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City of South San Francisco Receives Helen Putnam Award for Excellence in Planning and Environmental Quality

Centennial Way is a the name of South San Francisco’s three-mile trail where walkers, joggers, bicyclists and skaters can be seen enjoying leisure activity and fresh air, as well as commuters and school kids biking and walking to work and school. This ADA-accessible pathway dedicated in 2009, is also frequented by seniors with walkers and in wheelchairs; and the 1.5-acre dog park has become a popular meeting place for dog lovers.

The Centennial Way project recently won the City of South San Francisco the 2010 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence in the Planning and Environmental Quality category and is featured in Western Cities magazine.

Meyers Nave negotiated a cooperative agreement between the City of South San Francisco and BART to allow the use of the BART/SamTrans right of way for a linear park above the underground transit system. The linear park was the result of a unique opportunity created when BART expanded and left a swath of unimproved land on top of the underground transit line. Named Centennial Way to commemorate the City’s 100th birthday in 2008, the estimated price tag of $6 million was funded through grant and developer fees with the City committing $100k annually for maintenance.

Running through the center of town and between two BART stations, Centennial Way offers an alternative and healthy mode of transportation that promotes the use of public transit. Additionally, the trail added approximately 15 acres of park land to the city’s open space, which increased the ratio of park acreage per capita, and brought it closer to the national standard. It has stabilized land values of adjacent homes, created a new sense of place, and provides numerous options for healthy activities for the entire community.

Established in 1982 by the League of California Cities, the California Cities Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program recognizes outstanding achievements by California’s 480 cities. The Award recognizes and promote the outstanding efforts and innovative solutions by city governments to: improve the quality of life in local communities; implement efficiencies in service delivery and operations; and provide services responsive to the local community. The awards are given in 10 categories including housing, health, ethics, and planning and environmental quality.