SF Gate Editor in Chief Grant Marek took a hike in Palo Alto's recently opened to the actual public Foothills Park.
A long history of Palo Alto and barely closeted racism ends with a lovely park being accessible to all.
Over the years, civil rights lawyers have argued restrictions on this public space reek of racism and segregation, and even internal efforts to overturn the policy have been fraught with controversy — a member of the Palo Alto Parks and Recreation Commission resigned over the city's refusal to change their policy, saying it "crudely discriminates by address and ZIP code, knowing that such discrimination disparately affects those whose racial and socioeconomic backgrounds do not match those of the typical Palo Altan."
Finally, an ACLU lawsuit on behalf of the NAACP in September 2020 claiming the restriction — the only of its kind on a public park in California — was unconstitutional led to the city council rescinding the residents-only mandate.
The park finally opened to everyone last Thursday.