Someone posted this article on Facebook yesterday and I thought it was too good not to share. While everyone is scrambling to create jobs for “tech” and insist on only having high paying jobs in their cities, the piece quotes that for every high paying job there are five service jobs that are created as a result. Problem is: we’re not creating enough housing to keep up with housing those high paying tech jobs, let alone the lower wage service jobs that are created as a result. We can keep making excuses as to why we can’t build any more where the jobs are located and in the meantime it forces the people who provide just as important services to commute long distances in order to be able to afford reasonable accommodations.
Excerpts from the piece, the tale of Ronnie Thomas who bikes to a Stockton train station then catches a bus in Fremont to commute to Stanford is particularly sobering. And you thought your commute was bad…
That article that commenter MI posted in yesterday’s comment is nothing short of excellent, I wanted to excerpt a few passages for people who may not commit to reading the whole thing. It’s mostly about Oakland, but given the Alameda has even better terrain and a built in mostly 25 mph speed limit island wide, it’s a shame that we don’t do a better job with bicycle infrastructure to further encourage increased bicycle usage:
Is it just me or does it feel like there has been MORE City Council meetings than ever before? Maybe it just feels like it, I should go back and check, but I’ll just go with the old Alameda standard of if something feels like it’s true than it must be.
Wednesday night there is yet another City Council meeting. This is not your regularly scheduled meeting but rather a meeting that is a continuation of a meeting from a few weeks ago because the Density Bonus discussion went super long and if the City Council went over 11:00 p.m. at another meeting then they would have to add more meeting for the rest of the year. So, they paused that meeting and scheduled it to continue tomorrow, which seems like an incredible shady thing to do and not at all in the spirit of open government, but apparently is technically legal.
On Wednesday night apparently the City’s Transportation Commission voted 4-2-1 against the Clement Street bikeway design which would have been a true protected cycle track, which is such a shame. It was disappointing to hear people who actually use their bicycles a lot advocate against the project as well.
Here’s why protected bike lanes are so important: it makes people who are not confident on bikes feel safer biking.
The Knight Foundation recently funded an organization called 8 – 80 cities which advocates for making public spaces accessible and safe for walking and biking. The headline, which is extremely relevant to all discussions in Alameda about bicycling: Want to build a bikeable city? Focus on those who don’t bike, highlights:
Your occasional Alameda Landing update. The registration period for the Alameda Landing BMR units closed earlier this week and word has it that 500 applications were submitted and 120 applicants qualified with 3 preference points. So essentially if you are not a four or more person household living or working in Alameda you are out of luck.
Remember there are only nine units available for sale.
There was a rumor somewhere that California Pizza Kitchen is moving into the space across from Habit Burger at Alameda. As of yesterday the spot was still being leased to Spin Pizza, so I’m not sure where the info came from.
Two of the smaller spaces officially have tenant names and based on the type of store and the demographic close to Alameda Landing (college) they’re going to do well. First up, next to Spin Pizza is Share Tea which is a boba milk tea type place. I’m not a fan of boba milk tea, I have a tricky relationship with dairy, but it’s huge with the young ‘uns.
Tonight there is a hot agenda item at the Transportation Commission which involved parking around the Harbor Bay Ferry.
Let me lay down a few obvious things, increased ferry ridership is a great thing. One more rider on the ferry means one less person crossing a bridge. I assume that person is crossing a bridge because if they lived near the tube they’d be using the other ferry terminal. The ferry is an amazing way to commute because it’s probably one of the least stressful ways to commute. There’s almost always a seat and it feels incredibly civilized.
Anyway, there is currently spillover parking into the residential neighborhood which I am both sympathetic but also apathetic to and wonder if that’s even possible. On one hand, it must suck because apparently the mail people on Harbor Bay are quite aggressive and do not play around if cars block mail boxes, on the other hand, if they are public streets they really are no different than the residential neighborhoods that surround major commercial districts like Park and Webster Streets.
Tonight is the School Board meeting which really I haven’t been able to focus on as much as I would like. The big thing on that agenda will be the five options being presented to the School Board tonight on how to go about scheduling the repairs for the schools around town. Clearly not everything can be done all at once so now it is time to prioritize and make the tough decisions. There are some timelines on the power point which will be too complicated to duplicate here so I’ll just extract out the key points from each option. All of the options pushes the critical projects like roofing and security to the beginning of the schedule. The major differences are when the high schools are planned and construction begins. The only option that delays the elementary/middle and charter school work is option 2 which I think is probably not really an option for most folks.
Now that WETA actually has a lease with the City of Alameda they can begin presenting designs for public consideration even though some folks thought that WETA should have started the process of presenting designs for a parcel of land they had yet to have control of before they were actually given control of that property. Most people like to present real designs for consideration if they (1) own the land in questions or (2) have been given some indication, like a lease, by the current property owner — and apparently WETA has that same policy too even though they seem to be getting grief for not being more proactive about having a crap load of community meetings about land they neither owned nor had control over.
A quick post for today, I have a lot of other stuff going on so I’m just going to post this op-ed from Planetizen and say, yeah, this is what happens in Alameda all the time. I have plans to post about the recent report from the Legislative Analysts Office about housing. It is everything. But for some other time. The title of the piece: Broken Planning: How Opponents Hijacked the Planning Process:
Here’s the pull quote:
Vocal minorities have hijacked the system and rendered impossible a reasonable and rational debate on development. The resulting impact of the current system on U.S. infrastructure, jobs, and the vibrancy of American communities is virtually incalculable.
Guess what everyone? She’s back. That’s right Trish “No Vote” Spencer is back with a vengeance. While she would pepper no votes here and there as Mayor, Tuesday night’s City Council meeting was a throwback to her old School Board days when she was the lone ranger standing out there, alone, for some strange principled stance that involves — apparently — continuing to delay everything in the search of some goldilocks ideal of the “just right” amount of public input to make her comfortable enough to vote yes on an issue.
First was the whole rent issue thing. All of the other City Council members wanted to move forward with strengthening the rules based on what was presented to them earlier because — at some point — they have to more forward. Trish Spencer did not. But, based on some of Trish Spencer’s comments at this meeting and other meetings, I’m not 100% sure she understands what precisely the rent group was doing to help stabilize rents in Alameda. One thing that they have NOT presented to the City Council is anything regarding rent control. And by “rent control” I’m referring to “rent control” of the San Francisco and Berkeley varieties, that rent control. She keeps bringing up the fact that new development wouldn’t be under “rent control” and that’s why we shouldn’t do something even that that “something” has nothing to do with the creation of rent control in Alameda. It’s a trigger term that puts the fear of God into most landlords and immediately makes people take very strident and entrenched positions. It’s also disingenuous.