During the second reading of Tuesday’s night’s meeting, Tony Daysog had, yet another, head scratching comment:
I can’t wait for our community to have this traffic/transit discussion because now we’re doing these TDMs as these projects here and there arise. Alameda Point has its TDM, Alameda Landing has its TDM. Northern Waterfront, Del Monte project has its TDM. And I do think that we have to be a lot more strategic in terms of planning.
Tony Daysog makes it sound as though Transportation Demand Management (TDM) plans are some bandage solution that is done in lieu of long term strategic planning. It’s not. Two years after Tony Daysog departed the City Council, the City started the process of updating the Transportation Element of the General Plan to talk about long term strategies, there’s a good overview about the Transportation Element EIR here. The Transportation Element is the roadmap of sorts on how we tackle dealing with the inevitability of traffic in our City. Maybe this is a part of the “discussion” that Tony Daysog wants to have, maybe it’s not, but it’s not clear that he understands the distinction.
So who watched or was at the City Council meeting on Tuesday? A few of you I know because I saw you speak during the Del Monte section. By the way, I just wanted to say that Helen Sause getting up there and speaking was so admirable. She has a strength of conviction that is enviable and I don’t think anyone would blame her for taking a pass Tuesday’s meeting, but she showed up and I thank her for that.
The meeting is sort of divided into three distinct parts, Part I was the special meeting where the outgoing City Council took care of old business. I have thoughts about the comments, particularly those of Trish Spencer, but that’s for another post. Part I was as expected, Marie Gilmore ran the meeting in her usual way, public comment was about as expected, and the vote was not a surprise. Although I honestly thought that Tony Daysog would choose to abstain since it’s kind of his MO when it comes to issues that may have a little bit of conflict. More on his comments and his overall approach to TDMs in another post. (See, already paying dividends on post material!)
Someone reminded me that I totally forgot to talk about Trish Spencer’s comments at the City Council meeting about a week ago. I got so caught up in the strangeness of Tony Daysog’s performance and the lack of clarity of his response to a question about how eliminating the affordable housing piece of the Del Monte puzzle would work toward his “goals” that I neglected to write about some of the other public commenters. Oh, I also tried to get Tony Daysog to explain what deficiencies were in the TDM report, the only response I received was “It’s flawed.” So much for kitchen heat standing.
Mayor (at that time) -elect Trish Spencer launched into a lengthy speech about the consultant’s report and its assessment of unbundling parking which made it sort of sound as though she was against the bundling of one parking space per unit that the Del Monte neighbors had been seeking. But for those of us that are School Board meeting watchers, you’ll recognize her performance as typically Trish Spencer. She essentially throws a whole bunch of “staff report verbatim reading” in her comments to sound as though she understands the larger issue but in truth she’s really made no point at all.
Tonight, the new City Council members and Mayor will be sworn in around 8:00 ish. Nothing substantial on the new City Council’s agenda. Hopefully there won’t be too much talk about mandates and whatnot.
Anyway, I wish the City Council best of luck and, as always, I’m going to try to hope for the best for this Council to continue with the positive steps that were made by the outgoing City Council, particularly on issues such as the budget and their work to lure new businesses to Alameda.
Just wanted to point out that in addition to some exciting new technology companies (Sila Nanotech) and food and beverage companies (Faction Brewery, Building 43 Winery) a few older Alameda Companies have recently added more square footage and by extension, more jobs to Alameda. From a City press release:
On Friday morning news came out that on the evening of #hellastorm on Thursday, a pedestrian was struck by an AC Transit bus at the corner of Otis and Grand and killed. A friend later informed me that the pedestrian was Sam Sause, a highly involved community member.
First I just want to say that my thoughts and prayers are with the Sause family during this difficult time.
I had actually wrote yesterday’s post a few days ago, and kept bumping it for other things, but it came in very hand on the morning of #hellastorm when I finally scheduled it to run. By now, you’ve probably seen photos, or have seen in person, huge swaths of flooding on Alameda Point, which was interesting because according to the Weather Underground map at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday had only measured less than 1.5 inches of rain, compared to Mid Alameda which measured 2.79 inches of rain:
Continuing along the “how bad is the infrastructure at Alameda Point” road, next I tackle wastewater, aka the gross stuff that you want to leave your building.
Here is the current state of the wastewater system at Alameda Point from the Master Infrastructure Plan (MIP):
The Navy began the installation of this system approximately 70 years ago. The system is currently functional, however, the system is beyond its service life and has numerous deficiencies. Most notably, the majority of the system has deteriorated due to the age of the system and differential settlement has occurred over time at the Project Site. These effects of time have resulted in groundwater infiltration entering the on-site collection system and downstream transmission system. Additionally, portions of the existing system have adverse slopes causing wastewater build-up and stagnant conditions. There are portions of the collection pipelines that are located under existing buildings and outside of the existing and proposed backbone street rights of ways. The existing wastewater collection system does not meet the City’s standards.
Apparently there is this huge storm that is coming in, so big that even the City of Alameda is getting in on the action and giving away sandbags to residents. The City put out this press release on Tuesday and there have been alerts everywhere:
In anticipation of Wednesday and Thursday’s storm, the Public Works Department is providing sandbags to residents. Each household is able to pick up a total of five (5) sandbags and must provide proof of residency. The sandbags will be available today between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., and between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, December 10, at the Maintenance Yard located at 1616 Fortmann Way.
To report flooding and downed tree limbs, please call 747-7900. After 6:00 p.m. and during weekends, please call 510-337-8340.
Probably good information to have in general, but the tree limb thing is important.
Completely glossed over, but really good news from the City of Alameda, due to the improved economy, one-time “windfall” revenues, as well as conscientious budgeting by department heads, this year the City of Alameda Fund Balance ended at a whopping $28.6 million. In November, staff had anticipated that the number would be in the $21.2 million range.
The bulk of the money: $15.9 million will go straight into the reserves, which was set by Council policy at 20%, $1.3 million will go toward staffing and negotiated wage increases, which leaves a surplus of $11.5 million.
Here’s how the City got to that extra $11.5 million, from the staff report:
So, on Tuesday night, there was some weirdness at the City Council with regard to the Del Monte discussions. Mostly it came from Tony Daysog right out of the gate after the developer presentation. He started down this convoluted road of traffic impacts and essentially said that the traffic impact analysis in the Mitigated Negative Declaration is all wrong because he thinks that the only measure of traffic impacts should be traffic that occurs from residential development.
Let put aside the fact that measuring only residential development is not how these things work. When you measure the impacts of a project you measure it for all of the uses and not just the residential. Because just measuring residential would be sort of silly since that wouldn’t cover the complete impact of traffic from the project.