Blogging Bayport Alameda

June 28, 2013

Strike, you’re out

Filed under: Alameda, Transportation — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

Yeah…so Monday, I hope people have plans to work from home or ride the ferry or sit in traffic a long long time, because our commute on Monday could be really really awful.   Hopefully discussions will go super well this weekend because both BART and AC Transit workers have voted to authorize their unions to call a strike.  Also even if AC Transit doesn’t strike, but BART does, AC Transit doesn’t know if they can handle the BART load,  from KTVU:

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 192 released a letter from union president Yvonne Williams to AC Transit general manager David Armijo expressing concern about news reports that AC Transit could help absorb large numbers of transit riders who would otherwise be stranded by a BART strike.

Williams said Tuesday that during a previous BART strike in 1997, some AC Transit drivers faced a “riotous” situation, where buses might be surrounded by stranded commuters or placed in situations where riders were pushing and shoving to get a space on public transit, something in short supply in the absence of BART.

At the time, BART carried about 200,000 passengers per day, Williams said. Now it averages about 400,000.

Further compounding a potentially chaotic transit situation, the AC Transit union’s contract expires on Sunday, the same day contracts between BART and its five unions end. Williams said 97.4 percent of AC Transit employees who participated in a vote last week supported authorizing a possible strike.

At least we are well into the summer months and it should be lighter than normal, although I have noticed consistently full trains these past few weeks, so, who knows how much lighter it really is.

Don’t forget this week is the week of July the 4th which means….Mayor’s Day Parade, woot!  As usual, I always talk a big game about trying to find a spot somewhere other than Webster Street and every year we end up on Webster Street because it’s the farthest that we’re willing to walk.  This year’s grand marshal is Christopher Seiwald of Perforce and Harrison Barnes of the Golden State Warriors will be riding in one of those fancy cars.   Ooh, I hope that Boss Hogg car look a like is in the parade again.  I always get a kick out of that.   Yes, I was one of those kids who tried to climb through the window to get into the car a la the Dukes of Hazzard.



  1. In the event of a strike, the massive delays and traffic gridlock tied to the transbay commute would be very frustrating, inefficient, and disruptive. It would add extra local emissions and pollutants. It would cram surface streets, add social tensions and reduce the quality of life considerably of the areas affected.

    Building thousands of new homes at Alameda Point without any real new transportation options (such as a new estuary crossing from Alameda Point) to address the huge additional rush hour commute problems that would create is likely to have the same negative effects for west and central Alameda that we may see throughout the East Bay next week. Without a huge new investment in an estuary crossing, building thousands of residential units at Alameda Point would be a reckless gamble.

    The better, more prudent approach is to go slowly at Alameda Point while maintaining a very long term view of the importance of preserving this great asset and protecting the quality of life in Alameda. There is no rush. We can proceed deliberately by maintaining open space, building recreational facilities and carefully developing business/commercial out there that would generally be “reverse commute” oriented and might even draw employees to Alameda Point from the thousands of people who already live in Alameda.

    Ridiculing, mischaracterizing, and dismissing these serious concerns is unhelpful. Unfortunately, a member of the Planning Board seemed to do that in an interview posted yesterday. He was quoted as saying this: “We need to talk about must-haves, like-to-haves, what’s it going to take us to get there, the tradeoffs. Is it worth it to have a 30-second delay at the Tube to have a world-class sports complex at the Point? (We need to have) a conversation that has meaning, that the community can get its teeth into.”

    We do need to have a conversation about tradeoffs that has meaning. Trying to frame the tradeoffs in terms of a false choice between a “30-second delay” and “world-class sports complex” is not constructive. On the contrary. It is irresponsible, insulting and divisive.

    Comment by Loyal Opposition — June 28, 2013 @ 7:33 am

  2. I don’t think the Planning Board member was attempting to be ridiculing or dismissive of concerns around development. I think the overarching theme was that we, as a community, need to talk about the trade-offs. If we want “x” what are sorts of levels of “y” are we willing to tolerate. Given that we don’t have the real numbers between how many units are needed to help finance a “world class sports complex” it’s hard to say that the 30-second delay is a false choice.

    Right now, whenever the issue of Alameda Point comes up we don’t talk about the commercial development, we don’t talk about the public benefits, we don’t talk about the open space. The only thing that people want to talk about is the number of units, which, as was pointed out by that Planning Board member is a premature conversation given that we as a community haven’t discussed what we want from the land. The number should be driven by what we want to see at Alameda Point, the number should not be the driver of discussion.

    Comment by Lauren Do — June 28, 2013 @ 8:11 am

  3. A couple years ago our blogmistress posted a traffic study which estimated commute times after the base’s development. I *think* it may have been in the run up to the Suncal vote but can’t recall exactly. Any chance of digging that out of the archive?

    Comment by dave — June 28, 2013 @ 8:48 am

  4. Are you referring to the WRT Station Area Plan? Or something else? The link is broken to the WRT study, but here’s a good summary. I’ll keep digging, but there is a new draft transit access study that went before the Transportation Commission on Wednesday.

    Comment by Lauren Do — June 28, 2013 @ 9:28 am

  5. I recall it had charts of commute times to and from various points in town. What sticks in my head was that it estimated something like 20 minutes to get from the base to 880.

    Comment by dave — June 28, 2013 @ 9:31 am

  6. Ah, found it. I had to upload the study because the link on the City’s website has been long broken.

    Comment by Lauren Do — June 28, 2013 @ 9:34 am

  7. 30 second delay? More like a 15 minute delay in the morning and afternoon rush hours

    Comment by Madanno — June 28, 2013 @ 10:34 am

  8. #2. “The only thing that people want to talk about is the number of units… The number should be driven by what we want to see at Alameda Point, the number should not be the driver of discussion.”

    Lauren, why do you think that is? Why do people only want to talk about the number of units?

    Compare with the recent debate regarding HAHS, where you pointed out that it made no sense to be discussing options for that without any consideration of their cost.

    I think people rightly equate units with cars. And any discussion of Alameda Point without a discussion of the impact of additional cars is about as useful as one poster’s comment that “HAHS should be preserved at any cost”.

    Comment by Andy Currid — June 28, 2013 @ 11:28 am

  9. As I’m the aforementioned planning board member, I’d like to quickly respond.

    The question that was asked was “What’s the right number of housing units at the Point,” and Michele and I had a 15 minute conversation about the issue. I think one has to start really attach their own assumptions to the quotes that were in the article to arrive at the conclusion proposed by L.O.

    My answer to the question is that I don’t think that there is anyone who can answer that question, unless the person is for no, or next to no, housing at the point. After that, housing has become a stand in for other concerns like traffic, as an example among many, and that people’s understanding of the relationship between the two is not necessarily well developed. For example, the WRT study found that depending on how you build housing, 1800 and ~3,000 housing units can generate the same traffic impacts at the tube.

    As I am accurately quoted, I said that I think a more useful discussion would be to engage the community on what development they want, including amenities and the infrastructure to build them, as well as housing, etc. That in the end, the discussion will need to be one of trade-offs, where the community is engaged in discussing what they want, and what they are willing to accept to get it. As an example, I used higher traffic and the sports complex. It’s not a straw man argument; the sports complex is assumed to cost tens of millions of dollars. That money has to be generated somewhere and land-sales from other parts of the point is the most likely way. As such, housing development is the part of development that will carry the burden of generating that money. Housing development will also generate traffic. This was the example I had given. It may not be the right one. It could be historic preservation, or more parks, or shuttles, etc.

    The city has committed to a cost-neutral plan, every dollar that is spent will have to be generated, and housing will be the biggest factor in what is available. My only point was that we shouldn’t focus on numbers, we should focus on the concerns (traffic etc.) and the wants (sports complex, preservation, ferry terminal, etc.).

    There are many, many trade-offs that need to be discussed. I have been a strong champion at the planning board for ensuring the community is aware of what staff is proposing and what direction the city is discussing taking. That includes a plan English planning guide that will be discussed on July 8th and sent to the city council for their agreement or direction. As a part of that discussion, I have advocated hard to ensure that the city does not make promises that it cannot deliver, especially since the current direction for the plans at the point have not been discussed by the council since about 2000.

    I have been advocating from the dais for approaches that allow most of the Point to develop organically and that focus on specific, small site uses that work within the Base Reuse framework (1200 new housing units) and ensure success where they are developed. I have continued to ask that the city council address the issue of phasing for development before developers are engaged, to avoid the false choices of “$50 million from this development or nothing.” Additionally, I’m working with/pushing staff to step up its outreach methods to ensure that as this planning effort moves forward, many more voices are engaged.

    With all of these concepts in mind, my answer to Michele on what is the right number of housing was: the one that builds the fewest number of units that enables the community to build and sustain the development and amenities that they would like to see developed in the plan.
    How my acknowledging that these conversations are going to need to happen becomes “irresponsible, insulting and divisive” honestly escapes me.

    Comment by jkw — June 28, 2013 @ 11:41 am

  10. Andy C.: I think that if people decide that they don’t want any bells and whistles at Alameda Point: that means no sports complex, no active public spaces that require maintenance money, no relocated ferry terminal to the seaplane lagoon, then there won’t be a need for any units above the allowed units under the current transfer agreement. I don’t see the number of units as a stand in for the traffic concerns, because as the traffic impact study showed, even with zero development, by 2035 traffic will increase anyway. Will traffic increase with housing built at the point? Absolutely, but I don’t view the example above as minimizing traffic concerns.

    Discussing only the housing unit numbers in a vacuum and without context such as discussing the possible benefits (sports complex, ferry terminal, public space, schools) AND the possible costs (increase in traffic, burden on existing infrastructure) is akin to saying save HAHS at all costs. Without knowing what these units will bring — good and bad — how can anyone make a determination that some arbitrary number is the “right” number for Alameda Point.

    Comment by Lauren Do — June 28, 2013 @ 11:57 am

  11. Of all the various constraints on the possible futures of Alameda Point, worsening tube traffic (and the many negative consequences on much of Alameda that would follow) seems to be the most difficult to mitigate. In the end, it may make certain nice-sounding plans impossible in reality.

    Characterizing those serious concerns as (nonexistent) concerns about a “30 second delay” is not helpful. That reference was only a sound bite, but since the soundbite didn’t talk about something more realistic like”a fifteen or twenty or thirty minute delay,” the sound bite seemed to reflect a view that dismissed as silly the real concerns many have about thousands more cars tied to thousands more residents trying to jam through an inflexible bottleneck.

    Comment by Loyal Opposition — June 28, 2013 @ 2:34 pm

  12. Let them go on strike. They are like a kid who holds you as hostage. They learn and the next time something comes up they hold you as hostage again. Because of the economy a lot of us haven’t had a pay raise in years. I may be taking a job which pays $10 less per hour then my old job. There are still a lot of unemployed in the Bay Area. People in public works and safety who go on strike should not be able to go on strike…their are a lot of others willing to take their place. They strike should be in a different way as writeing letters or something or voteing. Endangering poeples lifes and work is holding them at hostage which should not happen. Shoulc we lay off 1/4 the Bart staff and give the rest what they want. A/C Transit bus fare already cost more than most Bay Area buses. Shouldn’t the people in the area go on strike to saying enough is enough. Let them suffer a month without getting paid, let us suffer without the services they provide. I haven’t had a raise in 7 or8 years…

    Comment by Joe — June 28, 2013 @ 2:40 pm

  13. “30 second delay” of tube traffic will be the option of any pedestrian pressing the Webster ‘push this button to cross’ either trying to get to or exit the in-N-out/Target/Safeway/future tenant. A continual stream of pedestrians can cause a continual traffic jam through the tube and on Webster St. by opting to give the finger to the traffic.

    Comment by Jack R — June 28, 2013 @ 3:31 pm

  14. I think as Alameda Landing comes into being then Boatwrights and Chipman we will get a better idea of traffic patterns. This will be a gradual increase but hopefully give some perspective of the number of units feasible before gridlock sets in.

    Comment by frank — June 28, 2013 @ 3:44 pm

  15. #11, a fair point, well, except for the part about me characterizing other people’s concerns.

    As I made the 30-second comment, the number was not assumed to be the total delay (whether a house is built at alameda point or not, there will be delays at the tubes) but a possible increase in delay based on the incremental increase of some amount of housing that might be required to provide funding for something (like sports complex).

    The community may decide that no increase in delay is reasonable. Or they may decide that an additional minute is acceptable because the development will provide A, B and C, but not D and E.

    The comments were simply about my opinion that we would do well to move away from discussions about specific numbers of housing and into what I think would be more productive: conversations about the real concerns about development like those that you and Andy C. both raise, as well as the other externalities (good and bad) that come with building anything. If we are able to do that, I feel that we can have a conversation that allows for trade-offs to be contemplated and evaluated which I believe will lead to better outcomes.

    In the coming months, the city will release its EIR that will begin to provide some of this information, an infrastructure plan will follow shortly after, with this data, $$ needs for infrastructure and impacts from proposed generic numbers can be used to start looking at “real” projections, as opposed to hypothetical ones. Hopefully it will facilitate a respectful and vigorous discussion on these issues.

    Comment by jkw — June 28, 2013 @ 4:54 pm

  16. I just love how our lovely Councilmembers are always trying to bullshit us.

    Comment by Hit and Run — June 29, 2013 @ 6:22 am

  17. 16. Hit and Run is good moniker for somebody who makes comment like that. BTW, who you talking about? JKW is on the Planning Board.

    I went to link in 1. to Alamedan to read for myself and was underwhelmed in terms of finding inferences stated in 1 about JKW comments. Like I literally thought there would be another page to the interview. I get that people have their hackles up and find a reference to “30 second delay at the tube” for anything related to the Point as glib or something, but in fairness it was not 1400 units of housing, so keep you shirts on. No matter what you want to see out there, trying to project impacts and balances of things like jobs to housing or commutes is ALL theoretical. Residential units do equate to traffic, but the equation is fluid.

    8. Andy, your comment is right on. I have respect for your competence with statistics from parcel tax campaign and since you don’t often post my ears perk when you do, but one problem is that the traffic-jobs housing balance discussion is more complicated than trends in voting which to me almost seem two dimensional compared to this traffic stuff which is almost like six dimensional. We need to change (big picture) how we operate in terms of infrastructure and density and as much as I’ve enjoyed Alameda as it has been, the entire world is rapidly changing and we need to plan how to change with it, not resist it.

    I don’t think little Alameda can save the world from climate change by stuffing units out at the Point or that we should rush to sacrifice our very tangible quality of life for vague ideals, but I get tired of the sort of trench warfare. I’ve argued regularly with JKW one on one over the wonkier angles of this stuff and over time I grudgingly have as much respect for his expertise as I do for Andy. I think Loyal Opposition might consider John as just that, loyal opposition, and somebody worthy of the discussion. If his comments as quoted were divisive so are those in comment 1.

    Comment by M.I. — June 29, 2013 @ 9:21 am

  18. Get ready for awful air quality if BART strikes Monday. I remember the 1997 strike; lived on Broadway in Oakland then, which became a highway as cars sought “shortcuts” to avoid the Hwy 24/580 bottleneck. Naturally, that only made the situation worse, and our windows turned black from all the car exhaust. Fingers crossed that it’s a one-day strike at most.

    Comment by Kristen — June 29, 2013 @ 5:22 pm

  19. Stepping back for a moment from the possible strike Monday and returning for a moment to whether we might in the future face such ugly traffic and pollution and stress conditions on a regular basis here if Alameda Point is overbuilt with homes and the thousands of new residents all try to jam through the bottleneck of the tube, there doesn’t seem to be much disagreement about some core analytical concepts for how we might think about that in connection with the the future of Alameda Point.

    Adding residential units in a place increases the number of cars in that place. The extent of that increase depends, among other things, on the type of residential development happening. Owners of single family homes tend to have more cars than people who rent apartments. Adding residential units also increases the revenues a project generates and so provides greater funds for greater amenities, recreational facilities, etc. The extent of that also depends on the type of residential development happening. In theory, one might be able to do marginal analysis of the likely incremental impact of sets of additional housing units of any type both on traffic (for example, “adding those fifty houses or those 100 apartments is likely to add a 30 second delay in the tube at rush hour”) and also on amenities (for example, “adding those fifty houses or those 100 apartments is likely to generate sufficient extra revenue from the project to allow an extra $500,000 to pay for amenities X Y or Z”).

    In theory, one could use such analysis to evaluate the tradeoffs in a range of possible approaches.

    One approach might be something like a moratorium (or a low cap) on any net increase in housing at Alameda Point, maybe for ten years while the other new housing now in the works in Alameda happens so we can wait and see how that works out before gambling and building out Alameda Point with thousands of new residents. For those ten years, Alameda Point would focus on business development. This might not be too different in concept from what former Council Member Frank Matarrese was describing in his thoughtful My Word piece in the Alameda Journal a few moths ago. He called for a focus on job creation and a reduction in the housing numbers: “To address traffic and to acknowledge the reality of no significant improvement to the sole Estuary crossing, the Webster and Posey tubes, the 1,425-unit cap described on the staff report should be reduced.”

    Another approach might be something more like the SunCal plan or maybe something even bigger. To have a well-informed conversation, let’s see some analysis of what would likely follow from something like this: 5,000 single family homes and also 10,000 other non-Measure A compliant housing units, lots of amenities and recreational opportunities, and probably some really bad traffic impacts.

    The analysis of those different approaches, as well as approaches in between, could help clarify tradeoffs and perhaps also help identify areas of agreement and disagreement.

    Recent history seems to suggest that many of the people and groups with the greatest influence in Alameda local government are likely to value the tradeoffs involved in a way that they would favor plans closer to the second approach compared to most Alamedans, but no one really knows that for sure. The last time Alameda got to vote on one possible approach, in 2010, the vote was a landslide 85% no to the SunCal heavy residential plan. An open process about the possible future approaches, similar to what Mr. Knox White outlines above, sounds good and helpful.

    About a month ago in late May a senior City staffer published a My Word piece about the City’s budget that began by characterizing people with concerns about the budget as “nay-sayers” who “take pot shots.” The use of those terms in the opening paragraph felt like an inappropriate attempt to preempt and dismiss criticism of the City’s budget plans. Maybe it wasn’t. Based on the rest of that My Word piece, the author seems to be a smart, knowledgeable, well-intentioned person. But to some of us, the opening of that piece felt like an inappropriate attempt to squelch criticism. The “30 second delay” comment by a Planning Board member discussed above felt somewhat similar. It probably wasn’t similar and I probably over-reacted. On the other hand, since no one seems to be objecting to a “30 second delay” as a reason not to have something good at Alameda Point, it just seemed to be an odd example to use to illustrate the general point of how we need should use marginal analysis and look at tradeoffs. By choosing that example instead of a more realistic example of what might be a hard choice or tradeoff, the comment from a Planning Board member felt like it was implying that people worried about traffic were overreacting about traffic and worrying about nothing. But that wasn’t the way the comment was intended, even if it had that affect on some of us. If the earlier My Word piece about the budget from a senior city person hadn’t included that dismissive opening (suggesting some people’s input was unwelcome and so raised red flags) maybe this one line about a “30 second delay” wouldn’t have struck a nerve.

    My original comment in #1 above was not intended to be any reflection of the speaker’s individual qualifications to speak on the issues. Those are clearly excellent. The original comment in #1 above didn’t even use the speaker’s name because the point about how those comments felt wrong was not supposed to be about the particular person who made them. The point was supposed to be about the fact that a person serving in local government (with much greater influence on the future of Alameda Point than the rest of us, a member of the Planning Board) said it. There is not an equivalency in importance and standards for comments made (a) by an anonymous person on a blog and (b) what a member of the Planning Board says in a widely read publication about a core function of the Planning Board.

    In summary, if the senior City folks really do want the community’s input in trying to figure all of this out together as best as we can, I guess it would be best if they bent over backwards to be welcoming and listen and be as fair and reasonable as possible, even when they don’t like what some of us are saying or how we say it. Some of us can get cranky at times because we care.

    All of us, private citizens and senior City officials, should also redouble our efforts to be civil and constructive. I have tried to do so with this excessively long comment and will continue to do so if I return to comment here at some point in the future, though at this point I doubt I’ll be back here. Enjoy the parade.

    Comment by Loyal Opposition — June 29, 2013 @ 5:54 pm

  20. Looks to me like the intent of the city, Re. Russo’s plea for increasing sales tax revenues in the local papers, is to force Alameda residents to purchase everything they need on the Island by making the egress points non-egress-able and building a plethora of shopping areas.

    So if we can produce 10k jobs (that number was picked by the city based on the stated figure of ten thousand jobs on the base when the Navy was here, which is pure baloney) and build the appropriate number of housing units to fill those10k jobs and if Alameda has all the needed retail sales outlets to service the population’s needs than the tubes will only be needed by people coming into and leaving after spending their money here.

    Comment by Jack Richard — June 29, 2013 @ 7:18 pm

  21. BTW, #19 reassures me that I voted for the right guys in the last election…even though they didn’t get elected.

    Comment by Jack Richard — June 29, 2013 @ 8:41 pm

  22. the real deal is if there’s going to be any BIG development at the base, we really will need another access point for Alameda. unfortunately, that won’t happen because not only will it cost billions, it can’t be a tunnel because of the port (unless it was on the seabed) and it can’t be a bridge because it would have to cut right through the port in order to have freeway access.

    Comment by E — June 30, 2013 @ 7:18 am

  23. Maybe it’s time to resurrect then reject the Southern Crossing again. Keeps the minds of the hyper-natives occupied.

    “Plans for a new bridge spanning the bay have been considered, and rejected for environmental and other concerns, at least five times since 1947. They range from a mirror-image twin of the Bay Bridge to an eight-lane highway and BART bridge from San Leandro to San Bruno and a two-legged bridge shaped like the letter “Y” with one leg to Alameda, the other to San Leandro”

    Comment by Jack R — June 30, 2013 @ 9:48 am

  24. Why not just build single family homes on large lots at the Point? More property tax revenue, less crime, less crowding, netter schools, and less traffic impact.

    Comment by Tom Paine — June 30, 2013 @ 2:39 pm

  25. apology for obvious overstatement in 17. about “ALL” the things related to commutes etc. being theoretical. Effects of metering traffic lights, intersection ratings, trips per hour through the tube, correlations to speed limits etc. are all clearly measurable. I think at some point trying to project how measurables will interact and jobs/housing balance delves into the theoretical.

    That said, on the empirical side, the traffic back up from Otis down Park from South Shore has been from as far as San Antonio to Encinal yesterday and today, and impatient south bound drivers were stranded blocking the intersection of San Jose at the light change yesterday. Having just now forgotten to take Oak southbound off Encinal to get to 800 block of Oak, I had a literal thirty second delay waiting an extra light change to make my escape onto San Antonio. It’s my personal opinion that a Target at South Shore would have exacerbated this creeping increase. Even though I am inconvenienced by proximity of our home, I support the other renovations and leases at South Shore and hope vacancy rates decrease. The trade off is that I get to walk there 99% of the time anyway.

    As far as theory versus quantifiable measures in economics, I get logic of dave’s arguments that there are diminishing returns on commercial development related to increased tax revenue, but John Russos’ editorial about Alameda’s poor comparison to surrounding cities on tax revenue also makes sense. Since people are going to want to participate in the discussion and be heard without regard to qualification of their opinion ( or late arrival to discussion), I beg those with expertise to be patient with neophytes who seem to beg being labeled as NIMBYs or “nattering nabobs of negativism”. We no doubt out number you. If not drowned by increased traffic there is always the rising tide of hysterical ignorance.

    Comment by M.I. — June 30, 2013 @ 3:06 pm

  26. 21. Me, too.
    24. Makes sense to me. The property taxes on a handful of multi-million dollar estates would be a better deal. We’d have a lower traffic impact and less need for public services that would absorb any “profit” from some of the other kinds of development that is being considered. Put a nice big public park in the center of it so everybody has a chance to enjoy the views whether they can afford to live there or not. Who knows, if we attract big enough fish with the 1%er home sites, one of them might even donate the money for the park (or the sports complex). Never under estimate the desire rich folks have to slap their names on a lasting benefit to the community. Bless their guilt-ridden little hearts (in spite of the cynicism, it’s a phenomenom I am indeed thankful for having recently enjoyed some of San Francisco’s beautiful parks and museums recently).

    Comment by Denise Shelton — July 1, 2013 @ 7:58 am

  27. 26 Re 25 Re 25 Have you checked, ahem…”theory versus quantifiable measures in economics,…”

    Comment by Jack R — July 1, 2013 @ 9:27 am

  28. 24: Because ABAG/MTC won’t let us. See page 186 ff in the document below.
    Over 4000 dwelling units & eventual repeal of Measure A by 2040.
    Details at Tuesday, July 2 council meeting; when our leaders will rubber-stamp their approval on PlanBayArea.

    Comment by vigi — July 1, 2013 @ 3:35 pm

  29. 27. I’m not saying that would be the case on every parcel of land. I’m saying, in the long run, it would be better for the City overall since the location’s likely to have serious traffic/quality of life issues if too many people have to come and go on a day to day basis. I’m still holding out hope for the hydroponic pot farming concept, though. Come on, SCOTUS! Throw us another bone.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — July 2, 2013 @ 8:15 am

  30. P.S. There still seems not to be any realistic, viable solution to the specific challenges of how we might build many thousands of additional housing units (of any type) on the half of our island with only one two lane bottleneck off and on in a way that would not also cause gridlock and severely damage Alameda’s quality of life.

    Since we are going to continue to have cars indefinitely — probably lighter, cleaner, smarter cars but yes cars — unless/until there is another way off the island such as a new bridge or tunnel to the west or east, this approach the City seems to be determined to take at Alameda Point seems reckless and irresponsible. The traffic discussions about In-and-Out and Alameda Landing are very small potatoes (french fries) compared to what may be in store later (the whole cow).

    The following video says nothing about the traffic challenges and the specific situation in Alameda, but does have something to say more generally about the unaccountable regional government body “driving” [cough, cough] the Plan Bay Area, to which our City leadership seems to have acquiesced.

    For your viewing pleasure, here is “The Social Engineers – Episode 1: Plan Bay Area:”

    Comment by Loyal Opposition — July 12, 2013 @ 7:13 am

  31. this is very clever and effective but I am immediately suspicious of anybody who consciously chooses the phrase “social engineering” for propaganda. There is lots of content I would want to vet with specific sources for the information, because there are many general statements made without any sources, or even qualifying details. One thing I don’t need to vet is the statement that a majority of people have a preference for single family homes with lawns. So what? That doesn’t mean the expectation of having that is realistic, and that is for any number of reasons outside of so called social engineering. Water use is another seeming red herring. That’s just a big problem with burgeoning population, but density doesn’t make it worse than sprawl and in fact the single family homes in Contra Costa use tons more per household, particularly for landscaping and lawns. You can’t take the population problem and say if we don’t build them they won’t come as a legitimate objection to density and smaller units. That’s burying your head in the sand. The units along Shattuck and Univeristy in Berkeley may not be the preference of the majority of folks but people are moving in to them. I’d love to see the socially engineered version of this slamming NIMBYism. Satire is effective.

    Comment by M.I. — July 12, 2013 @ 9:57 am

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