Blogging Bayport Alameda

December 16, 2013

On a Sunday in the park with…

Filed under: Alameda, Development, Public Resources — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

Tonight the Planning Board will have on its agenda the proposed Beltline design, which I have to say I do not hate at all.   It’s not what I would have envisioned, but it’s fine.

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It has a little bit of everything that folks said they wanted of the “passive” aka no sports fields park, the only thing I can envision the passive park proponents getting a little upset about is the BMX pump track, other than that it looks like something that should appeal to most people.

The only small critique that I have is why is there so much parking?   There are 180 parking spaces designed right next to a sea of parking right next to it.

80 spots in this lot

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And 100 spots in this lot.

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Given that the majority of people needing the spots will probably come on the weekends or after work hours, it would be a better use of those slices of land to cut both in half and work out a deal with the business park to use their lots for overflow on weekends and after business hours.   That way the seas of unused parking at the Mariner Square Business Park will actually be put to good use and the land that had been set aside for parking could be used for more picnic tables or bbq spots.

The park will be an obvious boon to the business park so they should more than welcome any partnership with the City.   Other than too much parking, I think this is fine.   Although I will add that I think, given the central location and the dire need for swimming pools in Alameda, the land would be been put to much better use as an aquatics center for Alameda as a whole shared between the City and the School District.  Instead of bandage fixing the two aging pools, money could have been put in the build a really awesome aquatics center that would support the swimming community in Alameda.   Plus, it would have been easier for folks on both ends of the island to get there instead of schlepping from one end or the other, but that ship has long sailed by now.

Did I mention that Planning Board member Kristoffer Koster designed the whole thing pro bono.  So awesome.


  1. I agree on the parking issue. Really, 50 spots would be more than enough to handle weekday users.

    Comment by Kristen — December 16, 2013 @ 8:59 am

  2. Has there been any serious headway made in funding this park? A major grant or a G.O. bond issue are the only possibilities I can envision, and odds of either happening are might long.

    Are there possibilities that I’m overlooking?

    Comment by dave — December 16, 2013 @ 9:36 am

  3. Looks great. It would be nice to know the cost, and the funding sources.

    Comment by Karen Bey — December 16, 2013 @ 10:37 am

  4. I’ve been leading a community effort to guide the Recreation and Park Department’s planning for the Jean Sweeney Open Space in regard to the trails, including an off-road biking trail and a “pump track”.

    There is one important error in the city’s draft plan that I wanted to correct. The designer has incorrectly labeled the pump track as a “BMX Bike Park.”
    In fact, this facility will not be a BMX park, rather it is intended to be a “pump track”.

    A pump track is a small-scale closed course (typically about 15,000 square feet in size) that uses “rollers” (trail undulations) and “berms” (banked turns) to provide a place for people of all ages to practice and learn advanced biking skills in a safe environment. A pump track is not a racing course and does not include jumps. Most pump tracks include a course for more advanced riders ages 5 and older, along with a small beginner course suitable for kids ages 2 to 5.

    The trails and pump track fit in with the Rec & Park’s goals for the park because they incorporate both “walking and bike trails” and are part of the “natural open space”. They are also are passive uses, in the sense that they do not require a non-natural infrastructure (they are part of the open space using dirt, rocks, logs and other natural materials) and they are open at all times to all users (not reserved for team sports or select usage times).

    Regarding dave’s question about grants, so far there have been two grants secured:

    –The Targeted Site Investigation grant of $60,000 from the California Department of Toxic Substances Control will be used to create a work plan for environmental investigation at the Jean Sweeney Open Space Park. The resulting report will guide the park’s development.

    –The Alameda County Transportation Commission awarded the second grant of $792,608 from Measure B/Vehicle Registration Fee Bike/Pedestrian Funds. The City’s required matching amount of $200,000 comes from Citywide Development Fees for a total award of $992,608. These funds will be used for the design and construction of a section of the Beltline’s Cross Alameda Trail which runs along Ralph Appezzato Memorial Parkway between Poggi and Webster streets.

    There are other grants the city is pursuing and other funding sources we have identified, especially in relation to trails and open space. At the previous meetings, Rec & Park has estimated the total cost to be $5 – 8 million.

    Comment by Aaron Thies — December 16, 2013 @ 2:58 pm

  5. The Measure B grant doesn’t really count toward the funding of the Beltline Park plans above as it will only cover the portion of the Beltline that is between Poggi and Webster along Appezzato. That trail and the Park plans above are separated by the small shopping plaza that houses Starbucks and Walgreens.

    Essentially only $60K has been secured for the Beltline Park plans, but that won’t even go toward construction costs.

    Comment by Lauren Do — December 16, 2013 @ 3:12 pm

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