What’s going on with the Cleveland Cascade?

Honestly, I don’t have a clue. But do know where you can find out.

Tomorrow, Thursday, May 21st, from 5:30 – 7:00 PM, District 3 Councilmember Nancy Nadel will be hosting an informational meeting about the progress on the Cleveland Cascade restoration project. The meeting will take place at the foot of the Cleveland Cascade between 2250 and 2300 Lakeshore Avenue.

The full backstory can be found at the Cleveland Cascade website, but in brief: We used to have this lovely fountain pouring down towards Lake Merritt along Clevehand Heights hill.


Then, over time, it got all run down. The water was shut off and it got overgrown and then, like five years ago, a group of neighbors decided to get together and try to restore it, and begun excavation work to uncover the fountain.


And then the renovation project got $300,000 of Measure DD funds. Additional private funds were raised to cover design costs, and now, the first phase of the renovation project will be going to bid soon.

Tomorrow’s meeting will offer an update on the project’s progress and an overview on the improvements that will be made in the first phase.

4 thoughts on “What’s going on with the Cleveland Cascade?

  1. dto510

    Unfortunately, Ms. Nadel scheduled this meeting against the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, which will discuss creating a formula to prioritize the restoration of pedestrian paths around the city. It’s disappointing that people who care about pedestrian pathways will have to choose between to the two meetings.

  2. das88

    I was able to attend to attend this meeting.

    At the beginning there were about 10 people, and about another 10 came as the meeting progressed. The attendees included Nancy Nadel (left early for another meeting), three city staffers (CEDA lead on the project, Chief Arborist, someone else), people who have been involved for a long time with the restoration, and some dude who was ditching the BPAC meeting.

    At the first part of the meeting, the CEDA guy went over the proposal to spend the $300k of DD money. Basically the idea is that they want to have lighted handrails going up the stairway to encourage nighttime use. The lighting had something to do with LED’s underneath the rails that will provide a soft glow.

    It sounded like kind of a goofy approach to the lighting issue to me, and there was no discussion of how it would appear across the lake or to people walking around the lake. The community people who have been involved with the project for years, though, seemed to like the lighting. Being late to the issue myself, I did not voice any objections since everyone seemed happy with it.

    What I found wild, though, is that they received 3 or 4 bids (the CEDA guy wasn’t clear on the number) from their RFP and all of them exceeded budget. The closest was only $16k over, so the Staff plans on recommending to Council that they do not accept any of them and open negotiations with one or more of the contractors. Given claims by BART OAC proponents that recession is making bids come in under estimates, I asked how recent CEDA got these lighting bids. No joy here, though, the CEDA guy said the latest came in just a week or so ago.

    After the lighting discussion, we tromped up one side of the cascade and down the other examining candidate trees for trimming and removal. As a slow moving group we were continually in the way of people running the stairs for exercise. There were about 30 people in far better shape then me doing circuits on the stairs.

    There is a lot of proposed tree trimming and several planned removals. The work would be done by city employees. The idea here is to reduce the canopy to open up the views from the higher points on the staircase. In addition, many of the trees and limbs are leaning and/or not doing so well. The reduced canopy would be more inline with the historic cascade.

    I wondered (but did not voice), though, if all the runners would be happy with the reduced shade.

    Schedule for these improvements are Summer time for tree trimming and removal. This process involves tagging trees with notice for public comment, various types of action different groups can take to stop it, etc. If nobody objects, the tree work takes a minimum of 6-weeks to go. If there are objections it can take up to three times as long (or presumably not happen at all). Expectation for the lighting project is sometime around September.

  3. Born in Oakland

    Saw some handrailings with LEDs on the underside when visiting in San Diego and they were pretty cool