As I mentioned yesterday, the new Planning Director in Oakland, Rachel Flynn went on an unexpected tear through Alameda Point’s draft EIR suggesting that somehow Alameda’s numbers and conclusion as to the impact on Chinatown was faulty even though it reached the exact same conclusion as the City of Oakland did when they studied the same impacts for their own projects. Rachel Flynn, for those who haven’t been tracking discussions in Oakland, recently tried to kill the Latham Square Pedestrian pilot plaza saying that it just blocked the access for cars but didn’t increase the number of pedestrians and bicyclists using the plaza. Apparently when she was pressed on providing the data that showed the levels of usage she replied:
“We don’t know how to measure pedestrian and bicycle activity.”
This is the PLANNING DIRECTOR of Oakland actually saying that she doesn’t know how to track basic data for a project that was designed to convert a traffic plaza into a pedestrian one. This is the same Planning Director that decided that what is good for the goose is not good for the gander and expects Alameda to not only solve a traffic problem that Oakland has deemed unsolvable, but also pony up the funds to pay for it as well. Given the aggressive response by Oakland’s new Planning Director to Alameda Point’s draft EIR, it was only natural to expect that now Alameda question the validity of Oakland’s most recent EIR. Here is the letter that was sent a few weeks ago to the City of Oakland regarding their EIR for the Lake Merritt Station Area project. Here are some highlights, screen captured because the PDF is not cut and paste-able:
And, if that letter weren’t enough, remember when I wrote about these two prospective residential towers for Jack London Square? Well the City of Alameda is now requesting a formal EIR from the City of Oakland to study the impacts. Given that this will be the first EIR drafted under Rachel Flynn’s watch perhaps her EIR will uncover new magical ways to mitigate traffic in Oakland as she suggests that Alameda should do. While she’s at it she can also, hopefully, correct the disconnect between what was written about (or rather not written about) sea level rise and her expectations for Alameda when it comes to Alameda’s solution for mitigating potential issues of sea level rise.