Blogging Bayport Alameda

September 25, 2008

Getting “there”

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Point, Development, Transportation — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 7:00 am

As promised by SunCal during this ARRA meeting, the Development Concept Plan contains a whole section on Transportation Strategies developed by Fehr and Peers for implementation at Alameda Point.  For those that want to read it for themselves, it is Section 7 and begins on page 109 on the reader.   Cutting right to the nut meat of the transit strategies, SunCal is proposing a phased deployment of their strategies which Jean Sweeney, should be delighted to read about after sending this letter to Alameda Daily News:

…Re Transportation Element Impact Report, Section 4.2 Transportation Circulation, Policy EIR-7 seems to say that we have to tolerate unmitigated congestion because TDM measures are forthcoming.   I will sell you the Brooklyn Bridge if you believe that statement.

The whole 876 page Element is a bunch of over worded grovel and, if the transportation solution is not in place before the building starts, then tell the greedy developers NO DICE…

I’m not precisely sure what “grovel” means when used as a noun, but if I attempt to analyze that word choice any further, I will digress badly. 

Anyway, this phased deployment is meant to align with the phased development described in the Phasing section of the document (pp 50 & 51 on the reader).  I have extracted the map showing the different phases, click to enlarge:

The details of what is built in each phase can be found on page 51 of the reader.  And the accompanying transportation solution for Phase 1 is (p. 115 of the reader):

The Phase 1 or “Day One” component of the Plan creates an environment attractive to individuals and families who select their homes based on the walkability, bikability, and transit friendliness of a neighborhood. This set of “Day One” improvements is meant to populate Alameda Point with people who may prefer to own fewer vehicles per household and make trips in modes other than a single-occupant automobile, and to create a strong foundation to expand transit and leverage opportunities for partnerships and funding. It is challenging to change people’s travel habits retroactively, so the project at Alameda Point will provide transportation and commute options from the day the first home is occupied in order to make transit as attractive as possible, integrated into people’s travel patterns as quickly as possible.

This includes:

  • Ferry Services
  • Dedicated shuttle or AC transit bus route connecting Alameda Point to the 12th Street Oakland City Center BART station operating every day from 5am – 11pm, with shuttles every 10-15 min 
  • On-Site Transportation Coordinator to present, advertise and support the following programs:
    – Eco Pass
    – Carsharing
    – Bicycle Sharing
    – Resident and Employee Ridematching/Ridesharing
    – Guaranteed Ride Home Program

In Phase 2:

…car and bicycle share programs will be increased. “Rapid” bus service will commence to both 12th Street and Fruitvale BART stations, replacing the initial shuttle or bus line…

In Phase 3:

…the Alameda ferry terminal will relocate to Seaplane Lagoon, providing a significant transit enhancement for Alameda Point residents, employees, and visitors. The ferry terminal will serve as a transit hub for Alameda Point, with shuttles, buses, the Transportation Coordinator, and car and bicycle share programs housed at this one location.

Finally, during this phase, significant bus transit enhancements will occur with additional bus service, traffi c signal priority for buses, and queue-jumping lanes constructed at key “choke” points. Transit service will continue to be increased and TDM programs will be expanded.

In Phase 4 & 5:

A bus rapid transit (BRT) system with a dedicated right-of-way will be deployed across the Island. An Island-wide bicycle path through a dedicated greenway may also be completed and an attended bicycle station and maintenance facility will open in the ferry transit hub.

And beyond Phases 4 & 5 there is a mention of the PRT option.

The Transportation section goes on to further describe the different transportation solutions that will be phased into the project.   Such as for bus service, they propose splitting the line 63 into two parts in order to make it more efficient for West End residents trying to get into downtown Oakland.  Or perhaps (as others have recommended) creating Island shuttles to supplement AC Transit and create shorter headways, thereby making transit more attractive. (p. 117 on the reader)  

For those that couldn’t quite figure out how the queue-jumping lanes would work through the tubes, it is described on p. 118 on the reader.  The plan recognizes, as folks have already realized, that a rapid bus would lose effectiveness if subject to the same congestion as a single occupany vehicle and so they are working on how to develop queue jump lanes both on the Alameda side and the Oakland side, but making sure that it is compatible with the Broadway/Jackson project.

There is a lot more detail about the EcoPass program (p. 122) transit passes that are issued to every resident and employee which would be funded through a mandatory transit assessment district (think HOA dues but for transit), carsharing programs, the on-site transportation coordinator, the guaranteed ride home program (which is really interesting by the way, think of it as “commute insurance” as labelled in the plan), etc…   This section is worth a read for anyone with concerns about transportation and traffic and how the developer proposes to mitigate the anticipated congestion.


  1. Isn’t life grand when you have an unconstrained budget?

    Comment by Edmundo Delmundo — September 25, 2008 @ 9:45 am

  2. I repeat: THERE IS NO MONEY.

    Where is the $679 million going to come from? Plus the $108 for the actual land (yeah, there is supposedly negotiating going on, but what is happening with it)? Plus the $90 million for the transportation element (SunCal says it will pony this up, but where will the money come from?). And are the clean-up costs included? (I’ll print out those 132 pages and see…)

    WAKE UP!

    The financial institutions that always put up their cute signs by our civic projects do not put up the actual money. They front the CREDIT and WE PAY FOR THE PROJECT by paying off the BOND DEBT through local taxation. This is hidden taxation that we do not get to vote to approve or disapprove.

    This town is leveraged too far with bond debt already.

    OSH will not stop sales tax leakage, it will just take sales tax from our other local businesses. Does this make sense?

    All of this is posturing, on the part of the City, on the part of SunCal.

    How much of a smoking gun do we need to realize that all of these little bubbles are popping around us?

    When do we get real?

    Comment by E T — September 25, 2008 @ 10:56 am

  3. Here is the link to the Express article:


    Comment by E T — September 25, 2008 @ 11:10 am

  4. ‘Sorry SunCal’:

    “You Can’t Get “THERE” From Here”

    Thank goodness we citizens are still armed with a blunt, but effective tool of self-defense. If anyone was ever foolish enough to think giving up MA for the Point would be a good idea, the ‘liquidity’ of the Point developer’s financial relationships (and not its assets) is proof enough of the need to maintain MA.

    Obviously Lehman can’t help SunCal and with Sun Cal’s new money partner D. E. Shaw reserving the right to unilaterally dump SunCal as the developer, there is no telling what Shaw would build at the Point.

    CC demonstrated last week they are too timid and weak to control even our shopping center development, no way could they be effective controlling the ‘granddaddy’ of island development. Why should we EVER trust staff, PB, or CC to handle Point development if they can’t constrain a shopping center?

    How far has the other huge west-end development progressed? CC was in such a hurry to get Alameda Landing going, they apparently never read the documents on the Landing’s financials before approving them. What good is having lawyers on the Council or Boards if they don’t read the documents? On the other hand why were there over 1,000pages of contractual documents being voted on as one multi-faceted agenda item with little or no opportunity for public comment or public debate?
    What was the rush?
    Where did it get us?

    Comment by David Kirwin — September 25, 2008 @ 10:50 pm

  5. I wonder how much of the detail in the PDC should be taken seriously for discussion, when it’s very likely that none of it will ever happen. There are primary issues which preempt everything else — just as ET has been saying many times over. If SunCal is in trouble financially, and if this very ambitious project can’t be funded, then that will be the end of it. And what is the city’s potential contribution, short-term or long-term? The city can’t take on any more debt, or even plan effectively right now, when we don’t know where the economy is headed.

    At times it seems as tho all the focus on documents and details has taken the place of reality — if something can be read and quoted, then that makes it true. SunCal’s PDC looks very nice, and it seems to have something for everybody, but I keep wondering why the don’t offer free ice cream and pony rides while they’re at it. Making promises doesn’t amount to much.

    As for the transit “solutions” — this is all conjecture as usual — a whole lot of “ifs”. In particular, the supposed increase in transit use only takes place IF a substantial number of additional commuters thruout the island switch from driving to transit. If all these people were in one spot, that might be possible, but even if these new users exist, chances are that no single improvement in transit is going to reach that many of them. Anyway, we already HAVE good public transit — people who want to use it can do so, and given the heavy traffic in the Bay Area and the cost of parking, we already have incentives in place.

    Again, we’ve got a major development proposal predicated on what are simplistic academic notions about traffic and transit use. If nothing else, let’s hope the vote on MA pre-empts this whole process.

    Comment by DL Morrison — September 30, 2008 @ 2:34 pm

  6. […] the expected development of the rest of the former Alameda Naval Air Base, the issue of providing improved public transit access from Oakland to Alameda is even more pressing. Proposals range anywhere from amphibious buses to Bus Rapid Transit to a […]

    Pingback by Three important transportation meetings « FutureOakland — October 10, 2008 @ 2:47 pm

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