Blogging Bayport Alameda

September 6, 2016

Back to work

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

Back to work for the City Council and it’s a huge agenda with a ton of Council Referrals that have been kicked down the road forever.

First issue is the senior housing on Bay Farm that had an opponent on the City Council before it even hit the Planning Board approval stage.  As promised before the Planning Board had even discussed the issue, Trish Spencer has pulled the approvals in her latest Call for Review that just adds to the total number that Frank Matarrese coined as “very few.”   Staff is recommending upholding the Planning Board decision.  Seniors vs jackrabbits, we’ll see who the City Council majority supports.

The Boatworks project is back in both the Closed Session and in the regular agenda.  At this point, this project is such a mess they would be better just starting from scratch.

There’s a TDM agenda item which would be the perfect opportunity for people involved in bike and ped safety to come and talk to the City Council about the problems.  While it’s technically transportation demand management, you can’t get people out of their cars and on to their bikes or walking if there are going to be collisions between bikes and cars frequently.  Last week there a biker (kid) was hit by a car at an intersection that was supposed to be daylighted but the project was compromised because of the possible loss of parking spaces.  More on in another post, but it’s a good time to point out that telling people to get out of their cars won’t be enough if people don’t feel safe on the streets of Alameda in anything but a steel machine.

Then there are all the referrals that may or may not get heard but is technically grandstanding time.  In seven separate referrals there are three from Frank Matarrese, one from Tony Daysog, and three from Trish Spencer.  Because staff doesn’t have enough work to do that they need to accommodate pet projects.  The good thing is that there has to be a majority vote to push these Referrals through as an actual action item, the bad thing is that these three could just team up to vote for one another’s just to get their own issue through even it’s ridiculous.

This is also the first meeting after that huge Alameda Magazine article, should be fun.



  1. Last week there a biker (kid) was hit by a car at an intersection that was supposed to be daylighted but the project was compromised because of the possible loss of parking spaces.

    Do you know where/when this happened? Is the child OK?

    And what does “daylighted” mean?

    Comment by dave — September 6, 2016 @ 7:39 am

    • Not sure if the accident we saw is the same one, but there was a car/bike accident on Grand Street and Lincoln Avenue I believe. A car attempted to go around a car that seemed to be parked, but was simply waiting for the bike to pass. The second car, being impatient, went around the first car and hit the bike rider. I must say though that it is not safe out there to ride bikes and bike lanes do not always solve the problem. Parking spaces are far too close to cross-walks, vehicles are too large and when they park on corners, a driver can not see enough to know what is coming. Bike riders ride all over the place and most do not follow any laws. It’s a mess and without any real teeth in our laws, it will never be solved. As long as we continue to approach issues the same way we always have, we will have problems. To make progress, we must approach things differently. We made a mess of Southshore for example because we approached it as we always do. Got a grant Got to spend it. I will not be bike riding until Alameda attempts to get better, before it gets bigger.

      Comment by Bill2 — September 6, 2016 @ 8:16 am

      • It’s interesting– when the city removed a large tree on our corner, they said it could not be replaced by another tree for safety/daylighting reasons, but there is also a parking space at that corner which, when a truck or SUV is parked in it, creates way more safety hazards than the tree ever did. The tree is gone, but the parking space remains.
        Daylighting intersections is critical, but so is driver education– what happened on Lincoln/Grand happens all the time. Drivers should look at stopped vehicles and think “Hmm…maybe they’ve stopped for a reason?” rather than “That idiot is impeding my progress! Therefore, I must zoom around it!”

        Comment by Kristen — September 6, 2016 @ 10:45 am

  2. ” …telling people to get out of their cars…”

    “Asking”, maybe.” Telling”, never!

    Comment by jack — September 6, 2016 @ 9:28 am

  3. Lauren – I follow (and mostly agree) with your slant on things. And appreciate all you do to keep us posted on what’s happening. I do take issue with you framing the senior housing on Bay Farm waterfront as “seniors versus jack rabbits.” First of all, not all seniors have dementia, and not all with dementia are seniors – so it is a … well… unfair association. The proposed institution is for dementia care, not senior housing, at least as I understand it. My mother and grandmother both had this condition, and being near water would have totally freaked them out – something that those providing care for Alzheimer’s patients are familiar with. Also, though, and more importantly, it is not a population that would particularly appreciate a world class view – they tend to prefer a small, enclosed world, where walking around in a continuous circular hallway, with constantly familiar surroundings, is comforting – not a huge view of tumbling waves, and a lot of wind. I am opposed to the location of this facility for these reasons, and my views have nothing to do with jack rabbits, or nature in general. I don’t think I would object to some other kind of housing – low income or whatever – although I would not want it to block the view of those on the public footpath and bicycles – but I do object to putting a dementia care facility there. It is a waste, and would not serve their interests. I know. I’ve hung out in dementia care facilities for many years.

    Katie Cameron MSW

    Comment by Katie Cameron — September 6, 2016 @ 12:04 pm

    • According to Lauren’s June 22 blog, this would be an assisted living and memory care facility, with the average age of residents estimated to be 82 years. It would include units suitable for a single memory care resident or larger units for couples needing assisted living. The assisted living residents have very different needs from the severely impaired memory care patients, who could also be at different levels of disability. There would probably be some who would benefit from and enjoy the view, The assisted living and memory are facilities would certainly be separate.

      Comment by Lois Pryor — September 6, 2016 @ 2:21 pm

  4. Interesting comment. I assume “MSW” is masters in social work ? Yours are use based arguments as opposed to zoning. I don’t know, nor have I followed the planning board discussion on this. The company doing this has some kind of track record, but no matter how good their care, the bottom line of their business is warehousing people who don’t have much clue where they are. The views may be to make their families feel better. I have heard similar things about Alzheimer patients in particular, that familiarity is important. So when they start describing some memory which does not match their actual setting, it is best to go along and pretend instead of trying to remind them where they are.

    Comment by MI — September 6, 2016 @ 1:31 pm

  5. How interesting – your Mayor just gave a Proclamation to AMP citing, among other things, the UMA and how it brings money to the City. And yet the Mayor is against the UMA.

    Comment by eyeroll — September 6, 2016 @ 7:18 pm

  6. wow its 10:41pm and the council just got done with its first item, ( a referral) . These referrals have got to go, because they are being abused.

    Comment by John P. — September 6, 2016 @ 10:47 pm

  7. For those of you who missed it let me share what the Proclamation said: Whereas, Alameda Municipal Power is a dependable and trustworthy institution whose lower rates translate into significant savings for Alamedans, while directly contributing to the City of Alameda’s economic well-being and quality of life with annual transfers of over $2 million.

    That’s right, “directly contributing to the City of Alameda’s economic well-being and quality of life with annual transfers of over $2 million.” Yet she opposes this transfer.

    Comment by eyeroll — September 7, 2016 @ 8:02 pm

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