Blogging Bayport Alameda

March 6, 2014

A funny thing happened on the way to the…

Filed under: Alameda, City Council — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

As JKW reported the City Council voted unanimously to approve funding and construction of the cycle track on Shoreline.  It will of course be the end of the world for all residents on Shoreline when it become a Thunderdome type environment jockeying for previous parking spaces until everyone just figures something out and then enjoys the fact that there’s this awesome cycle track that has now made walking on the pathway more pleasant because bikes are now on the street safely.

Of course there was some pretty noteworthy moments from the open comments.  I particularly enjoyed the one from the woman who lamented as she walked away about where all the money was coming from for this project when “there are all these starving children.”  Won’t someone think about the children?

Somehow the City Council remained unmoved by the thought of starving children and went ahead with the cycle track anyway.

But the non sequitur starving children comment wasn’t the best part of the City Council.  Oh no.

The best part came at the end of the City Council meeting during Council communications where Tony Daysog decided to tell everyone that he had intended to go to the League of California Cities conference in Dublin but got lost on his way there.

0______0

If he was some random dude I could dismiss this as, well he lives in Alameda no one would expect him to be familiar with the streets of Dublin even in this day and age when all smart phone are equipped with some GPS device, but still…  No, what makes this really really ironic is the fact that Tony Daysog couldn’t even find his way around a portion of the larger county that he has been toying about running to represent.  All right, I know, someone will point out that Dublin isn’t in the 11th congressional district, but still…Dublin, Moraga, Concord, it’s all pretty much the same.   Seriously though, at this point I’m not sure if this goofy schtick from Tony Daysog is for real or just a ploy to continue to get people to keep his name in the — relative — headlines.   I mean, how many other elected officials regularly tweet out random links, like to videos 90s one-hit wonders?  Although Roxette did have a second hit, Listen to your Heart, but it’s pretty similar to It Must Have Been Love.

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21 Comments

  1. I think Dublin is in eastern most Alameda County which looks on a map to be a bit bigger than Contra Costa. Santa Rita jail near Dublin? and also, http://acgov.org/emergencysite/

    Comment by MI — March 6, 2014 @ 8:39 am

  2. Ah, you’re right MI. Dublin seems so far east that I always mentally placed it in Contra Costa County. I stand corrected.

    Comment by Lauren Do — March 6, 2014 @ 8:44 am

  3. I went to a few of the community meetings for the Shoreline bike path, and I was (pleasantly) surprised how little opposition there was, and how much consensus on the cycle track idea. Most were happy with the parking changes (i.e. more 24hr spaces).

    I assume those negatively affected (i.e. Otis residents and folks who use Shoreline Dr as an expressway to get from one end of Alameda to the other) were not the ones going to these meetings.

    Comment by KS — March 6, 2014 @ 9:09 am

  4. How sad. Tony took a selfy while getting lost on his way to Ireland to join the league of Nations. A fitting metaphor and just the latest in a clusterfuck series of preening insufferable small time would-be careerists seeking the world’s attention in a mirror.

    Comment by Jack R — March 6, 2014 @ 9:41 am

  5. These so-called community meetings were actually Delphi meetings. If you don’t know what that means, look it up. Basically it’s a sham meeting with anonymous “facilitators” planted at the various tables to give the appearance of consensus, yet obtain the outcome desired by the sponsors of the meeting.

    It’s easy to reveal this. I asked the most vocal advocate of the cycle track at my table how long he had lived in Alameda. He said “never”. He lived in Oakland & was a member of some East Bay Bicycle Coalition. And he was very angry with me when I wrote “Oakland” next to his name on the sign-up sheet.

    There was no real election of the spokesperson at each table, since each one was chosen BEFORE the discussions began and, as Vice-Mayor Ashcraft said people “didn’t get to sit with their friends”. Basically few people knew the others at their table. so the person with the agenda who spoke up earliest & loudest & most confidently volunteered assumed the speakership for the table.

    Then there are the folks, like Ashcraft & JKW, who came to more than one, or all three, meetings and were counted more than once, invalidating the headcount.

    Daysog attempted to compare this project to the beachside paths of Southern California, where even roller-skaters are accommodated side by side with cyclists & peds. Yet the only examples presented in support of this project, were North of the Bay Area; in the lovely beachside communities of Seattle, Brooklyn, & Vancouver.

    Comment by vigi — March 6, 2014 @ 9:51 am

  6. this reminds me why I’ll never use Twitter, like squandering time here isn’t enough. I understand Twitter having strategic use. example: following Bill McKibben in real time at a Climate conference, while actually being at same conference. I didn’t make that one up. I think Ellen’s success at crashing Twitter with the selfie from Oscars is best illustration of the much greater potential for banality, though Tony may get runner up. BTW, I’m on my second coffee and I’m about to eat a power bar for breakfast, because you needed to know that.

    Comment by MI — March 6, 2014 @ 9:59 am

  7. Vigi – I have to say that you’re characterization of the community meetings bears no relation to the meeting I attended. There were no “plants” at the tables, the facilitators at each table were selected by those sitting at the table. The people sitting at each table represented a wide range of opinions and priorities, so the person chosen as facilitator had to be acceptable to all those interests. My experience is that the fact that those of us at the table did not know each other made for a better discussion – we had to listen to viewpoints not our own, discuss them, and come to a consensus position. At the meeting I attended at Lum Elementary, with a large turnout, all the attendees were Alameda residents with a variety of concerns. The reporting out from each table covered a wide range of topics that fairly represented the views of those in attendance. I think that is reflected in a final plan that is significantly changed from what was originally proposed – showing that the city responded to community input. You may not agree with the plan that was developed, but to mischaracterize the public process does not help anyone.

    Comment by david burton — March 6, 2014 @ 10:08 am

  8. Vigi. Alameda is in the East Bay and the East Bay Bike Coalition always shows up and have since the very first meetings for bicycle master plan where a guy from Bayview railed at them as outsider while literally shouting down staff to yell that “Thieves ride bikes!” to make a point about how a thief had allegedly walked a bike through the bird sanctuary to do recon for burglary of Bayview homes. Many of the folks on Bayview were trying to thwart a paved bike trail at the bird sanctuary because they didn’t want their private sanctuary over run with undesirables. Irony is that higher volume and more eyes would probably deter crime as opposed to increase it. Also an irony, more than a few had extended their landscaping well beyond their property lines. That is another issue but it correlates to your concern about a supposed special interest getting priority over public parking spaces.

    Bottom line on those meetings is, wouldn’t every apartment and residence all the way along Shoreline get a letter in their box as part of 300′ notification? More than I got.

    Comment by MI — March 6, 2014 @ 10:12 am

  9. Since the Shoreline path is part of the larger regional San Francisco Bay Trail and therefore affecting people beyond Alameda, it’s not that far fetched to have people from, gasp, outside Alameda have an opinion on a regional resource.

    Comment by Lauren Do — March 6, 2014 @ 10:17 am

  10. The primary issue that will upset people with the Shoreline development is the ONE WAY traffic. This will increase traffic in areas where we would not have to worry about it. It may be worthwhile to retain Daysog’s comments about building a hotel and retail businesses along shoreline at some point. The question is — are we building a bike track for 20+ biker riders or are we building a foundation for a business area?

    Comment by Willie — March 6, 2014 @ 10:25 am

    • Willie – I don’t understand your “One way traffic” remark. I don’t think there’s any one-way street in the plans.
      As for development – I’d love to see more restaurants and cafes along the beach, I think they would do great and attract a lot of visitors e.g. to South Shore Center. I don’t know where, but with reducing 4 lanes of traffic to 2, the northern side of Shoreline Dr will be much more inviting. It’s a shame that we have a huge ugly post office and a court building taking much of beachfront space – and a McDonalds being the only restaurant.

      Comment by KS — March 6, 2014 @ 10:35 am

  11. KS

    I think there are 2 reasons why there aren’t more restaurants on Shoreline.

    1) The beach side is parkland, reducing the view that diners might enjoy

    2) That view, as water views go, isn’t expecially scenic, and is a smelly mudflat much of the time. The Cliff House it aint…

    Comment by dave — March 6, 2014 @ 11:03 am

  12. The mudflat isn’t smelly. Carry on…

    Comment by lavage1o — March 6, 2014 @ 11:15 am

  13. Vigi, your characterization is way off. There we over one hundred people at the first shoreline meeting, most of whom stayed connected to the process. The meetings were iterative meetings in that theythat built on each other. Of course people, like yourself, went to all three. That was the process. Talk about the issues, discuss alternatives, fine tune a solution for recommendation. three meetings, three topics.

    I don’t know what table you were at, but in all of my meetings, our group voted for a spokesperson and that person in each case stated all the views of the table, even those they didn’t necessarily agree with.

    Comment by jkw — March 6, 2014 @ 11:49 am

  14. Hmmm. Interesting stuff. So who facilitated these meetings? City staff or an outside consultant? Who gave presentations and what organizations did they represent?

    The reason I find this interesting is that during the council vote to pass the plan, members were waxing enthusiastic about the Socially Desirable Outcomes of changing Shoreline to a ‘world class biking destination’ and encouraging people to use public transit, etc.

    Chen even spoke about a personal visit he made to the area one weekend where he saw for himself the happy people walking and biking and wouldn’t it be great if we encouraged more of that sort of thing. Gilmore commented that if they (the council) were serious about fewer cars and more bikes then they were obliged to pass the plan.

    So the bottom line seems to be the agenda comes first, the impact on the residents is an annoyance, too bad for you, take the bus. Fewer cars, more bikes, case closed. Why, it was almost like they had made up their minds well before the public input.

    Comment by Lavage10 — March 6, 2014 @ 2:17 pm

  15. They did NOT vote to approve funding OR construction. They voted to OK bids on the project. Funding was approved over a year ago. Construction will begin when they approve award of a contract. So there is still time for the honest people of Alameda to stop this.

    And I am with vigi on this one. Regardless if you are a biker or you hate bikes, you have to be concerned about the process which was basically a bait and switch. Notice that while that point was made to the council, everyone ignored it. Will the elimination of 30% of the parking spaces be a disaster? I don’t know, but I do know that the folks at the community meetings had no idea of that and other problems which were being hidden from them.

    Comment by brazendan — March 6, 2014 @ 4:25 pm

  16. “Somehow the City Council remained unmoved by the thought of starving children and went ahead with the cycle track anyway.”

    This is just what Council Member Ashcraft does: Find some little odd comment, or trivial error, in a what a speaker said, then dismissively pick at it or ridicule it while ignoring all the sound objections. It’s petty. It’s disrespectful. It’s egocentric. There will be residents making dumb, silly comments on both sides of every issue; the adult thing is to just ignore them.

    I am thinking maybe we should come up with an award for people who act like this, similar to the Razzies for bad movies, we could give out the Ezzy for most pompous city council member.

    Comment by brazendan — March 6, 2014 @ 4:41 pm

  17. 16. , 17. I disagree. When Target was being discussed, neighbors along Otis concerned about truck traffic got organized and people in apartments facing South shore also organized. In a situation like this I look to the people who are going to get primary impact to have their say and I think those folks are the residents along Shoreline who have to be noticed just like people on my street who have been noticed about lagoon maintenance. Denizens of Shoreline have had months to come forward and to organize. Notification is just the first step in this process, a proper process. Even concerned citizens from outside the area of direct impact like Vigi have had time to canvas those apartments to organize them if they felt those folks were asleep and it was a needed action.. That would be the definition of vigilance wouldn’t it?

    I often get pissed off at people for their behavior and get personal about it, but this process is bigger than the demeanor of a council person. I still get steamed thinking about Ralph’s abuses from the dais ( the literal bully pulpit), but even then there was a process which superseded individuals.

    comment 15 just made a light bulb go on. is it Lavage 10 or Lavigi 10? Vigi posts under her actual name also, if I’m not mistaken. Sock puppetry is an unfair manipulation. MI is Mark Irons and I abbreviate so that people don’t pull up hits of random blog comments if they Goggle my full name. if “brazendan” is really concerned maybe you could lend some credence to that concern by using a real name.

    Comment by MI — March 6, 2014 @ 5:55 pm

  18. I’m glad to see this project move forward. And it looks like we’re not the only city removing parking and making space for bike lanes. Mountain View City Council has directed their planners to study a similar plan:

    “We have big news out of Mountain View to celebrate this week. At a February 5 study session for the San Antonio and El Camino Real Precise Plans, City Council directed planners to study the feasibility of removing parking on El Camino to make space for a bike lane.

    Comment by Karen Bey — March 6, 2014 @ 8:07 pm

  19. 18. You just about have it figured out. My real name is Gastros Lavage and I am a sock puppet, just not for vigi.

    I’m a sock puppet for Richard Nixon whose disembodied head was cryogenically frozen in Karl Rove’s basement and is still giving marching orders to the Republican Party today.

    That Nixon is one scare dude. You don’t want to mess with him.

    Comment by lavage1o — March 7, 2014 @ 1:10 am

  20. @9: It may not be far fetched to find non-Alamedans at these meetings, but it is dishonest to then refer back to these meetings as gatherings where the concerns of the local residents are heard, as Stewart Chen did at the last council meeting. [I’m not ragging on Chen, he had no way of knowing any different]. The local residents are going to have to live with the changes 24/7, and I’m not just talking about the parking. Many Alamedans actually shop at South Shore & use the Post Office, using Shoreline Drive daily. They should have more of a say in these changes than out-of-towners who occasionally use the beach for recreation.

    Like I said earlier, I’m not against giving the cyclists more space, but it should be done at the expense of the artificial dunes, not the roadway. The EBRPD is not a sacred cow. It’s gotten a lot of things wrong about managing that beach over the decades.

    Anything JKW says is clouded by the fact that he works for a company which has a financial interest in this transportation management stuff. He lives in the far East End. And David Burton represents “sustainable Alameda”. gotta luv that weasel word “sustainable”…. Consider the source. I just live on Grand Street.

    Comment by vigi — March 7, 2014 @ 10:34 am


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