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The Source: Brackenridge Redevelopment Plan Causes Controversy

 
Located below the headwater of the San Antonio river - Brackenridge Park has been a gathering place for families since pre-historic times. There are artifacts that show thousands of years ago the park area was used by the native peoples. 

Today it's a popular spot - used by people of all economic strata and background. But some worry that that could change with a proposed redesign for Brackenridge. The plan calls for returning many areas to green space. Some parking lots and roads and connections would need to be eliminated under the first draft.  This has many users of the park concerned about how they will get to and from the park. Since the city announced the proposal, it's been met with suspicion by some members of the community.

Speaking on The Source Thursday former council member Maria Berriozabal said many--including current users--were excluded from the conversation about the redevelopment.

"That makes us very nervous because we weren't there. We didn't know and particularly people who are the users of the park. Families. Most working class families, who are there in the afternoons and on Sundays, they're there for the Easter picnic, they were not included."

After considerable rebuffing by some residents, the city decided to hold an additional six hearings about the proposal and many people were upset about the changes they perceived to be less friendly to working class families with limited transportation options.

The city says it wants to be inclusive and is listening to the feedback they are getting ahead of any kind of vote for funding. 

"When we understood that somehow this process wasn't delivered throughout the entire community, that's when we proposed doing more outreach," says district one council member Roberto Trevino. 

What do you want from this historic park? How do you think it can be improved?

Guests:

  • Maria Berriozabal, former council member for the city of San Antonio
  • Roberto Trevino, current district one council member 
  • Xavier Urrutia, director of Parks and Recreation for the City of San Antonio
  • Lynn Bobbit, executive director of the Brackenridge Park Conservancy

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Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive
David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi