Blogging Bayport Alameda

April 8, 2015

We’ll be counting cars

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, Transportation — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

At one of the many March City Council meeting a public speaker, during the non agenda public comment period, decided to get up to talk about your favorite subject and mine: traffic.

In Alameda tradition because he believes that traffic is so bad he was going to do what no one else has thought to do, count cars.   But he did it in a super efficient, super controlled, super scientific way, he sat there with on of those manual clicker thingies that they use on the ferry.  Because no one has come up with a non manual clicker way of counting cars passing through a certain stretch of road.

Anyway.

He told the City Council that he showed up at 7:15 in the morning and counted cars for 2 hours.

Guess how many cars he counted?

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April 2, 2015

Model citizen

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, Transportation — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

It was mention by another commenter that Trish Spencer showed up at the Transportation Commission the other week to speak as Citizen Spencer again to speak out against the protected bike lane proposal on Clement. While her comments were nothing surprising, it sort of falls in line with typical Trish Spencer protocol for any controversial item which can be broken down thusly:

  1. Complain that the public outreach efforts were insufficient
  2. Complain that the results of the public outreach efforts were somehow incomplete because of complained insufficiency
  3. Use an unrelated anecdotal example as proof of the lack of need for whatever is being considered at the time.
  4. Lather, rinse, repeat

It doesn’t even matter if she’s come in at the beginning of the process or at the end of the process, you can pretty much count on her to go through the four steps consistently for any major (and sometimes minor) issue.

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March 31, 2015

Life in the bike lane

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda-ish, Transportation — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

That article that commenter MI posted in yesterday’s comment is nothing short of excellent, I wanted to excerpt a few passages for people who may not commit to reading the whole thing.  It’s mostly about Oakland, but given the Alameda has even better terrain and a built in mostly 25 mph speed limit island wide, it’s a shame that we don’t do a better job with bicycle infrastructure to further encourage increased bicycle usage:

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March 30, 2015

Drive my car2go

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, Transportation — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

Is it just me or does it feel like there has been MORE City Council meetings than ever before? Maybe it just feels like it, I should go back and check, but I’ll just go with the old Alameda standard of if something feels like it’s true than it must be.

Wednesday night there is yet another City Council meeting. This is not your regularly scheduled meeting but rather a meeting that is a continuation of a meeting from a few weeks ago because the Density Bonus discussion went super long and if the City Council went over 11:00 p.m. at another meeting then they would have to add more meeting for the rest of the year. So, they paused that meeting and scheduled it to continue tomorrow, which seems like an incredible shady thing to do and not at all in the spirit of open government, but apparently is technically legal.

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March 25, 2015

Parked outside

Filed under: Alameda, Public Resources, Transportation — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

Tonight there is a hot agenda item at the Transportation Commission which involved parking around the Harbor Bay Ferry.

Let me lay down a few obvious things, increased ferry ridership is a great thing.  One more rider on the ferry means one less person crossing a bridge.  I assume that person is crossing a bridge because if they lived near the tube they’d be using the other ferry terminal.  The ferry is an amazing way to commute because it’s probably one of the least stressful ways to commute.  There’s almost always a seat and it feels incredibly civilized.

Anyway, there is currently spillover parking into the residential neighborhood which I am both sympathetic but also apathetic to and wonder if that’s even possible.  On one hand, it must suck because apparently the mail people on Harbor Bay are quite aggressive and do not play around if cars block mail boxes, on the other hand, if they are public streets they really are no different than the residential neighborhoods that surround major commercial districts like Park and Webster Streets.

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March 23, 2015

WETA workshop

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Point, Development, Public Resources, Transportation — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

Now that WETA actually has a lease with the City of Alameda they can begin presenting designs for public consideration even though some folks thought that WETA should have started the process of presenting designs for a parcel of land they had yet to have control of before they were actually given control of that property.  Most people like to present real designs for consideration if they (1) own the land in questions or (2) have been given some indication, like a lease, by the current property owner — and apparently WETA has that same policy too even though they seem to be getting grief for not being more proactive about having a crap load of community meetings about land they neither owned nor had control over.

Anywho.

Renderings follow:
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March 10, 2015

99% of the time, you’re hard work

Super huge agenda tonight for the City Council, I’m feeling super behind because I haven’t even written everything that I wanted to write about last week’s City Council meeting and now we’re already having another City Council meeting, I guess it could be worse and I would have nothing to write about but still…City Council, stop being so amusing and entertaining, I need to catch up!

So tonight’s City Council meeting has two meaty items in “workshop” format.  The last time we had anything close to a workshop was the Special Meeting about how to run meetings and it was chaos.  This time around, hopefully, after being reprimanded by John Russo to get control of the meeting, Trish Spencer will have a firmer grip over the meeting.  Or she’ll continue to let people speak way over the allotted public comment time and then complain about how there is an “agenda writing” problem and place the blame all on staff.  Well tonight there’s only two real agenda items, so we’ll see how long this meeting goes on for and whether we have another “agenda writing” problem tonight.

The first (well the second agenda item) is the whole uber Transportation plan thing that was before the Transportation Commission and Planning Board the other night.  Tonight the City Council will vote to put their money where their rhetoric is regarding transportation issues and they can choose to issue a RFP for creation of this uber Transportation plan (approximate costs are $250 – 400K for this strategy alone and could take up to a whole year to actually produce given the levels of community input that are expected).  There is no funding identified for this yet so best case the city staff can go out for grants.  Some of the City Staff has been very successful at securing grants in the past.  But worse case it will come out of the general fund.

The second (but really first) agenda item is around the super hot topic of density bonus.  Recall that during the Del Monte discussion some of the people who opposed the project did so on the basis that some how the density bonus was improperly applied and asked that there be a moratorium on any future density bonus approvals until such time that the density bonus application process was all sorted out.  Frank Matarrese took up this mantle and here we are.

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March 4, 2015

Java jive

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, Transportation — Lauren Do @ 6:04 am

The Planning Board and Transportation Commission joint meeting lasted about four hours, which was not surprising in the slightest since there were a lot of big issues on the agenda.  I’m going to go through some of the more interesting things in another post but thought I would pick on Mayor Trish Spencer again.  Only because she makes it so easy to do so.

Now, I don’t begrudge any new elected official from coming to meetings and sitting there to learn about all the nuances that they missed from not paying attention before they were elected.  But it’s when those elected officials feel the need to add in their two cents, even as an “individual citizen” that’s when things get a little murky.  As Kate Q. pointed out in the comments section, the lines get blurred when an advisory group to a sitting elected body is told by someone on that elected body what their opinions are as a “private citizen.”  You can spin the whole “private citizen” any which way you want but the fact is that that private citizen who also has the word “Mayor” tacked in front of her name has a lot more pull than someone who doesn’t.

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February 24, 2015

This joint meeting is jumping

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, Development, Transportation — Lauren Do @ 6:04 am

If you are concerned about traffic and/or transportation at all if there is one meeting that you should go to it’s the joint Planning Board and Transportation Commission meeting on Wednesday night.  That meeting is positively jam packed with key transportation issues moving forward.   Including Tony Daysog’s super incredible uber packed Transportation extravaganza plan.   That will cost, approximately, between $250K – $400K to implement.  The number is higher the more times it has to be vetted by the Boards and Commissions.  And it will take around 12 – 18 months to actual happen.

The city did stick this slide into its presentation:

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February 18, 2015

On cycle track

Filed under: Alameda, Development, Transportation — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

The Shoreline Cycletrack sort of had its “soft opening” over this long weekend.  It’s not “officially” open yet meaning there has not yet been the pomp and circumstance of ribbon cuttings etc yet, but its been (fairly) well received given the flood of naysaying that occurred during the actual construction process.

According to Facebook reports there were lots of people out there using the Cycletrack — meaning actual bicyclists — and lots more pedestrians using the regular path.  Granted it was a very long and very nice weekend so the number of people might have been slightly inflated due to those two things, but that’s sort of the point of the cycletrack right?  To provide increased access and capacity for bicyclists and pedestrians on really nice days like the weekend that we just had.   Here’s a nice little blog post about it from Streetsblog.

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