Beall Takes Action to Stop Nuisances on Communications Hill Stairs

February 17, 2015

SACRAMENTO -- The grand stairway that leads to the top of San Jose’s Communications Hill is a trek of more than 200 steps, a rigorous climb that rewards the determined with a scenic view of the city.

But the steep footpath has also become a popular destination for troublemakers who engage in noisy bouts of all-night drinking, strew trash, and loiter. The illegal activity has triggered complaints by hill residents but the city’s efforts establish a curfew have been futile because the path is designated under the vehicle code as a sidewalk and therefore publicly accessible at all times.

To curb nuisances and improve residents’ quality of life, Sen. Jim Beall on Tuesday introduced Senate Bill 236 to give cities the authority to regulate pedestrian right of ways, specifically addressing staircases.

“Cities would have greater latitude on controlling the public use of staircases in order to address the needs and concerns of its residents like those who live on Communications Hill,” Beall said. “It’s time we get ahead of this issue before the development expands and things get worse for the residents.’’

The bill was sought by the city of San Jose.

“I want to thank Sen. Beall and the state legislature for helping San Jose solve the problems the Communications Hill neighborhood is facing,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo. “Without this critical bill, the City and the residents will be challenged in our efforts to clean up and maintain order with the Communications Hill staircase.”