parking lot

Goals & Objectives | Next StepsTimeline | Public Input | Contact

In the past year, Midpen has been working with a consultant to conduct surveys, analyze and address issues about parking and access at Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve and County Park. Rancho San Antonio Preserve is Midpen’s most popular preserve because it is located so close to many communities and very easy to access, with a large network of trails and wonderful opportunities to connect with nature and to visit an old farmstead. Parking demand is high during peak hours and visitors often wait in their cars to secure a parking space. This detracts from the overall experience and can lead to visitor frustration and at times conflicts. 

  • More than 1 million people live within 10 miles of the 3,988-acre preserve & adjoining 165-acre county park.
  • Midpen has been monitoring visitation at RSA annually since 2016, with average annual use at over 660,000.
  • Deer Hollow Farm, which receives 100,000+ visitors annually, is owned by Midpen, but its public programs are managed by the City of Mountain View.
  • The average number of people per car is 1.5.

In June 2017, Midpen and Santa Clara County Parks held a meeting to discuss the issues with local public agency stakeholders. This group confirmed the need to identify and evaluate parking and access issues, and brainstormed strategies to address these issues over the short, mid- and long-term.

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Goals and Objectives

To better understand the underlying causes for the parking and access challenges and develop effective strategies to address them, Midpen is beginning a Parking and Transportation Demand Analysis to:

  • Evaluate existing parking and access conditions.
  • Understand how visitors access the preserve.
  • Identify strategies to encourage other modes of travel and reduce parking demand.

This information will inform phase two efforts to promote greener transportation options, improve the visitor experience, reduce congestion and reduce parking impacts to adjacent communities. While the study is underway, Midpen will introduce some short-term measures to improve the parking issues. Measures include:

  • Educational efforts to promote ridesharing and alternative transportation;
  • Adding more secure bike racks;
  • Enhancing preserve informational signage; and
  • Initiating discussions with surrounding city leaders and agency staff to identify gaps in trail connections to nearby neighborhoods and recreation areas.

Next Steps

On September 22, 2020, the Board PNR Committee received the consultant’s preliminary findings and discuss ways to prioritize strategies to improve parking and access. Pending PNR Committee feedback, Midpen staff will solicit project stakeholder input. On January 26, 2021, the Planning and Natural Resources Committee will hear recommendations on potential ways encourage visitors to use other modes of transportation besides their cars in order to reduce parking demand and traffic improve parking and access. 

Timeline

June 2017 Agency stakeholder meeting to brainstorm strategies to address parking and access issues
April 2019 Planning and Natural Resources Committee review
June 26, 2019 Scope of work and short-term measures presented to and approved by the Board
September 25, 2019 Award of contract for consultant by the Board
Fall 2019 Began Parking and Transportation Demand Analysis
March 11, 2020 The Board received a status update on short-term measures
September 22, 2020 Planning and Natural Resources Committee review of preliminary findings
January 26, 2021 Planning and Natural Resources Committee review of Parking and Transportation Demand Analysis scores and recommendations

Key Stakeholders and Partners

Stakeholders in this project include:

  • Santa Clara County Parks
  • Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
  • Santa Clara Valley Water District
  • City of Mountain View
  • City of Cupertino
  • City of Los Altos
  • City of Los Altos Hills
  • City of Sunnyvale (Invited)
  • Montclaire Elementary School (CUSD)

Public Input

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Contact

Tina Hugg, Project Planner at thugg@openspace.org or phone (650) 691-1200, California Relay Service: dial 711