The Hillcrest Park “Disposable” Stairs to Nowhere

This past weekend, I took the opportunity to check out the Hillcrest Park Stairs to Nowhere, only to realize these are, indeed, disposable stairs.  With the gate open at Lions Field, and no signs posted to keep out, I went for a hike.  Take a look at the photos — you’ll see what I mean by “disposable”.





Lights on the Stairs

Even though Hillcrest Park closes at Sunset, they installed lights on the stairs.

I’m sure the perverts who frequent Hillcrest Park after dark will surely appreciate it.



At least we can watch our kids on the field, right?

A few balconies with benches resembling something straight out of Knott’s Berry Farm were constructed.

I’m of average height and the view of the field while sitting down is atrocious.  The view will be much worse when the wire cable is installed between the vertical supports.


Okay, so you like stairs?

The wood is of such poor quality that only a masochist would dare use them with open-toed shoes.  Moms and Dads:  Do NOT let your children use these stairs barefoot or with sandals on!  I guarantee you this is a trip to Urgent Care waiting to happen.





No problem, just replace the wood?

Anyone with an eye for construction or engineering will see how poorly the stairs were designed.  The walking surfaces of the stairs are also load-bearing for the handrail supports.

To replace a horizontal section of lumber, the handrails and supporting structure will have to be disassembled — or lifted up with a crane as one assembly — because they’re also installing wire cable to accompany the handrails.

Removing a vertical support to slide a new piece of lumber underneath won’t be possible with the wire cable there.

Did I mention that pressure-treated wood doesn’t last forever?  Ten or fifteen years from now, this $1.6 million waste of money will have to be bulldozed as a safety hazard.

Perhaps the stairs can be maintained in future years like playground equipment at Ford Park?  After all, plywood is the cure for all problems.

Next week, they want the City Council to waste another $5 million of Park Dwelling Funds on Hillcrest Park.  That same $5 million could be used in Coyote Hills instead.  Hmm…what will they do?

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  1. #1 by Pyrotechnic Wonderboy on April 27, 2017

    Just host the fireworks show there and burn it all down.

    Wait. That’d be really really really stupid.

  2. #2 by Just Off Euclid on April 27, 2017

    That wood may have been treated, but not until some termites had lunch.

    Yay! Lunch!

  3. #3 by Dwelling in the Park on April 27, 2017

    That whole mess really is meant to be disposable. Whoever came up with this pile of crap needs to have his nuts cut…oh, wait can I say that here?

  4. #4 by I spotted the old nag on April 27, 2017

    So how do these stairs get by ADA? Where’s the handicap access?

  5. #5 by Fullerton Engineer on April 27, 2017

    The hardware will begin separating from the wood in a few years. And the structure looks rickety to boot.

    I give the stairs 10 years before the demo crew is called in. Two years before that the they’ll be cordoned off for public safety.

  6. #6 by Anonymous on April 27, 2017

    I hope they didn’t put more lights in the restrooms.

  7. #7 by Johnny Donut on April 27, 2017

    Fitzgerald’s legacy. A busted set of stairs that will disintegrate without anybody noticing.

  8. #8 by Slippin' Jimmy on April 27, 2017

    Typical. A construction site is accessible to the public.

    Risk management fail.

  9. #9 by Mike Furtado on April 27, 2017

    ok, so just to confirm, these are the stairs Joe Felz and his developer buddy are responsible for?

    i have a bad feeling the answer is yes

    • #10 by Fitzgerald's Campaign Treasurer on April 27, 2017

      What developer buddy? Did Roger Torriero get something out of this? If so good for him! Fullerton is pro business.

  10. #11 by Anonymous on April 27, 2017

    The stairs are fine. They are not going to pour concrete and they are not going to put in steel. These stairs are 100 times better than what we had before David.

    • #12 by Johnny Donut on April 27, 2017

      Before these stairs we had millions of dollars!

    • #13 by Just Off Euclid on April 27, 2017

      What you had before was no completely unnecessary wooden stairs and $1,600,000 in the bank.

      100 times better? Better than what?

      • #14 by L zivitz on May 5, 2017

        The stairs are the biggest waste of money imaginable! The stone steps throughout the park are in disrepair and poorly mainatined….as is much of the park. Whoever voted for the stairs should be forced to walk them 2 or 3 times each week.
        Will the lights be kept on as long as the lights are in Lions Field> The field is closed to all but children playing on teams. There are no facilities for adults to use, no volleyball, no running track,no basketball or even bache ball. Why would anyone want to walk the stairs, to go nowhere?
        The park should be restored and maintained. The park should be restored to it’s original beauty, and maintained. It does not need new,completely unnecessary additions.

        • #15 by Fred Olmstead on May 6, 2017

          “The park should be restored and maintained. The park should be restored to it’s original beauty, and maintained. It does not need new,completely unnecessary additions.”

          L zivitz, how right you are. Many people have been saying the same thing for decades but the Parks and Rec people have always been deaf. They insist on building NEW things rather than do the non-glamorous work of maintenance and landscaping. The money wasted by these people has been ruinous.


    • #16 by Jerry McAuley on April 27, 2017

      “They are not going to pour concrete and they are not going to put in steel.”

      What’s your point? That shitty lumber is cheaper than concrete and steel?

      • #17 by Fullerton Engineer on April 27, 2017

        Well, look at the steel stairs disintegrating at the depot. We’re better off with wood. Cheaper and easier to demolish when the time comes – in about 7 years.

        • #18 by nipsey on April 27, 2017

          Then they can build a new and identical set of stairs right next to the old ones. But they’re probably have to do all the engineering over again, because whatever.

  11. #19 by Poorer and Not Wiser on April 27, 2017

    It’s very obvious that Fullerton’s leaders’ sense of priorities is completely screwed up.

    Who voted to waste this money?

    • #20 by Just Off Euclid on April 27, 2017

      Right. Can you imagine the boobs sitting around a table and coming up with THIS as any sort of priority?

  12. #21 by Boadicea on April 27, 2017

    Are these the stairs that Felz’ attorney (?) thinks are so wonderful?

  13. #22 by just a guy on April 27, 2017

    It looks like there are actually TWO staircases to nowhere. Why?

    • #23 by Porkchop on April 27, 2017

      There’s actually three.

  14. #24 by Streets of Fullerton on April 28, 2017

    A single stairway made out of broken concrete would have been more fun to climb and would last indefinatly like the one shown here at hiking spot in Baldwin Park.
    Then a trail to connect it directly to the street where it is more accesable to pedestrians Who tke walks to excersize. Who know’s , this project may prove to actually be as popular as the bike rental program in the transportation terminal which in the end when calculated only cost about a hundred dollers per ride. The bridge in the front park facelift might also be unfrequented as there is no parking anywhere near the entrance.

    • #25 by Sharon on April 29, 2017

      Love the example of the Baldwin Park stairway. Hate the stairway to nowhere and also the ridiculous bridge. Wish enough people would show up at council on May 16 to protest the next boondoggle at Hillcrest. There are so many areas of the park that money could be going to fix. Also really good report by David Curlee.

  15. #26 by Shawn Quirk on April 28, 2017

    Perhaps it can be easily converted into the Ghost Rider II rollercoaster.

    • #27 by Anonymous on April 28, 2017

      Where did my comments go?

  16. #28 by Jack Daniels on April 28, 2017

    Weren’t these stairs designed by Felz’ buddies over at Griffin Structures? Real nice work there.

  17. #29 by Denn Corby on June 6, 2017

    I’ve been running these stairs (all of them) for 2 weeks and the cracks in the individual steps are becoming longer and obvious as are the groans coming from the lower decks on the most western risers. What began as fun and tough cardio is becoming scary. Cannot believe the erector did not Thompson them and use better planking. I give them 3-4 months before severe problems set in. In a year the stairs will be lawsuit central.

  18. #30 by Rachel French on August 10, 2017

    The stairs are an awesome workout, and if you’re willing to make eye contact with people, a fun way to connect with some folks in your neighborhood. I did notice this week how much noise a lot of the steps make and wondered how long they’ll last. What a disappointment to know (if this article is correct) that there will be no easy way to do maintenance on individual sections at a time. I think it’s an awesome place for people to go and exercise, be outside, view the field, meet community peeps…but oh my, what a shame if it’s all kindling in 2030!

    • #31 by Fullerton Engineer on August 10, 2017

      Rachel, if I were you i’d consider a different workout. Especially as 2030 approaches. Or have a lawyer on retainer.

  19. #32 by JB on February 10, 2018

    Loving the stairs! I use them weekly. So many people now coming to Hillcrest and using the park! Neighbors taking the park back from the vandals that used to keep everyone away! Yay! Stairs!

    • #33 by Just Off Euclid on February 11, 2018

      Don’t love too hard. One dry hump and down they go.

  20. #34 by kent morris on March 21, 2018

    Right…the steps on these stairs are so flimsy…Virtually every step has multiple knots and cracks on it…I’m 65 yrs old and I feel very insecure when walking on them–especially downstairs…A huge lawsuit waiting to happen…

  21. #35 by They call me T on October 2, 2018

    I’ve never been to this park until I heard about these stairs. Love them, just went last night.

    • #36 by Anonymous on October 3, 2018

      Get your love in quickly, then hire a slip and fall lawyer.

  22. #37 by Marla Sheehan Sells on January 28, 2019

    These natural wood stairs with knotholes & owies are WONDERFUL! The views are FANTASTIC! Climbers of all ages enjoy this Fullerton treasure….come on DOWN or UP and see for yourself.

    • #38 by Anonymous on January 28, 2019

      But be ready to hire a lawyer.

  23. #39 by Mike Martinez on July 27, 2019

    Where did you morons come from? If you don’t appreciate the stairs, stay your asses away from them! Lol get a life ding dongs!

    • #40 by Mr. Peabody on July 28, 2019

      Yes we should all stay away – because when the million dollar eyesore boondoggle collapses you could get buried in a pile of crappy construction.

  24. #41 by Chris on April 26, 2020

    I can see that many have no understanding of what these steps are for. Go there on a regular weekend and you will see the masses of people who go and get a great workout. These steps have become very popular and some of the people on here obviously need to get a workout in someday to understand

    • #42 by Hero = Deserve. on April 26, 2020

      Everybody knows what they’re for, genius. We just don’t like paying for shoddy work. Get it?

  25. #43 by Dennis on July 27, 2020

    I used to run these stairs regularly when they first opened. There are risers on the steps nearest Lemon that are of different heights making it difficult for runners who run rythmnically to negotiate them without clipping them or falling. I’ve seen many many falls. Moreso after a few months the wood steps began to deteriorate with splintering and cracking making running stairs let alone walking them a dubious proposition. I’m 74, a runner and in excellent shape but most people who use these steps are not. If I were Fullerton I would be severely worried about suits arising from the poor condition and anchoring of these flights. One other thing. I don’t know if they are there now but every day at the top of the stairs at various times there were tables of kids smoking pot which made the trip upwards just a bit more interesting.

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