East San Jose Pocket Park Among Projects on ‘Clean California’ List

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement of $311.7 million for 126 beautification projects along the state highway system includes three projects in Santa Clara County and the City of San Jose.

Newsom’s office said in a report announcing the grants that “98 percent of the projects benefit  historically underserved or excluded communities.”

Unused Caltrans space at Havana and Midfield streets in East San Jose has been targeted as a possible pocket park for nearly 20 years. The City of San Jose had approached Caltrans for development of this unused Caltrans-owned space into a pocket park for the community and Caltrans has implemented an airspace lease for this parcel with the city. The state funds will be used for this project, for which there was a groundbreaking last fall.

The project site is the soundwall at the intersection of Havana Drive and Midfield Avenue. Members of the community initiated a mural project to enhance the vacant site to help reduce graffiti.

State funds also are slated for beautification work along the Almaden Expressway, installing fencing and buffer planting areas between the sidewalk and street trees, as well as community gardens and safe storage for unsheltered individuals

Areas along Highways 101, 80 and 84 in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties are also targeted on the list for the installation of safety measures at bridge structures including decorative security fencing, decorative paving, and natural rock groundcover.

Designed to foster cultural connections and civic pride, the projects are expected to generate 3,600 jobs as part of the multiyear initiative led by Caltrans to remove trash and beautify community gateways and public areas along highways, streets and roads while creating thousands of jobs for Californians.

“With $1.1 billion in Clean California projects transforming more and more sites across the state, we’re taking the next step to create enriching public spaces that serve the needs of our diverse communities and that all of us can take pride in – starting in the neighborhoods that need it most,” said Newsom. “Working together, the state and local governments are advancing unique beautification projects that will make a positive impact for years to come.”

Developed in collaboration with tribal and local governments, non-profits and businesses, the 126 state beautification projects will be completed in 47 of California’s 58 counties, including art installations, green space and proposals that improve safety and promote community connections.

Construction is to begin in April.

In addition to these awards for Clean California projects along the state rights-of-way, the administration in December announced the availability of almost $300 million in grants to cities and counties for local projects that will clean and beautify neighborhood streets, parks and transit centers throughout California. Caltrans will review the project proposals from cities, counties, transit agencies, tribal governments and other governmental entities and announce grant recipients on March 1. The Governor’s California Blueprint proposes an additional $100 million to fund additional local Clean California grants.

Over three years, Clean California will remove an additional 1.2 million cubic yards, or 21,000 tons, of trash from the state system alone – enough to fill the Rose Bowl three times over. The initiative has already resulted in 6,300 tons of litter removed from the State Highway System and, to date, Caltrans has hired 528 new team members, including 428 maintenance workers who collect litter and perform maintenance duties like graffiti removal.


  1. “…advancing unique beautification…”?

    Start by removing vagrant camps all along the roadways and in public spaces.

    It is a total disgrace to see the amount of trash, debris and
    the explosion of un-abated GRAFFITI that has sprung up along highways, bridges and on the freeway signs.

    Progressive policies that limit penalties for all types of crimes are tantamount to an endorsement for more blight and lawlessness in the Bay Area.

    Keep Pushing Pro-Crime Proposals,
    Revolving Door Jails,
    $0 Bails and
    electing Progressive DA’s, Judges and Politicians…

    Sweet Karma cometh your way San Jose.
    As Soft-on-Crime Advocacy takes hold.

    CA remains the Top Joke of the USA

  2. Gee what a great opportunity to put homeless people to work cleaning up the mess they make and maybe becoming the unhomless. Naaaa that’s just too easy…………………..

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