When South San Francisco, Calif., turned 100 in 2008, officials gave residents a present: the first phase of a new transit corridor park and bikeway connecting to busy Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) stations. With connections to parks, schools and businesses along the way and amenities that include a 1.8-acre dog park, the nearly 3-mile long, 50-foot wide Centennial Way, which was completed in May, is the realization of a decade-old vision.

South San Francisco officials included the idea for Centennial Way in a 1999 update to the city's general plan, but lacked the funding to implement the project. A 2001 community outreach program led to the creation of a master plan for the project, which was used to successfully apply for 12 separate grants that raised $5.14 million for the park.

Built between the San Bruno and South San Francisco BART stations, Centennial Way makes use of the right of way on top of the underground BART rail line, property that had been considered "unbuildable." Years of negotiation were needed to overcome barriers that included a high voltage power line running through the park, a canal running parallel to parts of the trail that fell under the San Mateo Flood Control District's jurisdiction and concerns of dozens of property owners living and operating businesses near the park.

The finished project adds 17 acres of new parkland to the community that includes lighting, seating areas, plazas, safety improvements and wayfinding and interpretive signage. To promote community involvement in the project, the city began a Centennial Tree planting program, engraved memorial bricks to recognize individuals who donated to the park's creation, and installed interpretive plaques and bronze panels to educate users about natural resources and highlights around the park. The city also installed a 10-foot-by-16-foot sculpture at the entrance to the dog park to encourage social interaction among dogs and their owners.

Population: 63,000

Project: Transit Corridor Park and Bikeway

Cost: $6.3 million

Date completed: May 2009

Agencies/contractors: Bay Area Rapid Transit; SamTrans; Metropolitan Transportation Commission; Caltrans Local Assistance; San Francisco Public Utilities Commission; Pacific Gas & Electric; San Mateo Flood Control District; South San Francisco Unified School District; cities of San Bruno and Colma, Calif.; San Mateo City/County Association of Governments' Bicycle & Pedestrians Committee; Metropolitan Transportation Commission; Callander Associates Landscape Architecture; SummerHill Homes; various area developers, residents and business owners

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