Blogging Bayport Alameda

September 24, 2014

Cross Alameda Trail Mix

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Point, Development, Public Resources — Lauren Do @ 6:04 am

Also on the Transportation Commission agenda tonight (in addition to the Del Monte Transportation Demand Management plan) is the Cross Alameda Trail aka that strip of land that borders Appezatto Parkway that has been sitting there for years and being, mainly, used as a parking lot.

For a kick, this is why no one is ever 100% happy with ANY project in Alameda, even one that should be relatively straight forward like building a trail that is open space and super low impact.  In the compilation of the public comments about the plan here’s the section on benches:

Regarding the cross Alameda trail, I would recommend senior friendly benches about
every 1000 feet or so. As we get older, it is important to have a place to rest on a trip.
http://blog.aarp.org/2013/04/15/10-principles-for-creating-age-friendly-communities/
(email by Steve Gerstle on 7/23/14)
• Please no benches (Lidia Zaragoza, Summerhouse – Comment Card)
• No benches due to potential night time usage (Rebecca Heyman – Comment Card)
• One request is: Behind our home, could you kindly ensure no benches, nor congregation
points? Reason being: Our master bedroom looks out over the proposed area. We would
rather not have people congregate in the evenings, so close to our bedroom window.
(safety & noise issues) (Email by Keith Weitzen – 7/28/14)
• Rest areas with benches are good for walkers. (Dorothy Freeman – Comment Card)

Two comment cards for benches and three comments pleading for no benches.  I imagine those pleading for no benches are fearful that either (1) kids will hang out or (2) homeless people will sleep on them.   I’ll point out that the linear park that lines Main Street currently has benches without a sleeping problem.  And kids will congregate at benches, I’m not sure how you can stop them, but I think a trail without benches precisely for seniors and even little kids to use is shortsighted.  The main thing to discourage night time hang outs is that the trail will not be well-lit.

Comments from this blog post were also included in the compilation as well, so that was sort of neat to see for those that were quoted.

The biggest sticking point for this Trail — not because the trail will necessarily do anything different to that stretch other than build something which will eliminate “parking” for the Boys and Girls Club and Nea/ACLC — is the access to Nea/ACLC and the B&G Club.   Right now because there is nothing there those two facilities encroach on to the Cross Alameda Trail space because they can.  However, given that the City is putting in a “fix” of sorts for the trail, it appears that the B&G Club and Nea/ACLC are taking this opportunity to deal with some of their access issues, especially around pick up and drop off time.

In the meantime, I’m going to leave these two links right here from another school which draws students from a wide variety of locations and not just from the neighborhood and so has to deal with coordinating transportation within an existing residential neighborhood.  Head Royce one, and Head Royce two.

I’ll also point out, because it was brought up in the collected comments, a staff member at the B&G Club noted that it’s really dangerous for their afterschool program — which walks students from Ruby Bridges to the B&G Club — and they have to make a longer detour to Brush Street to get to the B & G Club.   The Cross Alameda Trail will actually be safer (and shorter) because it will allow for safe pedestrian access from Appezzato from the trail itself.

Also, the B&G Club and Nea/ACLC are requesting a new vehicle access point from Appezzato to their site which would bisect the Cross Alameda Trail.  I would highly recommend against this and use the Appezzato entrance for Hometown Donuts as an example.  Right now Hometown Donuts, because there is a barrier, requires vehicles to make a U-turn at Main Street if they are heading west on Appezatto to access the property.  Try it some time if you have a chance, it’s not that straightforward and, if I’m not mistaken, I don’t believe that U-turns are necessarily allowed at either of those intersections, but it’s been a while since I’ve checked so if anyone has looked lately and can clarify that would be great.

If a similar set up is created for the B&G Club and ACLC/Nea sites it will have similar access issues requiring cars headed West on Appezzato to U-turn at 3rd Street to access the entry point if one is created from Appezzato.  Right now lots of kids cross Appezzato at 3rd to get to Ruby Bridges, there is a crossing guard currently at that site to facilitate safe crossings.  In order to make it convenient for one site, it might end up creating safety problems for another site.

Anyway, it’s definitely an issue that the City should help the B&G Club and ACLC/Nea address, but perhaps there should be an examination of some of the ways that other schools that pull from geographically diverse populations have helped to mitigate their transportation impact.

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25 Comments

  1. The main thing to discourage night time hang outs is that the trail will not be well-lit.

    ===================================================================

    Lack of lighting will probably ENCOURAGE nighttime hangouts.

    Comment by dave — September 24, 2014 @ 6:12 am

  2. There are trails on Harbor Bay that run right past homes with lots of glass windows facing them, I don’t remember the exact location but I think there’s one that starts at the end of Mecartney. There is also a trail and a bench or two along Eastshore Drive. Maybe the residents there could chime in on any problems or lack thereof. Every benefit can have its drawbacks. It’s not a bad idea to hash it out. Isn’t that why they call for public comment in the first place?

    Comment by Denise Shelton — September 24, 2014 @ 9:14 am

  3. 1,2: Benches are a normal and customary part of “street furniture.” Look at Park and Webster Streets, our city parks, etc. There are many ways to deal more effectively with people sleeping on benches than to eliminate them entirely. Arm rests in the middle, sectional or backless benches, and other design options abound. It’s not like the Cross Alameda Trail will have queen beds alongside the trail…

    Benches–especially raised benches that are more accessible to seniors and those with mobility impairments–are a key support feature for some Cross Alameda Trail users: not every user will be a fit twenty-something cyclist or jogger. ADA access has been a key element of the Cross Alameda Trail since Jean Sweeney and others began working on it over a decade ago, and eliminating the benches would be one way to try and have any federal funding for the project taken away.

    (BTW, what is wrong with letting people SLEEP? Isn’t that what the complaining people in the apartments are doing? Is sleep really that offensive that it should be prohibited in public? The people who find the view of someone sleeping to be so troublesome might want to either close their curtains or get some kind of a life. If they find homeless people so offensive, may I remind those with objections that poverty is NOT a crime, and the Bible (in both OT and NT) clearly states that we are to provide for the sojourners, the poor, and the disadvantaged.)

    Comment by Jon Spangler — September 24, 2014 @ 9:35 am

  4. There are plenty of apartments waiting for you in the Tenderloin, St. Jon.

    Comment by dave — September 24, 2014 @ 9:40 am

  5. Here is a link showing a cross-section of the planned trail: http://thealamedan.org/news/long-sought-cross-alameda-trail-underway
    For the most part, I like the plan but I think they should change two things.

    First, there is no need for a separated jogging pathway. Joggers and pedestrians can easily co-exist on one walkway. There’s no need for a separate 7 foot wide jogging path. I would rather see that 7 foot strip as open space with plantings, which would also serve as a buffer between the houses and the pathway.

    Second (and correct me if this info is wrong — this is what they told me at the last meeting), the area listed as “open space to remain” on the north side of the trail, is actually in the works to not be open space but rather a paved bus rapid transit lane. There is no need for bus rapid transit along this corridor. A regular bus line on the regular existing road is sufficient. I would rather see this as true open space with trees and plantings and (in my ideal world), a meandering dirt trail for trail runners and off-road biking. Per the existing plan, we would have mostly pavement: a paved walking trail, a paved bike lane, a paved jogging trail and a paved bus rapid transit, we will basically have a 70 foot wide strip of pavement. Too much pavement. I really think the cross-alameda trail here should be more of an extension of Jean Sweeney Park with trails (paved and dirt) through a natural area, rather than a big paved strip.

    Comment by Aaron Thies — September 24, 2014 @ 10:30 am

  6. I agree with Aaron about the separated Jogging and walkway, there is no reason they can’t co-exist or just make it wider and bikes can use it to. If it is like the linear park that lines Main Street, it will probably have 50 people a day actually use it. We would use it to walk to Starbucks. To be honest who wants to jog along a busy parkway with car exhausts on one side and ugly apartments on the other. My friend drives to South shore to jog. If I am wrong make it wider later.

    They originally planned to have buses going down that area. They already had the bus shelters installed along Bayport but AC Transit changed the routes and they took the shelters down, but the pads are still there.

    Comment by Joseph — September 24, 2014 @ 11:11 am

  7. I also agree with Aaron on his vision for the trail. Aaron, just wondering what your thoughts are about the benches?

    Comment by Karen Bey — September 24, 2014 @ 11:41 am

  8. I don’t see a problem with benches. If it turns out that benches create a nuisance to the residents, they could be removed. I had always envisioned that this would be a green corridor with some trails and paths through it, not a fully paved transit zone. The way it’s drawn up now would be useful for transportation I guess, just not very pretty or natural looking.

    Comment by AJ — September 24, 2014 @ 12:11 pm

  9. I have never head of any problems with the existing benches along Main Street. I do see people young and old walking on those paths daily. We do need to have benches along Appezzatto Parkway.

    Comment by John P. — September 24, 2014 @ 1:50 pm

  10. There is a bench in front of the College of Alameda and there used to be a couple of more when the bus shelters were in front of Bayport, but I don’t see anything wrong with benches along the trial, but right now unless I have the dogs walking with me I walk on the College of Alameda side because there is more shade.

    It will take 5 to 10 years before the landscaping to grow enough to give shade. John P. you seem to be all over town. There is nothing wrong with that. In Alameda I tend to stay within 2 miles where I live. I use to go to the dog park at Washington park sometimes but now we just walk them around the neighborhood or go to the dog park on Main St.

    Comment by Joseph — September 24, 2014 @ 2:41 pm

  11. Joseph, like you I’m pretty much a West End guy, sometimes I can go 3 or 4 days and never get past Webster st. I live by Encinal High. It’s just that I have been here 71 years, and now I’m retired. I walk down Main St. and all over the base on most days.

    Comment by John P. — September 24, 2014 @ 7:21 pm

  12. I am 54 and deciding if I want to retire…I did a little bit of modeling in my early 40’s so I could go back to working out and doing that…who knows maybe Abercrombie and Finch will hire me. Maybe we could do an older male/female set for A&F on the new cross Alameda trail…”Bringing sexy back”.

    John I always thought you lived on the east side.

    Comment by Joseph — September 24, 2014 @ 8:03 pm

  13. Hello…..everyone knows John P. lives on the West End….do you read what others write or do you just comment…….at this point I rest my case….

    Comment by J.E.A. — September 24, 2014 @ 9:07 pm

  14. LEA, sorry I am not on here all the time just recently…I think there was about a year or more I didn’t even get on…I don’t know where everyone lives…and I don’t know who in the heck you are. Your making false assumptions…at this point I rest my case.

    Comment by Joseph — September 25, 2014 @ 8:04 am

  15. Joseph….you are correct and I was being snarky…but it seems like your posts are more geared towards the writings on Alameda Peeps not a political blog…..in the future I will try to just overlook your posts….and stop my fingers from typing….

    Comment by J.E.A. — September 25, 2014 @ 8:29 am

  16. I didn’t know this was a political blog, if you notice it started out as a blog about Bayport.

    Comment by Joseph — September 25, 2014 @ 9:23 am

  17. This is a blog FROM Bayport. It is rarely about Bayport. It seems to be about how a person living in Bayport views the rest of Alameda.

    Comment by vigi — September 25, 2014 @ 9:30 am

  18. Actually Joseph is right, it started off as a blog about Bayport but sort of organically grew into something else.

    Comment by Lauren Do — September 25, 2014 @ 9:53 am

  19. Didn’t the “about” page originally include the line about how Alamedans are in a “time warp” and not “progressive about development?” If that is so, #17 seems accurate.

    Comment by dave — September 25, 2014 @ 10:03 am

  20. I am aware that it started out about Bayport but these days (and for a very long time) it seems to be Political……you follow the PB, CC, SB ……and you do a damn good job…I may not agree with you at times but I still have to respect the homework you do……

    Comment by J.E.A. — September 25, 2014 @ 10:03 am

  21. That About page was written long after I started Blogging Bayport.

    Comment by Lauren Do — September 25, 2014 @ 10:04 am

  22. if your archives are up to date, you’ve been trumpeting your “progressive” views and whining about the “time warp” since very early on, even if you used other words to do it.

    And why did you take those words off, out of curiosity?

    Comment by dave — September 25, 2014 @ 10:23 am

  23. Because they were old, my feelings on Alameda are a lot more nuanced than when I first moved here, and people like you fixate on that instead of the content of my posts.

    Comment by Lauren Do — September 25, 2014 @ 10:25 am

  24. The content of your posts still seethe with that attitude.

    Comment by dave — September 25, 2014 @ 10:27 am

  25. I’d love to continue a back and forth “am not” “are too” with you, but suffice it to say, I think you may read into what I write what you want because you inherently disagree with me on issues of development. It’s probably easier to view me as someone with an elitist attitude or someone that is trying to foist my beliefs on people than to try to take it as simply someone sending a message that is different than the message that you would prefer sent about development issues in Alameda.

    Comment by Lauren Do — September 25, 2014 @ 10:33 am


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