Blogging Bayport Alameda

April 30, 2014

Somewhere, beyond the sea (of parking)

Filed under: Alameda, Development, Northern Waterfront — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

It appears that most of the commenters about the Del Monte project were concerned about not turning Alameda into Berkeley or San Francisco because the parking.  Because apparently in order to not turn Alameda into those two terrible cities of OMG Berkeley or horrorofhorrors San Francisco you must have AT LEAST two parking spaces per unit.

There was some talk about “competing and conflicting studies”, personally I have never read any studies about how endless parking is great for traffic mitigation, but I’m always open to seeing these conflicting studies.

Anyway, I feel like all these people are ignoring two thing that were brought up by a commenter the other day.

(1) Awesome Estuary Crossing shuttle that has a stop that takes people to and from the Bart station for commuting purposes which takes cars off the road


(2) The sea of unused parking at Wind River:



See all that?  That is unused every damn day.  Do people honestly think that residents with overflow cars are going to fight with residents of existing neighborhoods for parking spots when there is this easy place to park where there will be no pissy neighbors peering out of the window at you to stare you down.

And with the whole parking shortage issue, let’s not forget that the neighbors who are worried about the lack of parking space, the majority of them have (1) driveways and/or (2) garages.  If they are currently using street parking  then they have opted to not use their current off street parking options.

The only argument that I have some sympathy for is the lack of green space.   But personally given the proximity to the Beltline space, it should be a given that the City should leverage the lack of green space into a hefty gift from the developer to the City to build out a portion of the Beltline space to make up for the lack of space available.

A quick shot out to the lady who said that too many people at Del Monte will make Littlejohn Park become too popular, which means that the good people will stop using the park, which means that the drug dealers will come in.  Yes, the drug dealers.   Must be friends with the rapists who supposedly were going to set up shop at the Civic Center Parking Garage.


  1. How many parking spaces per unit at Bayport?

    Comment by dave — April 30, 2014 @ 6:18 am

  2. All houses have at least two off-street spaces, units that exceed 3000 sq ft have three. But there still are complaints (internally) that there is not enough on-street parking, probably because people use their garages as storage instead of for parking their cars. So build “enough” parking — whatever “enough” is — or don’t build “enough” parking someone, somewhere will complain about insufficient parking.

    Comment by Lauren Do — April 30, 2014 @ 7:25 am

  3. Lauren , leave by what you preach ,
    Give up your car this is for your entire family .
    then come back and talk about your experience with the bus not stopping while you are on a time line , going to job interview in the City during BART strike …..
    only to be turned away because it was over capacity .
    Taking your kid to school , the doctor etc……laying down on the carpet while playing with the kids will not achieve it
    Cars are a nasty necessity , there are no public transportation infrastrure in the East Bay , an interesting fact when one is aware AC Transit was the model on which many public transportation model their system around the Country and the world …… My Chinese Neighbor has 3 has eliminated 3 out of 4 garage space and added 2 rental unit , that will be a minimum of 7 cars in the street ….Always funny to see preachers talking about chastety when they are the biggest offender .
    Give up all you vehicles then talk , so far all the peoples promoting the bike and public transportation all have a minimum of 2 cars . Why?

    Comment by joel Rambaud — April 30, 2014 @ 7:39 am

  4. “There will be no pissy neighbor peering of the window at you to stare you down”

    Interesting sentence , you prefer 1 police Officer at every corner then complain about their cost , Alameda is a small town ,
    Unlike Bayport and the like,most people do not leave in anonymous houses drive undescriptive vehicle get in and out at the same time just like in the stupid commercial ,
    In most part they interact with each other , know which car belong to who and who is not from the neigbothood ,many do have block party .
    This result in a close community from which you can be part of or not , Oakland has plenty of vacancies , low prices I wonder why ? could it be the Crime rate ? that pesky neighbor has it’s advantages .
    I Rather have one any time , but then I do not leave in one of these Housing Project . Which interestingly are all walled in getting ready for the future , Nor do I have anything to hyde ……
    You choose Alameda ! Why ?
    Is it such bad place to leave in , no one forced you , Your choice !
    We love our City with such various architecture and Peoples , Sound like you are only interested in sothern California Strip mall and housing project

    Comment by Joel Rambaud — April 30, 2014 @ 8:20 am

  5. As with most addictions, the things we cling to the hardest are killing us. Our addiction to cars causes obesity, air pollution, and constant war in the places we don’t belong.

    The upside of Berkeley density: It would do an awful lot of Alamedans good if we had to walk a few blocks to and from our cars; it would double the good if we decided it would just be easier to walk or pedal the mile to the store; it would triple the good if parents decided it would be better to just let their kids walk to school.

    Comment by Jack Mingo — April 30, 2014 @ 8:25 am

  6. Lauren,

    You’d have a lot more credibility if you lived the way you preach that others ought to.

    Comment by dave — April 30, 2014 @ 8:48 am

  7. Thanks Jack, for preaching the paternalistic Bay Area Gospel! Maybe if we make those lazy car-addicted Alamedans walk, nay, SUFFER, a little bit, it will instill character in them. Let’s take away their cars, their plastic bags, and their parking spaces – then make them bike all around. We will MAKE them be green, we will MAKE them lose weight, and never mind what they want — we know better than them what they want!

    Comment by Big Johnson — April 30, 2014 @ 9:05 am

  8. The difference is: I don’t assume that everyone lives like me. Every household is a special snowflake and right now Alameda has plenty of options for people who have multiple cars and would like to live that lifestyle. What it doesn’t have are options for people who want to be able to buy a cheaper unit without the cost of parking built in because they don’t have a car and can rely on car shares and public transportation to get where they need to go. Or maybe they work from home and know that their car usage will be minimal. Or maybe they want to live a low car lifestyle. What I am advocating for is choice. Right next door to the Del Monte project will be a traditional housing development that will be a choice for households that want the two + car lifestyle.

    I don’t need to list out what I do to lessen my car use impact because it’s unnecessary, I don’t need to justify my life decisions in order to advocate for current and future residents to have a choice on how they want to live their lives. I imagine that if I did “practice what I preach” I would be accused of trying to conform everyone to my lifestyle.

    Comment by Lauren Do — April 30, 2014 @ 9:06 am

  9. I don’t need to justify my life decisions in order to advocate for current and future residents to have a choice on how they want to live their lives.


    You’re right, you don’t — unless you want to be taken seriously.

    Comment by dave — April 30, 2014 @ 9:08 am

  10. Lauren,

    Your comments about the parking are accurate and well presented. The real concern many of these naysayers have isn’t the parking. It is progress. There is a segment of Alamedans that just hate to see “their” neighborhoods change and gentrified. Well, I always tell them that housing is abundant in Oakland.

    Comment by Kevin — April 30, 2014 @ 9:12 am

  11. Given that this blog has been in existence for about eight years or so, I imagine that the “taken seriously” ship has long sailed.

    Comment by Lauren Do — April 30, 2014 @ 9:16 am

  12. in terms of buying “cheaper units”, what are we talking about? Is Tim Lewis giving these away? I’d venture few people around Little John have two car garages. If you’re using science for parking mitigation, use it for discounting OMG parking ! people too. My 1906 house has a too small one car 1920 garage in the far back corner of the lot which if I were to drive to it I need to fold my mirrors down and drive at 1/2 mph. IF I didn’t drive a small 1991 Toyota truck I couldn’t park in my driveway. AS it is my neighbor allowed me to pave a foot of his yard so I don’t step out my door on to his lawn.

    I’m engaging in trying to wrap my brain around new paradigm ( haven’t seen that term in a while), but it is lame to discount the people who came out with parking concerns by making assumptions about them which are probably inaccurate. If Wind River spaces can come in to play and lesson the impact, that is great, but you just can’t make assumptions about them either , and especially shouldn’t be able to use them to make this thing fly without written agreements about access. Since Climate Change is going to make human’s extinct, I’m trying real hard to weigh this one along with the completion of other development between Del Monte and Grand, but Tim Lewis is not motivated by being and environmentalist. This is better design that the original Kaufman and Broad SFH ( Marina Cove?).

    I was interested that Chris Buckley speaking for preservationists thought height of middle bays would not be a huge problem in terms of viewing it from most locations, but thought it would be enough of an issue that they had suggestions on how to treat the facade. I’m not clear what they proposed. From elevated Little John park where you won’t have the second story obscured by angle of observation, the second story will be sixty feet further away than existing ground level so it will not read as same height and first floor from any point of observation, but it still seems looming and it’s great that Chris asked for story poles which helps lessen all the conjecture.

    Of all the objections people could have about land swap, it’s disappointing that preservationists would sue. Is “George Washington slept here” really a good standard for preservation?

    Comment by MI — April 30, 2014 @ 9:46 am

  13. Wind River parking lot is private property. I would not rely on that as a parking option for residents. Wind River may or may not care, but if you park there without having business there, they can have you towed.

    While I agree that more walking and biking is better for almost everybody, it really depends a lot on your job, responsibilities, physical ability, and other factors whether or not it is feasible for you.

    When my friend from Hayward lived with me temporarily, she kept wanting to jump in the car to go to Park Street from my house which is only three blocks away because, where she lived in Hayward, the only thing within easy walking distance was a gas station. I managed to break her of this habit, in part because of the inconvenience of having to park. Before you know it, she was logging more miles on foot than I was. She has a disabled placard due to chronic back pain, but walking is still good for her if she’s able, and luckily during this period, she was. However, she is on disability, does not have a job, was not going to school at the time, has no young children, etc. etc. In her case, lack of parking forced the issue and was good for her health but she’s just an isolated example and not typical.

    Families, in particular, with the endless round of appointments and activities are much more constrained. Anyone who has ever had a kid in soccer in town is aware of this. Practices are scheduled everywhere from one end of the Island to the other. Developments with one or two bedroom apartments might be okay with few spaces, but many people have teens with cars. More and more families are living in extended family situations with three generations in one house due to the fact that the economy has not improved markedly for job seekers, and job security is questionable for many, so they don’t want to buy until they are sure they can keep paying the mortgage.

    If for example, you only have two people in a unit, but one works in San Jose, and the other in Livermore, having one car is not an option. This fantasy that everybody can just hop on the ferry and get to work doesn’t even apply to many of the people who work in San Francisco, and doesn’t take into account that many people work on the penninsula, South Bay, or Far East Bay. It’s also easy to say “Hey, you can take the bus!” without realizing how much precious time that steals from your day. I take the bus to the dentist in Oakland because we have only one car. It eats up an additional hour or more of time, no big deal for me, since I don’t currently have a job but for those who work long hours, every hour of free time is precious.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — April 30, 2014 @ 10:06 am

  14. I’ll take the position that people have free will to select to live where it best suits their lifestyle. The limitations of the housing unit you select is well known to you before you move in. If the garage is small you know you can’t park there, if the driveway is narrow you may also not be able to park there. If you live near a park you may get people using on street parking in front of your house to use the park. If having a dedicated off street parking space is important to people, they have the ability to select an unit that accommodates that need. No one. No one is entitled to a dedicated street parking space, that is available for the public to use since the public as a whole pays for its maintenance.

    Anyway, here’s a study linking parking with housing affordability.

    Also, I’ll say it again, every household is a special snowflake, no one is exactly the same. The assumption is by people who claim there will be not enough parking is that everyone has 2+ cars and no one uses their off street parking just like them! There are countless reports about how car ownership is down and how this new generation of kids simply do not value driving the way that previous generations do or did. What this offers is a choice for those people and people on the other end of life that may be downsizing their life and cannot or do not want to drive.

    Comment by Lauren Do — April 30, 2014 @ 10:38 am

  15. You have the same free will to live someplace that fits your lifestyle, yet you chose a place with which you seem quite dissatisfied. So much so that you endlessly advocate for wholesale change to the basic fiber of the place. That’s……curious.

    More curious is your advocacy for a shift toward a model that you don’t follow yourself.

    It’s your right to do so of course, but readers should be forgiven for spotting a fundamental disconnect, one that looks & feels a lot like hypocrisy, between words and deeds.

    Comment by dave — April 30, 2014 @ 10:47 am

  16. I’m not sure where the implication is that I am dissatisfied with where I live. I guess I could be a little more rah rah sis boom bah about everything about Alameda but that would be incredibly boring wouldn’t it. I’ll leave the cheerleading to the City of Alameda’s Press Release Dept.

    I think I’ve been very consistent about my views on parking and traffic. I don’t bitch about my parking problems probably because I recognize that if I have a car and I park on the street (which I don’t) I would be a contributor to parking problems that I bitch about, if I did bitch about it. I don’t complain about traffic problems because if I drive and I am sitting in said traffic, I am a contributor to the overall problem. As a wise Planning Board member once said; “you’re not in traffic, you are traffic.”

    Comment by Lauren Do — April 30, 2014 @ 10:56 am

  17. “…how this new generation of kids simply do not value driving the way that previous generations do or did.” The unfortunate byproduct is that More People are on the roads Behind the Wheel Who Simply Never Learned to Drive. it is true that more kids aren’t taking Drivers Ed/Training in school at 16; but they can still apply for & get their CDLs at age 18. Making the highways more unsafe for all.

    The “getting people out of their cars” mantra always ignores the fact that Uneeda car to haul that bag of manure home to your garden. If you are rich enough to pay every store to deliver what you cannot carry home on your bicycle or public transit, you Should give up your cars, Ms 1%. But the rest of us 99%, the poor & middle-class, we need a car for activities of daily living. Leave us alone.

    Comment by vigi — April 30, 2014 @ 11:36 am

  18. yeah- I am a little confused about of what some of the posters here have said recently on this issue? – I re-read Lauren’s post twice just to try and see what they are snarking about and I mostly see a lot of projection. Where did she say that she was dissatisfied with where she lives? I don’t see the dis-connect. If she isn’t making this about her situation – then she can’t express an opinion? She is discussing the common “kingdom of Alameda” issue which is the boogeyman of traffic and more people will destroy us- destroy us, I say! While some concerns may be true- some is also just knee-jerk. There is room in Alameda for a lot of different life styles dictated by a lot of different situations (like Denise said). Frankly, try as I might- I still can’t shop for my situation (street parking) on a bike or get to my job or my doctor appts. I drive as little as I can every year but still need a life. Others may be luckier. But I don’t see where Lauren is trying to tell me not to have a car? Just suggesting that a lot of options should be on the table and the buyers make their choices.
    Of course there are still others (looking at you Joel-) who just whine about the “horror” of what they see and how their lives as citizens of Kumbayaville are wonderful (except for those …) and all of their neightbors are dreamy and love-filled. Not sure about your neighborhood but I have seen a whole lot of people on my streets like St Charles and Paru and they were definately peering out of windows and being pissed off at their neighbors and lot of fights and un-neighborly behaviors.

    Frankly I am hoping that the old building gets saved ( it is so pretty in some ways) and Alameda gets another group of interesting options for living spaces . We are never going to be the place that supports a 100% walkable lifestyle because, despite the cries – we are not going to be that dense (giant high rises, a restaurant every 50 feet like in London or SF, etc) – so why don’t we work all the angles? Having the building sit there and rot away is a total waste and not real good for Alameda either. I thought the WindRiver idea as an interesting suggestion – not sure how that would work ownership wise and but seems like a better use of valuable land than just sitting there un-used.

    Just my opinion of course but it’s not my blog and yet Lauren lets us say whatever we wish- so much more patient than I would be.

    Comment by librarycat — April 30, 2014 @ 12:12 pm

  19. Lauren makes a good point – about choices. Right next door to the Del Monte project will be a development of single family homes – 89 homes I believe. For those families who need more parking than the Del Monte can offer, perhaps the Del Monte is not for them and they should consider the project next door.

    It appears as though the target market for this project will be people who are willing to look at alternatives to the standard model we are used to seeing. Times have changed, and the multifamily model is changing with it. Younger families don’t have as many cars as we do – they bike, they take the ferry, take Bart or AC Transit, or use employer provided shuttles, etc. so they don’t need as much parking space.

    Developers need the flexibility to market to this demographic, and I would imagine homeowners and renters won’t buy or rent from them if it doesn’t fit their lifestyle.

    Comment by Karen Bey — April 30, 2014 @ 12:22 pm

  20. I’m an expert on this issue, and I recommend against providing anything less than 2 spaces per unit. Visit friends in SF to see the alternative. It’s not fun for the average chump. You still need your cars, especially when you have kids. Now, back to my bike reparis.

    Comment by Sis Terimapo — April 30, 2014 @ 5:10 pm

  21. I am always set aside by peoples which have escaped their condition what ever or which ever they might be , only to recreate and force it on their new community. You love Berkeley or San Francisco be their guest , I experienced it , nothing was fun , expensive , noisy and dirty .
    Want Housing project there are tons of Vacant building across the bridges or tunnel , Oh but it is not safe , it is noisy , the Police will leave you alone as they do not enforce the laws , which resulting in some of the highest crime in the Country if not the world .
    As I have said before and keep on saying it , this is a free Country , you made a choice , leave by them .
    Why should I ride a bicycle , I have long before most of the peoples in these post , if you are advocating no cars then you should not own one period . Then rent these garage for extra income make sure your tenants do not drive cars either ……

    Comment by Joel Rambaud — April 30, 2014 @ 6:26 pm

  22. # 10 Kevin , you do not seem to know the definition of gentrification , Which one is it , you want more affordable housing like the Author of this blog , or you want houses you will not be able to afford in your old days , property you worked and saved all your life . Then why did you come to Alameda , YES cheap housing and safer community .

    Comment by Joel Rambaud — April 30, 2014 @ 8:36 pm

  23. Joel, I beg to differ with your opinion. I have lived in Central Alameda for over 20 years and I understand gentrification very well. Central Alameda has traditionally had its issues and there is a cast of characters on the main island that want nothing else but to see Alameda not progress. It is the same crowd that protested Target and South Shore because it would kill the small businesses on Webster and Park Streets. It is the same crowd that cringes each time a new single family housing development goes up. They have a legitimate concern about affordable housing in Alameda. However, if Alameda is not to your liking or is no longer affordable, then there are much cheaper options across the High Street bridge. The only way Alameda can increase services (i.e, schools, public safety, infrastructure, etc) is to increase property tax revenue from HOME OWNERS. City Hall has demonstrated that the City of Alameda is incapable of competing with Emeryville, Oakland, and Berkeley for sales tax dollars. So we must bring in a new crop of HOME OWNERS to the island that are not paying 1950s property tax rates under Prop 19 on their market rate properties like many (MANY) long term main island families are doing. Passing a home from generation to generation without adjusting the property taxes to the current market value has hurt our state’s tax revenue and our ability to improve services fr our community. New homeowners in new developments in Alameda will pay property taxes based on today’s market value (not tax rates based on their grandmother’s purchase of the property back in 1950),

    Comment by Kevin — May 1, 2014 @ 9:13 am

  24. #22 Also Joel, In response to your comment, “or you want houses you will not be able to afford in your old days , property you worked and saved all your life.”


    Comment by Kevin — May 1, 2014 @ 9:22 am

  25. 18. your remarks are very level headed and well taken by this reader. Yes, let’s work the angles. But I think the point about people making choice to live in a house with narrow drive or no garage is that they do so with perhaps naive perception/assumption that the conditions of the living situation will hopefully remain relatively stable. I just counted down my block. four houses in a row with garages under the house but the driveways are so short and steep one wonders how they were ever accessible for any vehicle, so neither driveway or garage can be used. We make due. When our son comes home from school with a third vehicle we take to blocking our own driveway with his car as our four neighbors across the street often do, but in our case that entails blocking in another vehicle. There is a large corner house at the end of the block with a triple wide driveway and there are usually a couple free spaces in front which is where most of us take refuge if we can’t nab the slab in front of our home after work. This delicate “ecosystem” has been maintained for the twenty plus years I’ve been here, but just lately there has been some new tenant, or regular visitor ( can’t tell which), at an over stuffed rental which seems to have a gaggle of teens flopping in the garage. I don’t know if the fewer than 1 to 1 ratio of vehicles they have generated is some millennial phenomena or a product of indigence, but somebody now has a GIANT jacked up PU truck, and (in voice of Three Bears) it’s parked in front of my house right now! There are a couple other new cars around lately that have alluded attribution, but it’s like musical F-ing chairs. Thankfully we don’t have to move for street sweeping. I guarantee that none of us can afford to buy a new home with giant two car garage, nor would most of us be able to avail ourselves of “cheaper units” sans parking at Del Monte. If there were a development in close proximity which purported to have even a small negative impact, I’d like to think people in the neighborhood could point out these conditions without being painted as knee jerk NIMBYs. If this Del Monte Project were build directly next to Bayport today, it would not change the vehicle conditions within Bayport one iota, would it?

    It is true that lane expansion on freeways doesn’t lessen traffic, but can increase it, though driving 880 south to 101 in San Jose is so much better than it used to be. Same with parking. Build more spaces and they will be filled. It would be nice if Tim Lewis “Communities” would get in to serious negotiations with Wind River over legal access to their fallow parking lagoon, preferably permanent access, maybe even purchase. Of course then maybe the units might not be “cheaper”. Catch 22.

    Comment by MI — May 1, 2014 @ 12:56 pm

  26. If this Del Monte Project were build directly next to Bayport today, it would not change the vehicle conditions within Bayport one iota, would it?

    While the Del Monte project won’t be built by Bayport, what has been built by Bayport is Shinsei Gardens. 39 units: 6 one-bedroom, 18 two-bedroom, 12 three-bedroom, 3 four-bedroom. There is only 1 deeded parking space per unit. There are 21 guest parking (or overflow spots) and so less than 2 parking spaces per unit. I haven’t heard of any vehicle condition changes stemming from Shinsei.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 1, 2014 @ 1:48 pm

  27. A complex designed for formerly homeless people with special needs is naturally going to have relatively low rates of auto ownership and usage. And the Berlin Wall along Atlantic is significant protection for your very ample parking capacity. Others will face negative externalities from development that you won’t.

    Density is for others, but not you, apparently.

    Comment by dave — May 1, 2014 @ 2:00 pm

  28. Actually there were pretty consistent complaints from people in Bayport about folks from the College of Alameda and Summerhouse parking in “their” spaces. I believe Summerhouse also only allocates one deeded parking space per unit, the majority of those units are two and three bedrooms as well. I don’t know if it’s still an issue because I stopped tracking internal Bayport discussion boards. So as I said, build some place with plenty of parking or not enough parking and someone will still complain about parking.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 1, 2014 @ 2:03 pm

  29. I advocate for people to be able to select to live in whatever home or units fits their lifestyle and I advocate for that option to be available in new development in the city in which I live. I don’t ask people to conform to my lifestyle.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 1, 2014 @ 2:06 pm

  30. Lauren, here’s another example of newly built east bay condo’s with only 1 deeded parking space per unit (and there are lots of others).

    Gorgeous & Spacious 2/2 Uptown Condo, Steps from Bart, The Lake, Galleries and Much More!
    The Condo has one deeded Parking space and a Storage space for the residents. There is also Bike parking in the garage. In addition there is a Lovey interior courtyard for you to relax in that comprises part of the common area of this gorgeous Building!

    Comment by Karen Bey — May 1, 2014 @ 2:16 pm

  31. #30…..please notice in the description you posted…..”steps from Bart”

    Comment by J.E.A. — May 1, 2014 @ 4:23 pm

  32. This debate is a preview of the much bigger disagreements to come about Alameda Point. For the anti-car crowd, the idea is to both limit the supply (fewer parking spots may mean fewer cars) and the demand (Traffic Demand Management” is the actual name of the primary strategy for dealing with increased traffic at Alameda Point). The way the anti-car crowd wants to limit traffic via “demand management” is not to mitigate traffic. It is to make traffic worse so that a negative incentive exists for people not to drive.

    That’s a fundamental difference in perspective: whether future increases in gridlock in the tubes and surrounding streets resulting from many thousands more residents and their cars is (a) inefficient and bad due to the many related negative externalities it creates for all of us or (b) (even though few will come out and say it — although the “wise Planning Board member” quoted in comment 16 above came close with “you’re not in traffic, you are traffic.”) — actually a good thing because sitting in traffic will teach those car lovers who already live here to change their ways and get on mass transit.

    In other words, the idea of the anti-car crowd is that the traffic nightmare in our future will change people’s car v. mass transit tradeoff analysis and move them to mass transit. That’s a fine theory and can work in some circumstances, but among other things, it depends on really good mass transit options really being available. There is no evidence that that will happen in any substantial way at Alameda Point, even if the people like this and fill their inside straight and their most dense housing plans (that the City Council already seems to be resisting) go through. Instead, it looks like we are heading to thousands more drivers that will make traffic much, much worse for everyone but without also having real transit solutions on a large scale. Shuttle buses aren’t going to do it. Assuming that this huge housing build out will work just fine and suggesting that people who see the huge risks the resulting traffic nightmare will bring are Alameda xenophobes is offensive and wrong. This whole approach is too huge of a huge gamble to take on an island with so few ways on and off.

    Comment by Supply and Demand — May 2, 2014 @ 6:55 am

    • I suspect it ain’t “the anti-car crowd” that likes the idea of endless traffic jams. (That doesn’t even make sense.) I think it’s the people, purportedly high up in the Alameda power structure, who think it would be quite exciting to have popular support for another bridge for cars running through Alameda Point from Oakland to San Francisco. You know, to “solve” the traffic problem.

      Comment by Jack Mingo — May 2, 2014 @ 11:11 am

  33. Supply and Demand is right. I’m sure no one would have believed people would put up with a one-hour, seven mile commute like I used to between Los Gatos and Sunnyvale. If the public transportation does not offer numerous and flexible options, people will drive anyway, even if it condemns them to crawling through traffic at a snail’s pace.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — May 2, 2014 @ 9:22 am

  34. The Coast Guard has a trump card on bridges, and they simply will not allow one over the estuary, as they need unfettered access.

    (And in any case, the permits, land acquisition, EIR and the MONEY all add up to no bridge whether the CG cared or not).

    Comment by dave — May 2, 2014 @ 11:19 am

    • And you think another Bay Bridge-high structure would fetter the Coast Guard how? Are they planning to begin landing boatplanes on the Estuary?

      Comment by Jack Mingo — May 2, 2014 @ 11:26 am

  35. The several years of construction would certainly fetter them.

    Comment by dave — May 2, 2014 @ 12:01 pm

  36. 34 says “I suspect it ain’t “the anti-car crowd” that likes the idea of endless traffic jams. (That doesn’t even make sense.)”

    Yes, it does make sense. In fact, it is an idea central to certain current theories of development that cars should be made extremely difficult and expensive to use. As a shorthand, I’ve called those who see things that way the “anti-car crowd.” One recent article suggesting ways to make this happen put it this way: ” Incentivizing transit use will only go so far without disincentivizing car use.”

    Another recent piece argued similarly: “At a macro level, this decision-process implies that there are two ways to shift more commuters out of single-occupancy vehicles and into other modes of transportation, whether that’s biking, carpooling, walking, or transit. We can incentivize transit by making all of those other options more attractive. Or we can disincentivize driving by making it less so. What’s become increasingly apparent in the United States is that we’ll only get so far playing to the first strategy without incorporating the second. . . We’re still not seeing any really significant mode shifts, despite decades of investment,” he says, still talking about the cycling capitals of Portland and Boulder. “The crucial component that’s missing is that we’re not implementing any policies that disincentivize driving.”

    Getting a great mass transit system in place or another crossing at Alameda Point would be a great answer. My main objection isn’t that those wouldn’t be great answers. They would be. My main objection is that they are unlikely to work here. Moreover, since we live on an island with few ways on and off taking the risk of choosing to bring thousands more cars in the hope that that will be paired with a great mass system here (where none exists and no evidence suggests will be created) or another crossing (that is not impossible but is extremely unlikely) and big shifts in people’s behavior is a huge, unnecessary gamble with a very big, bad downside. In my earlier comment I suggested this might be a bit like trying to fill an inside straight in a hand of poker. If we don’t beat the odds, get exactly the right card and fill the straight, we lose this hand and there isn’t another hand to play. Alameda would be harmed for many, many decades. Seems far too risky.

    Comment by Supply and Demand — May 2, 2014 @ 12:08 pm

    • SAD, old fellow, calling those who want to reduce congestion “anti-car” is like calling flood engineers “anti-water.”

      So the city’s found a loophole to get around the will of the people (and probably the law)? Let the lawsuit games begin!

      Comment by Jack Mingo — May 2, 2014 @ 1:08 pm


    some further fuel for the discussion.

    Comment by librarycat — May 2, 2014 @ 12:51 pm

  38. 39 But in this case, the “flood engineers” are taking steps to make the current minor flood into a deluge by adding thousands more residences with cars so they can then try to incentivize people to get out of cars.

    Comment by Supply and Demand — May 2, 2014 @ 1:59 pm

  39. Interesting article in the SF Examiner yesterday – “Amid population boom in San Francisco, Many Homeowners are Selling and Leaving SF”.

    The article goes on to say that “Sixty percent of all people who sell their homes in the City are leaving San Francisco after they sell, according to a survey of real estate agent sales over the past 12 months”.

    The article says that 47% of the buyers in San Francisco work in the tech industry, allowing sellers to cash out of their million dollar pad and move else where to raise a family.

    And some of them are moving to Alameda. While those of us balk at parcel taxes, sales tax increases, and school bonds, this demographic can afford them, and will pay for them. For them, it’s cheaper than private school, and it’s an investment in their child’s future.

    If Alameda ever were to grow – now is the time for growth. This is a unique market that we can’t afford to let it pass us by.

    Comment by Karen Bey — May 2, 2014 @ 2:52 pm

    • Or perhaps this is a unique opportunity to get priced and hipstered out of Alameda. (Luckily, housing and technology companies never go bust.)

      Comment by Jack Mingo — May 2, 2014 @ 4:41 pm

  40. So, I have a question #42…If they are leaving SF because they don’t like the high density style life…..why are we building high density here? If they have children they most likely want at least a small yard and not a cramped living space….I imagine they would also like a house that does not look just like their neighbors…..

    Comment by J.E.A. — May 3, 2014 @ 6:15 am

  41. The article says nothing about them leaving because they don’t like high density — they are leaving because they are getting very high prices for their properties and they are taking their profits and moving elsewhere.

    Comment by Karen Bey — May 3, 2014 @ 6:39 am

  42. Karen, maybe we can’t stop “progress”, but embracing economic refugees from tech onslaught may come with baggage like a secondary wave of similar buy out and displacement, that is unless the newbies all magically choose Del Monte. Or maybe Del Monte will be cheap enough for Alamedans who sell their Victorians to folks from S.F. especially if they sell off excess vehicles. We should be circumspect about what we wish for. Affordability is relative. Are the prices of the affordable units in development relative to the market units or defined by some other metric like average regional income? Even such an average would be effected by the inflation wave from tech industry. Catch 22. I am cynical of all options.

    When New Urbanism first emerged and the idea of density to support transit was introduced, nodes of density around transit CORRIDORS was the concept. A corridor connotes some sort of through transit and many of us have contended that Alameda’s proximity to BART, and egress in general, does not make for easy conformity to this concept.

    In that Climate Change is probably the most complex problem to ever face humanity, I don’t know that we have the luxury to resist prospective solutions, at least without a exhaustive debate, which is what it seems we are having. But no amount of talking will reassure everybody. And at some point we have to act. I’m completely conflicted. I freely admit to being a total hypocrite who, no matter which side I argue, I’m being devil’s advocate. I don’t like other people telling me what to think and nobody does, especially if it feel counter intuitive. On the one hand, it’s hard to swallow being the Guinea pig for a concept in it’s infancy which will take decades to work through all the kinks, even in cities which have easily defined through corridors ( Berkeley). On the other hand, we might have a great opportunity for visionary leadership even though it seems counter intuitive in the short term. No matter which choice is made, I will not be enthusiastic. The Climate dilemma is guaranteed to bring pain, whether it is from doing nothing or from the solutions we implement. It doesn’t help that the conduit for implementing model solutions will be driven by the profit motive, (just like all the other options, short of do nothing). Tim Lewis Communities is not primarily motivated by altruism or concern to blunt the impacts of Climate Change or need for affordable housing. Seems like capitalism got us in this mess so it will have to get us out. To quote the fictional Baltimore alderman from the TV show The Wire, “Sheee-it!”

    Comment by MI — May 3, 2014 @ 10:28 am

  43. Sorry that I’m so late to the party, but I just stumbled on this blog & have to comment. I am the “lady” who was worried about the drug dealers. If you are going to attempt snark, best to get the content right.

    What I actually said was that if parking around Littlejohn becomes even more difficult (and it’s already near impossible on weekends during kid league games & BBQs) and people have to walk more than the current 3-4 blocks (by “people” I mean the lazy-ass volunteer parent coaches who insist on driving all the equipment and parents who drive over to watch, towing babies & feeble old grandparents with canes) then they will take the games to another park.

    When the park is EMPTY of families (I’ll wait while you Google that word….. done?) then drug dealers move in. How do I know that? Because I’ve lived it. On the east coast – where getting family events and sports leagues back sent the dealers packing. Here in sun-shiny Alameda, it took years to clear the dealers out of Littlejohn & get the families back. As recently as two years ago, a couple of houses were empty for 2-3 months. The dealers came back at night. When nobody bothered them, the hookers came with them. I’ve had some really interesting experiences in my life. But it was still pretty awesome to add “looking off my back deck & seeing some dude getting a blow job in his car on Benton” to the list. Peace out.

    Comment by greenefree — June 20, 2014 @ 11:05 pm

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