dying and the hillsides kept washing away.

        P.S. There are already plenty of lots to walk in Hillcrest Park.

      2. This bridge will be a new focal point for the park, which doesnt really have one.
        Ralphs really needs to step it up and redo that entrance/ parking lot. On a regular day, you can barely get out onto Harbor. With the new bridge being where its going to be. They can make a new entrance, between ralphs/chase bank, that matches up with the bridge. They can have a nice big crosswalk, with nice brickwork or zebra crossings.

        1. How many acres of your hills could the city buy with that bridge-from-nowhere-to-nowhere money?

        2. The park doesn’t need a new “focal point.” It needs a caretaker that understands restoration and maintenance. Everything else is just pure self-serving bullshit. NO ONE is going to that bridge over the creek because almost no one walks up that side of Harbor.

          Whoever came up with this imbecilic idea needs to be fired – right along with the idiot who cooked up those stupid stairs. Of course it could well be the same person.

        3. That’s a multi-million dollar project. Traffic studies, infrastructure, road improvements . . . All to move a traffic signal 25 yards.

          That’s just dumb.

          Insanely stupid if you really think that’s where our money should go.

          1. Whoa! You mean they’re going to put a cross walk there, too? That’s idiotic.

              1. Have you driven the streets of Fullerton? Have you seen the constant changes around CSUF? Yeah, we already employ those “special kind of stupid” traffic engineers.

        4. I’m sure that Ralphs will just be thrilled to no end with a new entrance to their parking lot aligned with the park bridge. Ever shop at Ralphs? Generally, the Ralphs lot is full. Just what they need, cars parking in their lot for Hillcrest Park.

      3. OMG! Did you really bring up a walkway from the courthouse all the way to the park? I can already feel my wallet getting lighter as Fitzgerald & Co start the planning!

  7. The Ralph’s and Chase lots are posted “Customer Parking Only, all others will be towed”. Does the city really think they have the right to use these private parking lots as a way to get residents to buy into this nonsense??

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