I bike to school every morning. I have 3 different routes to choose from each morning and
afternoon, all of which cross this one drainage ditch at some point. I did some research and I
found out it was called the Permanente Diversion Canal. It’s hard to describe what the area
looks like with words, so here is a map.
(Justin Kong 12.22.19)
The blue on the left is Permanente Creek, and the blue on the right is Stevens Creek. The
yellow in between is the diversion canal, and the black lines are the three crossings I use.
I learned that when Permanente Creek starts going through neighborhoods, it’s just a tiny dirt
ditch without flood protection. The diversion canal is surrounded by cement, and it looks like it
can take a huge amount of water. Here are some photos of the canal I took over the duration of
(Justin Kong 2.1.19-6.8.19)
One thing that really fascinated me was the start and end of the canal. I knew the end was at
Stevens Creek just East of highway 85, but I did not know where the start was. I wanted to see
this place, but I could not because it’s purposefully blocked off from the public. I found a picture
of the end on Wikipedia, and based on the graffiti, it might not be the safest place to go to
because of the people who spend time there.
I did find out I could get to the start of the canal, sort of. It’s not exactly by a road, but it’s visible
if you peer through a fence.
(Justin Kong 6.8.19)
Back in June, I biked to the road right by the start and I looked through the fence. There’s this
really weird door mechanism that controls which way the water goes, and it has been closed
(directing water to the canal) every time I’ve passed by.
In Heritage Oaks Park, there’s a place where you can walk right up to the creek. This park is
less than half a mile to the start of the canal. I went there last month with a couple friends, but
we couldn’t go into the creek bed because it had just rained and the current seemed pretty
strong. I thought that park (it’s the green one on the above map that says “Coach Ken Soccer
Academy”) was fascinating since it was right before a natural river entered a man made canal
that controls its flow and path.
(Justin Kong 12.22.19)
One other place where you can cross the canal is at the back of Blach Intermediate School. The
entirety of the southern boundary of the school is the canal, which makes it one of the few
places you can walk along it. There’s also one footbridge that connects it to Altamead Drive and
Carmel Terrace, which was pretty cool to walk across. I wonder if any of the students at that
school have ever been fascinated by this canal. I always thought my neighborhood and city
were kinda boring, but there are little details like the canal that just need to be discovered.