Before and (possibly) after.
Before and (possibly) after. Freeway Park Association

Look, we all know Freeway Park is, forgive us, a bit of a dump. Yes yes, it’s much better than what was there in the 1970s — a hideous freeway scar — and it’s vastly preferable to have any park built on top of the highway than nothing at all.

But oof, no thank you to all the weird mystery-liquid puddles, the wood amenities falling apart, and the randomly placed maintenance sheds and toilets. That's not even to mention the terrifying unlit sections, the no-smoking areas that are nevertheless constantly filled with smokers, and the mystifying flow of foot-traffic now that conventions have started banning pedestrians from entering the park for security reasons.

For these reasons and more, the Freeway Park Association will embark on a massive construction project to transform the park in 2022. They’re finalizing plans now, and they would like your input on their plans, pretty pretty please.

Here are the big-picture priorities: better lights and signs; irrigation that actually works; accessibility improvements; entrances that indicate this is a nice place, rather than a shadowy place to get mugged; and most excitingly, fountains that you can actually play in. (Thrilling news for our local merfolk!)

But there are a lot of forms that those improvements could take, which is where you come in. The FPA is running a survey through August 5, asking for input on your top priorities: Would you rather have new lighting throughout the park, or bike racks? Clearer views at the entrances, or better bathrooms? You’ve got $10 million to play with, how would you fix Freeway Park?

For example, the Upper Lawns area (where the cosplayers take all their photos during Comic-Con) could get sightlines extended so it looks less like a maze. The 8th Avenue entrance, which currently looks like a maintenance entrance that the public isn’t supposed to enter, could get a nice inviting staircase. And Seneca Plaza, which was once a fun fountain to splash around in until the water was turned off, could get a dedicated concierge!

These are just a handful of the available options. Go take the survey, and go nuts with your dreams for the park. In a perfect world, a lid would extend all the way north and south to completely cover the freeway throughout the city (or the freeway would be demolished altogether); but until that day comes, at least let our mermaids free to frolic in the fountain.