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Sonoma / Hopkins / Josephine Triangle Park: Landscape Design Intent
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The Sonoma / Hopkins / Josephine (SoHoJo) Triangle, completed in October 2004 by community initiative, financial support and sweat, is by far the most appealing and pedestrian friendly traffic calming measure in Berkeley. Where else can one traverse 140 feet from corner to corner via a curvilinear pink pathway flanked by a striking landscape design that invites repeat visits? It is a model of appropriate planting for water conservation and low maintenance nearly trumped by the sense of beauty and calmness.  

path west
path east
Pathway West
Pathway East

A quietude evoked by boulders floating above the surface of golden crushed stone paving and striking combinations of plant textures and colors that complement the pink concrete work—the same pink historically designated for the neighborhood, marks this a special community project.

Triangle design offers creative solutions to:

  • Traffic calming: a small scale, low-growing dry climate garden with gently curving walkway leading to crosswalks; replaces large expanse of asphalt paving and long crosswalk
  • Pedestrian safety: reduces crossing distance in roadway. Walkway in triangle, is in fact, equivalent to the mid-section of previously long and dangerous crosswalk in street
  • Neighborhood gathering (informal): a place to stand together (no seating) while protected from moving traffic
  • Limited water and maintenance: a place to see a dry climate garden where long-lived plants revel in sun without risk of severe damage. Ecological and practical for public open space where reliance on neighborhood maintenance is unpredictable.

  • Visual calm: restrained plant colors, textures and sizes to induce relaxation: 1)  soft light green and blue-silver grasses, agaves, aloes, lavenders, echeverias, and other succulents; 2) pink and opalescent pink-blue-amber succulents;  3) bronzy aeoniums for accent

  • Small central area of decomposed granite around boulders serves as informal social space and visual respite

  • Boulder groups command space for interest and may deter misuses, such as biking,  rollerblading or camping

 

Copyright © 2006 Monterey Hopkins Neighborhood Association. All Rights Reserved.