Blogging Bayport Alameda

September 22, 2014

Two car Del Monte

Filed under: Alameda, Development, Measure A, Northern Waterfront, Transportation — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

Tonight the Del Monte project will come before the Planning Board and the Planning Board will vote to adopt five distinct parts crucial to the Del Monte project moving forward:

A.) Adopt the draft Resolution recommending that the City Council adopt the Subsequent Mitigated Negative Declaration.
B.) Adopt the draft Resolution recommending that the City Council approve the Del Monte Master Plan and Density Bonus Application.
C.) Approve by motion a recommendation that the City Council approve the Development Agreement.
D.) Adopt the Draft Resolution approving the Del Monte Transportation Demand Management Program.
E.) Adopt the draft Resolution approving Del Monte Development Plan and Design Review for the Del Monte Plan.

Right now the developer still hasn’t decided on whether they want to put up the units for sale or for rent, but they will be subdividing the building in anticipation that they condos will be for sale.   Given the state of the current housing market, if everything still holds the way it is now, they can probably sell for a nice chunk of change given the low supply of housing for sale in Alameda.  The affordable units will not be for sale and will be for rent.  The affordable housing units will be spread within the Del Monte building and another site will house the remainder of the units in a Shinsei Garden and Breakers at Bayport model.   This allows for a skilled non profit developer to come in who has an understanding of cobbling together tax credits to successfully build affordable housing in the most cost effective way with necessary supportive services on-site.

In addition to the $2 million in cash and labor that will be directed toward the Beltline Park, the developer will need to pay $3.5 million in impact fees as well for open space as well as a 0.25% transfer fee every time a residential unit changes owners.

An additional $1.2 million in impact fees will be paid toward off-set public safety and infrastructure payments and the developer intends to build the Clement extension separate to the infrastructure impact fees including the cost of securing the necessary land from the current landowners.

The development will attempt to meet LEED Silver standards and…solar panels.

So here are the sticking points for most people because they either don’t understand or don’t believe that the plans will work even though they have proven successful in many many other developments, I’m just going to cut and paste from the staff report because it’s pretty well described:

Provision of Transit Services. Each housing unit in the project is provided with transportation services, provided by a non-profit Transportation Management Association (TMA). The TMA transportation services are funded through required annual assessments on each housing unit. In other words, the costs of transit services are “bundled” with the cost of the housing unit.

An annual fee of $350 will be accessed on each housing unit. The fee will increase annually with the cost of living. Commercial tenants will pay $0.55 per square foot per year, which will increase annually. These funds will be transferred to the TMA, which will provide the project residents and tenants with a variety of transportation services, including but not limited to:

· An AC Transit Easy Pass for use on all AC Transit routes. The Del Monte building is within a three block walk of the AC Transit O Line which provides excellent express service to downtown San Francisco, and the AC Transit Line 51 which provides service to Downtown Oakland BART, Fruitvale BART, Downtown Berkeley BART and a variety of other destinations in Alameda County.
· A Northern Waterfront TMA “Easy Pass” for use on all TMA provided bus, shuttle, and water taxi services.

And

Provision of On-Site Car Share Facilities. To minimize the need for residents to own multiple automobiles and reduce the need for parking, the project will provide a minimum of three (3) car share vehicles.  As demand increases, the number of vehicles will increase.  The vehicles will also be available for use by neighbors in the area, to reduce their need for multiple private automobiles.

And to address neighbor concerns and neighbor proposals on how to “fix” the project but simply increasing the number of parking spaces and bundling parking in with the cost of the housing:

1. Traffic and Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Increasing the number of parking spaces and requiring that every household purchase at least two spaces will increase vehicle trips, increase traffic, and increase greenhouse gas emissions from the project. The State of California recently released recommended mitigations to reduce vehicle trips and greenhouse gas emissions from residential development projects. The State of California finds that reducing parking spaces and unbundling the cost of parking from the cost of housing reduces vehicle miles travelled and greenhouse gas emissions.

2. Amount of Parking. Staff believes the 415 spaces for 308 units is the correct number of spaces for this project. Given that the residents will be required to pay for transportation services and will have access to transit, car share, and bicycle facilities, the need for, and the desire to pay for, extra personal cars will be reduced. However, if every household in a one bedroom or studio unit owns one car (126 cars), every household in a three bedroom unit owns two cars (40 cars), and about half the households in the two bedroom units own one car (81 cars) and the other half own two cars (162 cars), there will be a need for 409 parking spaces for the 308 units. The project is providing 415 spaces. [emphasis added]

3. Car Ownership and the Adjacent Neighborhood. The average size of the units in the Del Monte building is significantly smaller than the average size of a home in the adjacent neighborhood. According to the US Census, households in the adjacent neighborhoods own approximately 1.6 cars per household. The Del Monte Building is parked to accommodate approximately 1.35 cars per household.

4. Car Ownership in East Bay Transit Oriented Developments. A 2009 study by University of California researchers Cervero, Adkins, and Sullivan of nine existing, occupied transit oriented residential projects in the East Bay communities of Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, San Leandro, and Union City found that actual demand for parking in these existing projects ranged from 0.92 to 1.23 spaces per unit.

5. Unbundled Parking Cost and Bundling Transit Costs. The trip reduction strategy for the project “bundles” the cost of transit with each unit, and “unbundles” the cost of parking, thereby making transit a required cost and parking and car ownership an optional cost. Unbundling parking costs can significantly reduce vehicle ownership, and therefore, reduce the need for parking. As shown in the figure below, as parking costs increase, car ownership rates decrease. Therefore charging for the parking will reduce traffic and reduce the need for parking spaces on the site.

Predictions: some neighbors will come to continue to lodge their objections about the project.  Planning Board will approve, I’m guessing a maybe a 6 to 1 vote in favor, possibly 5 to 2 in favor.  Even if it passes the Planning Board, the neighbors still have the City Council to bring their concerns to.

Personally I think it’s the best project of all the iterations that we have seen floated for this site.  And I really liked the whole Asian market idea.   The thing is if there was any way for any developer to develop a low impact, no housing, commercial only development for this site, it would have already been done a long time ago.  If  folks would be okay with a wholesale leveling of the Del Monte building I’m pretty sure that a low impact, no housing, commercial only development might be possible.  (See Red Brick building as reference)  But I don’t think anyone is advocating for that building to be bulldozed.  Historic preservation is difficult and costly but for this particular site it is much valued and desired.   It’s easy for all of us to sit back and say “why can’t it only be 100 units” or “why can’t there be three spaces for each of the units”, but that doesn’t pencil out for the developer.  At this point, it’s a decision between this or continuing to have the Del Monte building as a warehouse with a daily dose of big rig exhaust.

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44 Comments

  1. Interesting how the planning Board and everyone else at City hall is fast tracking that project while residents cannot get Permit to work on their house ,waiting time is an average of 3 months and pay extra because there is no one to oversee the plan …..Have to fill pages after pages of documentation .

    Wait did You say the planning commission is working for Lewis project , but they are giving the lame excuse no one is there to oversee the plan , Either you are working for the City or you are working for the developer , Conflict of interest anyone ? Last time they looked into it was flat out corruption , not saying , just asking
    I smell a rotten smoking herring ……..

    Comment by joel rambaud — September 22, 2014 @ 6:52 am

  2. Joel, multiple things are incorrect in your presentation of what has happened, what is happening and how it compares to the process “resident” have, which I’ll take your word for it, is a three-month permit process.

    1. The Del Monte project hasn’t applied for building permits, so any comparison to the permit process is inaccurate.
    2. The Del Monte project first came to the Planning Board in March, six months ago, so even if these two processes were comparable, the Del Monte “fast track” has taken twice as long as the three-month project you identify.
    3. This process isn’t over tonight, even IF the Planning Board were to approve it, it is still at least two months from completion before they could even start the permit process (and they don’t have construction drawings, so it’s probably 6-12 months away from that phase).
    4. The Planning Board works for nobody, I think you confuse the Board and Planning Staff. Staff works for the city, Tim Lewis pays for the staff time that goes into ensuring the project meets City guidelines and guidance. This is the same as how a residential permit or design review fee pays for the staff time to process that application. Not a different process. The Planning Department pays for it’s staff via fees, no matter who the applicant is.

    I won’t try to dissuade you of your theories, but they’ll seem more credible if they are accurate.

    Comment by jkw — September 22, 2014 @ 7:45 am

  3. thanks John. Joel, you under cut what may be some legitimate concerns with reckless accusations. I can cut you slack for English being your second language, but as I read your posts they often come off as being written in some sort of breathless hurry like you just can’t write your thoughts fast enough.

    John has already attempted to clarify the apples and oranges in your comparison, but t0 add to that, the long time plan checker has taken a job in Berkeley, which is too bad because there has been a spike in permit applications and even though Planning had been threatening to hire some help for Jesse, the loss of his institutional memory and people’s familiarity with him will no doubt impede the process down there. In the past the worst case had been 4 to 6 weeks for plan review, once the preliminary zoning approval has taken place. That primary process was guaranteed to be no more than 10 days or there was a fee reduction. No idea if that is still true. This time line is comparable to Berkeley.

    It’s hard not to be anxious about a serious change in M.O. in approving development. I continue to be skeptical of assessment which says some traffic mitigation will be, I forget the term, essentially drivers diverting from primary crossings. That precisely fits the worst case scenario most skeptics complain about when there is an accident in the tubes, but then the daily conditions won’t be worst case scenarios and if there are major accidents in the tube or on 880 will we know the difference?

    While I know that adding just a car or two can cause a bad ripple of musical chairs displacement, because it’s happened on my block recently, it’s never seemed likely to me that parking over flow from Del Monte will cross a major artery causing dozens of people around the park to wander for blocks looking to park, but that’s my gut. Meanwhile Lauren’s strip and paste above does have scientific basis which this morning seems credible enough as I’ve read it. I want to believe this will work and I’m very anxious to see it built ahead of development approval at the Point so that we have a tangible example of development based on new standards. It’s too bad that Joel’s so called fast track will take two years before we can see the outcome.

    In the candidate forum tape Marie Gilmore says that car traffic in the tubes has actually been reduced while transit ridership has increased. A question arises. I’m certain transit ridership has contributed to there not being more traffic in the tubes, but what is the time line for the decrease? If it is before the base was closed when we had thousands of civilian jobs there, is it not a little disingenuous to make such a reference? It would certainly help to have more detail. I admit that left to our imaginations and asked to guess most folks would guess that tube capacities have increased over the last decade, just because, traffic!.

    Comment by MI — September 22, 2014 @ 9:03 am

  4. 350,000 people marching about Climate got literally ten seconds coverage on national news last night. we can all feel better now because 350,000 concerned citizens have spoken up. Also London, Berlin, Paris, Sydney. If we stop adding carbon today we are still so screwed.

    Comment by MI — September 22, 2014 @ 9:10 am

  5. Just a reminder, Alameda has an amazing percentage of transit ridership given that people on both sides of the transit issue (yay transit and yuck transit) both say that the transit options in Alameda are limited and the headways are less than ideal. Compared to the ideal transit scenario for commuting, a Bart station, Alameda does a whole lot better than a ton of cities with Bart stations.

    As to tube traffic, I’m not sure which data points Marie Gilmore is citing from, but colloquially, I’m typically able to get through the tube in less time than Google says that it should take me. I’m tracking the data, but it’s not quite ready for prime time just yet since I want to get more data points.

    Comment by Lauren Do — September 22, 2014 @ 9:27 am

  6. People living in these units will sometimes have visitors who will need places to park their cars. Sometimes, the residents will have parties with even more cars associated. What parking provisions will there be for these cars? If the streets surrounding the Del Monte Building are already crowded, especially in the evenings with the cars of the current residents, I can see where there could be a problem even if the mitigation provisions work out perfectly. Please don’t tell me we can’t plan for exceptions and these circumstances are exceptions – they are part of normal living.

    Comment by Nancy Hird — September 22, 2014 @ 11:46 am

  7. The argument can be made that the Del Monte project will mostly attract young tech workers from San Francisco who are being priced out of SF, who may be much more likely than your typical Alamedan to make use of public transit. However, possibly one of the advantages they hope to gain by moving from SF is that it will be cheaper and easier to keep a car in Alameda for weekend trips, etc. This means that if they park those cars in the neighborhood, and use public transit to and from work, their cars will sit there for days at a time. I don’t think it’s a deal breaker for the project, but I do understand the concerns of area homeowners. Parking was no problem on my street until the Kaiser office opened. Then many of its employees began parking on our street. A number of houses on our street do not have a single off-street parking space. At least at the end of the work day and on weekends, our parking frees up but this will not necessarily be the case around the Del Monte project.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — September 22, 2014 @ 12:34 pm

  8. My neighbors have parties from time to time. I sometimes have to walk a block. Big deal. If your criterion for approving a development is that no one is inconvenienced, ever, then nothing would get approved. Which I suspect is what you and your little group would like.

    That said, and turning to serious objections, the transit planning could be a lot more ambitious and thought of at the city level. Emeryville set up its shuttle system. The aim should be to get existing residents, not just new ones, out of their cars and onto buses, bikes and ferries. It’s very doable. And you don’t need to get too many to have a big effect of traffic at peak times: the effect of the marginal driver is greater than that of the earlier one.

    Comment by BC — September 22, 2014 @ 12:59 pm

    • 8. I don’t know what “little group” you think I am part of but my thought was strictly as an individual and it is just a consideration. For some, walking a block is a hardship. Be very grateful you can walk that block because there is a big group of people who can not.

      Comment by Nancy Hird — September 22, 2014 @ 1:10 pm

  9. I imagine that for folks that may have difficulty walking a block, they would not rely on street parking in the first place since no one is guaranteed a street parking spot for their personal vehicle.

    Comment by Lauren Do — September 22, 2014 @ 1:20 pm

  10. What Lauren said. I am indeed lucky that, unless it’s been a very good party, I can walk a block. And I think disabled people get reserved on street spots if they need them. To reiterate my question, Nancy, is your criterion for approval of anything being built that no one ever has to walk an extra block?

    Comment by BC — September 22, 2014 @ 1:27 pm

  11. When I lived in SF North Beach you were lucky to get parking 5 -10 blocks away and it was like 2 hours parking unless you had a parking permit for that area. In the paper the other day, it said parking spaces in NYC were running $1,000,000.00.

    Comment by Joseph — September 22, 2014 @ 1:29 pm

  12. I just looked at the TDM for the Del Monte site, they’re also bringing on-line — in addition to the on site parking — 80 new street parking spaces between the Del Monte side of Buena Vista and the Clement Street extension. So a total of 495 spaces for 308 units and a set aside of 45 units for the commercial/retail space not included in that 495 total.

    Comment by Lauren Do — September 22, 2014 @ 4:24 pm

  13. Lauren – just want to make sure people understand about the on street parking. Any on street parking will not be considered dedicated parking for the project and won’t in any way be reserved for the residents or people going to the commercial space. Those spaces will available to the public just like any other on street parking in the city.

    Comment by david burton — September 22, 2014 @ 4:47 pm

  14. I think BC was referring to this little group, http://alamedacitizenstaskforce.org/blog/. Maybe residents of this place ought to sign a covenant which says they promise not to have parties, like a home owner association or something.

    Comment by MI — September 22, 2014 @ 5:35 pm

  15. post # 9, are you serious, there are a big group of people “who cannot walk a block”, can you give us some statistics on that one. I still remember your 30 minute drive from the West End to the East End. It still takes me from 12 to 15 minutes no matter what time of day it is.

    Comment by John P. — September 22, 2014 @ 6:07 pm

  16. #16 – Off the top of my head, I do not know the number of people who have blue disabled placards or the percentage of Californians the DMV has issued them to. I believe this is not a small group of people.

    Comment by Nancy Hird — September 22, 2014 @ 11:25 pm

  17. Disabled placards are issued not only to people in wheelchairs but those with heart and lung ailments and emotional disorders and all other kinds of disabilities that are not visible to the occasional observer. It’s incredibly callous for some people to assume that just because hopping on a bike or walking a few blocks is no big deal for them that it’s an viable option for everybody and, if it isn’t they’ll just have to limit their world to places where there are ample handicapped spaces, like Walgreens’ parking lot. Perhaps some elderly residents or those prone to panic attacks will feel trapped if they are afraid to walk a distance from their homes alone at night.

    Again, I don’t think anyone is saying the project should be scrapped because of this issue, but don’t minimize the anxiety some people feel surrounding it, especially if you don’t live close enough to the proposed project to be impacted by it. It’s good to know that more parking spaces available to everyone will be created. Maybe the nail biters’ fears are unfounded but we won’t know for sure until the project is finished. A little respect for people in different circumstances than yours is “a healthy alternative”. too.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — September 23, 2014 @ 8:09 am

  18. It’s also exploitative to use disabled people as a cover for one’s NIMBYism.

    Comment by BC — September 23, 2014 @ 8:32 am

  19. Denise, cry me a river when you are to lazy to park in your garage. How many handicap people live around you and you are taking their parking because you have an able garage but don’t choose it use it.

    Comment by Joseph — September 23, 2014 @ 8:47 am

  20. Alameda has about 4,800 disabled parking placards registered in 94501 and 94502.

    Comment by jkw — September 23, 2014 @ 12:44 pm

  21. #19 – The project is neither in my backyard nor Denise’s. I do however, think development projects should give strong consideration to those who will be negatively impacted. In this case, it is the neighborhoods near the Del Monte Building. I merely was suggesting the new residents living in the new units will impact parking beyond their personal use. I was not saying the project should be scrapped because of it. I am also happy to learn that more general street parking is being created. I also think it would be great if the project would contract with Wind River for some of their parking spaces, especially during non- business hours. #16 – The off-topic discussion of the time it takes to drive from the east to the west ends really depends upon your starting and ending point.

    Comment by Nancy Hird — September 23, 2014 @ 1:10 pm

  22. If you are targeting “Millennials” you can bet they aren’t going to ‘pay’ for a parking space. They have found ways to get things for free their entire lives. Starting with Napster. Believe me they have an ‘app’ for everything.

    Comment by frank M — September 23, 2014 @ 1:55 pm

  23. Actually I think it’s the opposite. I think millennials are willing to pay for convenience, which is why you see services like Uber, Homejoy, Grocery Delivery (pick your poison), Spoon Rocket, Munchery, Zirx etc and so forth. Millennials are the instant gratification generation, they are not going circle the block looking for “free” parking.

    Comment by Lauren Do — September 23, 2014 @ 1:59 pm

  24. #22, yes Nancy that’s why I gave you a 3 minute variance. Its still 12 to 15 min. unless you walk.

    Comment by John P. — September 23, 2014 @ 3:46 pm

  25. 20. My garage was built in 1920. Unless I buy a Mini Cooper, I can’t park in it.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — September 24, 2014 @ 8:33 am

  26. 19. & 20. Ah, the personal attack! Always a good sign that one’s argument is beginning to make sense. You might want to check your facts, though. A really good zinger doesn’t distort what someone has said, it throws the opponent’s words back verbatim.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — September 24, 2014 @ 8:45 am

  27. As I recall, well over 1/3 of our population is over 55. People who move to Alameda tend to stay, and they tend to stay in their first purchased home. The best planned developments follow the plan just until the homes are sold. For example, HBI was planned at a time when it was believed that smart people who bought there would not have many children, so the property that was to be devoted to schools, library, kid friendly parks, etc., was swapped and minimized. The land for a high school was used for something else. There was to be excellent transit, a bus or two for the few students, shuttle and hydro ferry. No need for extra parking, there would be no extra cars. Parties? Well, at the club, of course, so only 2-4 guest spots for deliveries and maybe a table for bridge. Have you been to Bay Farm lately? Does it look to you like an adult only, car free development? Of course not! People moved in and did what people always do. They stayed, bought bunk beds instead of move out. Turned the garage into storage/playroom. We’ve bought/renegotiated/swapped to get some kiddie parks, schools, etc., over the years. With one side of the street reserved for mail delivery, and minimal sidewalks, having events in homes is a struggle, but they do it. Instead of drubbing Nancy and Denise, come up with mitigation. All this eco-friendly, public transit reliant planning is wonderful, but not new. We’ve got studies for everything but what people actually do once they’ve bought. That’s not new either.
    PS: What good is it to manage to walk the three blocks to the bus, if I am then too tired and sore to enjoy the event and can’t carry anything with me because I need my hands to hold me up on the bus or BART?
    PPS: East Shore to Atlantic Gate, 25mph, red lights and peds crossing = (+/-) 28 – 33min.

    Comment by Li_ — September 24, 2014 @ 9:33 am

  28. Let me help Nancy out here: People who might not be able to walk a block [including without excruciating pain] include: Anyone who has had a hip or knee replacement, that did not improve their walking ability. Anyone who needs a hip or knee replacement in the near future. Anyone with hardware in their spine. Anyone who has had or needs spine surgery. Scoliotics. Anyone with failed orthopedic surgery. [There’s a reason orthopedics is the most desirable specialty for medical school graduates: there is always a huge need for it]. These folks usually have a hard time getting on & off public transit [other than BART] as well. And then there are those with congestive heart failure and/or COPD. [Do they make oxygen tank brackets for bicycles?]
    It’s wonderful that our Liberal Genius hasn’t fallen into any of these categories…yet. Remember most people who cannot walk a block today weren’t born that way. it might be you in the future [after you get hit by a car or fall off your bike.]

    It is worth noting that all Del Monte units will be built with universal access. Some thought should be given to where the residents who need that access are going to realistically park.

    Comment by vigi — September 24, 2014 @ 9:44 am

  29. #26 Denise, go back and read your posts on “Building Blocks” you never said your garage was to small, your comment #”21.Every time you come home? Open the door, put in the car, close the door. What a nuisance. It’s not like it’s going to snow or anything. Waste of good storage space IMHO.” If the opening is too small widen it, that is what my grandparents and dad did to their garages of their 1920, 1930 homes…and since you got such a bargan on your house paying only $225,000 it shouldn’t be a problem and while doing it you can get an automatic door opener. Just sayin’.

    Comment by Joseph — September 24, 2014 @ 10:23 am

  30. #28 Great post Li!!!

    Comment by frank M — September 24, 2014 @ 11:06 am

  31. #25 – Please note the PPS in #28 – exactly my starting and ending points. Thank you Li and Vigi

    Comment by Nancy Hird — September 24, 2014 @ 11:16 am

  32. 28. “For example, HBI was planned at a time when it was believed that smart people who bought there would not have many children, so the property that was to be devoted to schools, library, kid friendly parks, etc., was swapped and minimized.” are you kidding us? First off that sounds like a bit of revisionism, but if Cowan actually said such things, which he may have, he didn’t believe them and the number of bedrooms in many of those houses would indicate that those “smart people” without kids were expected to have their parents and siblings living with them. You don’t need a bunk bed in four bedroom home unless you have 10 kids.

    “All this eco-friendly, public transit reliant planning is wonderful, but not new. We’ve got studies for everything but what people actually do once they’ve bought. That’s not new either.” Don’t try to use HBI to meet the criteria for transit reliant planning. As for mitigation, Lauren wrote above: “So here are the sticking points for most people because they either don’t understand or don’t believe that the plans will work even though they have proven successful in many many other developments”. Read or re-read the excerpts from staff below that sentence in the post. If you don’t buy it then maybe there is nothing anybody can do to satisfy you. You are also welcome to disregard that climate change.

    As for drubbing Nancy, the party comment simply invites incredulity, period. Sorry I can’t restrain my disdain, but it is silly.

    On new development, mitigating impacts to schools of increased student population, for all the TMAs and fees, direct impacts of development on school population seems like something which are often muddled or not addressed clearly. Catellus did mitigate with Ruby Bridges but with other closures in west end it’s been confusing. That’s just my view, which may lack some depth.

    “PPS: East Shore to Atlantic Gate, 25mph, red lights and peds crossing = (+/-) 28 – 33min.” if that is based on a stop watch and is not just a statement, then great, I can accept that but not as something awful, just a fact. If it takes that long to go the full distance from Bay Farm bridge to East Gate, as opposed to Park to Webster at 30mph , it is not the product of crawling traffic jam caused by over development, but a) driving 25 MPH, b) waiting for strollers at cross walks and c) maybe a few lights added for safety since 1950s. Seems like turning back the clock is the only thing which will satisfy some folks, but humanity is being hurled into the future. Kicking and screaming won’t change that.

    Comment by MI — September 24, 2014 @ 1:52 pm

  33. Actually #28 just because 1/3 of the island is over 55 doesn’t mean they can’t walk. My dad who is 85 would be insulted. Up in his 70’s he was jogging 5-10 miles a day and skiing 3-4 a week. Our generation is much different then other generations as people don’t tend to stay in one place any longer. I lived in 9 towns/cities before graduation high school. I am actually close to where I started, born in Placerville but we lived in Pollock Pines (Kings Fire).

    Comment by Joseph — September 24, 2014 @ 2:57 pm

  34. re: #28. “PPS: East Shore to Atlantic Gate, 25mph, red lights and peds crossing = (+/-) 28 – 33min.”

    I ran out of paint so I took the long route to Kelly Moore on Webster from Oak near Park.

    I was actually prepared to be humbled but had my mind blown. I was going to drive Otis from Bay Farm Bridge past Southshore mall to 8th down to Central and west, but thought it might be better to drive right down the gut of the island and going 25 mph on Otis is taking your life in your hands with all the 45 mph stuff. It is challenging to maintain 25 MPH. I do it on Clinton, but on four lane like Encinal or Lincoln the flow is faster. 28 seems to make a huge difference in terms of the flow and average speed and timing of lights, but I maintained 25 on this experiment and where I may have drifted to 26, I figure it was evened out by the lights I hit, like at Chestnut where going 25 instead of 28 meant I caught the yellow. Waited on red at Grand and hit yellow again at Central. Just as a note, the speed control radar near Chestnut Station on the way back read I was going 30 then 24 as I passed, with nobody behind me. My speedometer said 28 mph. West bound for test, I did a good job avoiding left turn traffic at Central and 8th. That and pulling out first in right hand lane at Webster and merging left to avoid double parked Fed Ex truck across the intersection were my only evasive maneuvers. Lucked out on cross walk traffic.

    Jetta 4 cylinder diesel station wagon, automatic transmission. Tire pressure 28 psi. 4:01 p.m. I did a U-turn on green at Encinal east bound at Fernside, one block from the actual East Shore. Going at controlled speed of 25 mph and even pulling over at Encinal High to be passed, I arrived at the intersection of Main and Appezzato BLVD. ( East Gate) at 4:13. Twelve minutes total. John P. is dead on. 33 minutes is almost triple my time.

    Comment by MI — September 24, 2014 @ 4:58 pm

  35. #35 – I am amazed you could do that in 12 minutes at that time of day. If I take the northern route and ignore the speed limit (yet still within reason and definitely less than 35, I could maybe make that in 15 minutes and only taking the northern route where there are fewer obstacles. . I get hung up in school areas because parents are picking up children and around Park and Webster Streets where I may have to wait as long as two or three traffic signal changes. I still maintain the average is closer to 30 minutes taking Central Ave from far east to far west in the late afternoon. Now, can we please move on?

    Comment by Nancy Hird — September 24, 2014 @ 6:11 pm

  36. #36 no we can’t move on because your figures just don’t match anything reasonable. Today at 4:06pm I entered Alameda on Tilden Way and drove down Lincoln to 3rd st. I arrived there at 4:17 pm , took my time and actually had a couple of cars pass me. How in the heck can you turn that into over 30 minutes.

    Comment by John P. — September 24, 2014 @ 7:33 pm

  37. #29, I have had a hip replacement, a shoulder replacement, hernia”s and many other things go wrong, I’m 71 I can still walk 3 miles a day. Just because your old and beat up doesn’t mean you give up.

    Comment by John P. — September 24, 2014 @ 7:45 pm

  38. I’m not a perfect driver but I make a conscious effort to obey the 25 mph, and often use cruise control to keep it within range. John’s estimate is generally correct for traversing the main island at 30 mph. However IF you’re in rush hour and IF you stretch the trip from Bay Farm to the base (I have done it many times with soccer carpooling) and IF you have bad luck with lights, and IF you stay at 25, it can take 30 minutes on a bad day. It does so often enough for me to budget that amount of time for each trip. As with most controversies, the truth here lies in the middle.

    Comment by dave — September 25, 2014 @ 5:28 am

  39. O.K. Dave, where on Bay Farm and where on the base, also what are you considering rush hour. I want to try it just to see for myself.

    Comment by John P. — September 25, 2014 @ 8:58 am

  40. Specifically, from Harrington Field on Bay farm to either the soccer fields near the Atlantic gate or the field next to Ruby Bridges. By “rush hour” I mean btw 5-6pm. To be clear, it only takes 30 mins on a bad day, 20 is typical, but it’s been 30 enough times to cause me to budget 30 minutes to ensure punctuality.

    I don’t drive during the morning rush hour, so don’t have any experience to compare, but I suspect it would take even longer then, as it’s rush hour for both school & commutes.

    Comment by dave — September 25, 2014 @ 9:12 am

  41. my initial gut reaction to 30 minutes being funky was based on a decade of driving kids from Oak street to Paden school which may be a half mile from East Gate. I also did a lot of pick up at 5 to 6 from after care. always seemed like 15 minute trip even at those hours, though I’m certain I drove 30 a lot on Encinal, which frankly doesn’t seem excessive. The trouble with cruise control which I considered using for controlled experiment is that every time you break you must reset. Coming from Bay Farm may take up to 30 minutes, but is that awful?

    “PPS: East Shore to Atlantic Gate, 25mph, red lights and peds crossing = (+/-) 28 – 33min.” nah.

    Comment by MI — September 26, 2014 @ 12:35 pm

  42. The minivan I use has a very simple cruise function, just a short & easy thumbstroke on the steering wheel. It’s a snap, though yes, on many other cars it’s much less ergonomically easy. My Jeep is a stickshift and it’s easy to maintain 25 by being high in 2nd or low in 3rd gear.

    Is that awful? Well, it isn’t pleasant, and it makes it very hard to take seriously the plans for new housing that backers insist will not create gridlock.

    Comment by dave — September 26, 2014 @ 12:46 pm

  43. Dave, just googled your drive from Harrington to Atlantic and Main. 5.6 miles, 18 minutes at this time 3:22pm. 15 minutes without traffic. but then what does google know. I will now wait and try again at 5:pm. Then I will actually drive the route just to see for my self.

    to be sure new housing and more people will create more traffic, some people can’t live with that, I guess I can.

    Comment by John P. — September 26, 2014 @ 3:28 pm


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