City Seeks Feedback on Brackenridge Park Master Plan

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North End History and Walking Area. Courtesy of Brackenridge Park Conservancy.

Rendering of the North End History and Walking Area, proposed by the Brackenridge Park Master Plan. Courtesy of Brackenridge Park Conservancy.

City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department will host five meetings over four weeks to gather public input on the drastic changes and improvements proposed in the Brackenridge Park Master Plan.

City staff will give an overview of the master plan at each meeting before breaking into stations, each of which will tackle different aspects of the plan, from parking garages to historic preservation to landscaping. Attendees can speak to the group, vote on different ideas, and submit comment cards.

Citizens are encouraged to email comments to or mail to Parks and Recreation, Attn: Brackenridge Park Master Plan, PO BOX 839966, San Antonio, TX 78283-3966.

City staff will tally the votes, read through comments, and survey the results of the five meetings to better understand where public opinion stands on each of the master plan’s propositions.

“Nothing to date has been adopted or approved, so this is just an extended comment period for people to provide that input,” said Homer Garcia, San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department acting assistant director. “Because at the end of the day, the park use will not change. The master plan is more of a vision we want to achieve, not necessarily an implementation plan.”

The meetings will be from 6-8 p.m. in various quadrants of the city:

Click here to download the master plan from the City’s website.

The public meetings, Garcia said, were prompted by concerns over the level of public outreach regarding the master plan.

“Through the master plan process, we’ve had two primary public meetings to date and at the (last) meeting, there was some discussion about there not being adequate public outreach to make sure the park users are reflected in the comments being provided,” Garcia said. “So we have expanded the public meetings to have that additional time to comment.”

The main tenants of the plan include reducing vehicular traffic, restoring the park’s natural features and improving water quality, restoring and preserving the park’s cultural and historical features, increasing park visibility and pedestrian access to and within the park, and recapturing green space.

(Read more: Brackenridge Park Master Plan: More People, Fewer Cars)

Among other transformative changes, the plan suggests turning the San Antonio Zoo parking lot on Tuletta Drive into a 10-acre Grand Lawn and the closures of several park entrances to reduce cut-through traffic, thereby making the area safer for pedestrians. It also calls for the construction of three new public-private parking garages along the park’s perimeter, the restoration of the Catalpa-Pershing Channel to include pedestrian and bicycle pathways, and the restoration of the Sunken Garden Theater and other historic structures.

The plan is backed by the Brackenridge Park Conservancy and has received positive feedback from 20 stakeholder institutions located near the park and along Broadway Street, Garcia said.


Top image: Rendering of the North End History and Walking Area, proposed by the Brackenridge Park Master Plan.  Courtesy of Brackenridge Park Conservancy. 


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4 thoughts on “City Seeks Feedback on Brackenridge Park Master Plan

  1. Your article states quite bluntly that the Brackenridge Park Conservancy (BPC) “backs” the city’s master plan for Brackenridge Park, fact is this has been the city’s plan from the beginning, not the Conservancy’s plan, BPC has had very limited input into the process and the actual plan, probably fair to say no more than anyone else that is interested or somehow involved. I am speaking entirely for myself but I think it would be more accurate to state that the Conservancy backs thoughtful consideration for the current and future needs of the park. The current city plan is a decent and well intended start and succesfully gets the ball in play. Missing from the plan are some essential elements, basically data about traffic, parking, and who today’s actual park users are, including why and how often they are in the park. From the beginning the city called this latest attempt to improve the park’s situation an “update” to the last (and one and only) Brackenridge master plan that was produced in 1979. An update is hardly what Brackenridge needs in order to properly honor it’s cultural and historical legacy and perhaps as important, to appropriately give it a chance to become a recognized “world class”park for a city, that at least for now, seems to aspire to world class status. There has been a fair amount of press concerning the park and the conservancy since the city released the plans, not all flattering and not at all totally accurate either. What I believe we all agree on is that the park has been neglected, perhaps taken for granted. The opportunity is now before us to work together, as San Antonio has remarkably managed to do over the centuries, to create something uniquely “ours” physically and beautifully representing that spirit that other cities find so elusive.

    • “… and who today’s actual park users are, including why and how often they are in the park…” That is exactly what concerns me about what I’ve seen of this plan so far. Is there a place for current users of the park? Were they even consulted and do they know about the park plans and public meetings? Personally, I love seeing the families with big birthday parties every weekend. Would miss them if the park becomes less welcoming to that sort of activity.

  2. Cutting the park off from traffic, doing the Great Lawn, etc., is great—probably the best aspect of the new plans.

    BUT: if there isn’t a constant bicycle police presence, the park’s patrol-car-inaccessible interior will become a hobo campground. The bums there are absolutely all over the place—especially deep in the wooded and secluded areas, only emerging like Walking Dead extras when their supply of whatever runs out. They’re generally harmless, but that could get out of hand in a hurry if not properly planned for at the outset.

  3. I’d like to see the city build a good public transportation plan to get people to and from the park instead of using space for parking lots. As a city, San Antonio has a long way to go with public transportation

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