Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 7, 2017

Make it big

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

I’m not sure how many people are following along with the Transportation Demand Management (TDM) plan that is going before the City Council tonight.  I’ve not been doing a great job at tracking this topic probably because there are a lot of other much more hyper informed people paying better attention that I ever could.

This group of activists is asking the City Council to think much much bigger than it has in the past about how to approach some of the transportation issues in Alameda.  And this particular topic is even more relevant than ever considering the recent spate of car vs. pedestrian accidents than have been plaguing our city.   We’re so concerned about how LimeBikes are parked, but not as concerned that some of our streets are hostile to anybody not in a car.

Anyway, if you don’t have time to put in your own detailed letter to the Council, consider signing on to this letter.

The highlights are below, but you have to click through to get the full plan proposed:

Time to Go Big on Transportation in Alameda!

On November 7, the Alameda City Council will be voting on a plan for transportation. Now is the time for our city leaders to think of the future and think big.Doing so will ensure that the Alameda of the future has more and better transportation options. Ones support people traveling where they want need to go and connect the Island with the mainland with our first ever lifeline structure, providing emergency access on and off the island in the case of a major earthquake.

Let the Alameda City Council know that you want them to vote to give Alamedan’s real transportation choices and to direct staff to add two projects to the proposed plan.

Start the process for a new walking and biking bridge across the estuary and a west-end lifeline, transit-only tube. Let’s plan for better options!

Prioritize a transit plan that provides frequent, convenient and easy to use transit around Alameda and connects with BART and other regional transportation.

Our success today, with the Transportation Choices plan will literally lay the groundwork for creating a community that maintains a high quality of life, vibrant street life and easy transportation for commuters and in-city travelers.

Also, looks like Trish Spencer has tapped her latest pick for the Planning Board. As I mentioned, she skipped over nominating someone at the last City Council meeting:

She did not offer a nomination of the remaining interested candidates on the list on Tuesday night which means that we should expect to see another name added to the list if Trish Spencer’s slow growth supporters can find someone to put their name in the ring.

And turns out Trish Spencer managed to cajole someone into throwing her name into the hat at the very last minute.  Like yesterday.  The only new addition to this list is Sylvia Gibson.   The same Sylvia Gibson who was mentioned in this personal grievance airing against Malia Vella.  Sylvia Gibson is also good friends with former City Council candidate Jennifer Roloff, whose opinions on development related topic left much to be desired.

She also referred to the Alameda Point Partners plan as a “short-sighted profit grab.” during the change over from one Council to another, suggesting that the outgoing City Council somehow did not make the decision to select APP with the “long-term good of the community being the #1 priority.”

Sylvia Gibson’s comment regarding the 2015 soft changes in RRAC rules was to talk about how her landlord parents keep their rates below market and should be celebrated for doing so.  Mind you while her application refers to her being a renter, according to publicly available documents, her landlords are: her parents.  So her ability to empathize with renters who don’t have such cozy relationships with their landlords is probably limited.

And of course, Sylvia Gibson’s mother is deeply involved with Alameda Citizens Task Force.  Which means that she carries with her that august group’s stamp of approval.  Which means that the rest of us who care about actually moving development projects forward should be concerned.



  1. What is it with ACT sending their daughters into the fray? It’s odd, and a little bit island-aristocratic.

    Comment by Gaylon — November 7, 2017 @ 6:34 am

    • What a sexist comment, Gaylon! You must be a man. “sending their daughters”? Oh pleeze. Jennifer and Sylvia are adult women, capable of making their own decisions.

      Comment by vigi — November 7, 2017 @ 9:01 am

  2. I commute by bike most days and frequently run local errands on my bike. I pedal at least 300 days a year on Alameda’s streets.

    From that perspective I think the two things most needed for bikers and pedestrians are infrastructure (more bike lanes, better marked crosswalks, etc) and less development. More development will mean more cars — even if those new households conform to our blogmistress’s dream model of lower per household use, it still means more cars. Increasing both number of households and bike/ped safety is an oxymoron.

    Comment by dave — November 7, 2017 @ 7:21 am

    • Actually three things needed: more speed & traffic enforcement. Where has that gone & why?

      That would be a good subject for this blog…

      Comment by dave — November 7, 2017 @ 7:28 am

    • The Dangerous by Design report directly contradicts the idea that less development is some how safer for pedestrians.


      While the available data is not as detailed as the researchers would have liked – there is no reliable nationwide source for non-commuting pedestrian trips, for instance – one takeaway is clear: streets that are designed primarily for speed and traffic volume are dangerous to human life. Those are problems that are inherent in road design. Only a change in the way streets and roads are built will fix it.

      Making streets safer, however, means slowing down cars. A person hit by a driver traveling at 20 miles per hour has a nearly 95 percent chance of surviving. A person hit at 45 miles per hour has a 65 percent chance of being killed.

      Comment by Lauren Do — November 7, 2017 @ 7:35 am

      • streets that are designed primarily for speed and traffic volume are dangerous to human life


        Yes, obviously. That’s why I suggest above improved infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians (that’s the design part) and an end, or a slowdown, to increasing number of cars (that’s the volume part) and increased enforcement (that’s the speed part).

        Comment by dave — November 7, 2017 @ 8:08 am

      • “Those numbers come from a report, “Dangerous by Design 2014” [PDF], just released by the Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition. The report uses a “Pedestrian Danger Index” (PDI) to quantify where in the country a person on foot is most likely to get hit by a person driving a car. The index is calculated using the most recent data from the National Household Travel Survey on:
        “people who commute by foot (an admittedly imperfect source, but the best available)”
        combined with the number of pedestrian fatalities over the most recent five years.”

        Of the bottom 10 [most dangerous] areas, they are all in the Deep South, and 8 of those 10 are in Florida. Most of these are areas too poor to even have sidewalks. Can you spell B-I-A-S?

        These “smartgrowth” articles are usually really dumb.

        Comment by vigi — November 7, 2017 @ 9:24 am

    • Development if appropriately planned = more cars, better designed roads, more bikes in safer lanes
      Are you saying that unsafe traffic conditions would grow exponentially just because there is development? How can you say that? I think that a linear model is more appropriate, but even then, use of design would likely increase safety.
      IF quality safety design is used, the design would increase safety and negate the increased volume of cars and bikes in new, impacted and improved areas.
      I guess you can also say that development will also cause more trash in the streets, but you would have to figure that developers weren’t placing garbage bins in appropriate places and new residents weren’t using a garbage service and that is just silly.

      Comment by michonnekatana — November 8, 2017 @ 12:45 am

      • Traffic congestion (time waiting in traffic) is hyperlinear (grows faster than a constant rate) and looks exponential as the arrival rate of cars approaches the capacity of the road network. Intuitively, part of the reason for this non-linear relationship is due to the fact that increasing congestion also increases sensitivity to variability (like stop and go traffic, cars behaving erratically/impatiently, accidents, etc). So when a road is getting close to capacity, adding relatively small number of cars can have a surprising and disproportionately negative effect on traffic and commute times. Long commute times are generally known to increase commuter fatigue, reduce alertness, and increase erratic behavior, all of which are detrimental to the safety of both drivers and those around them.

        Comment by ant — November 8, 2017 @ 10:21 am

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