Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 15, 2021

Go ask Alice

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 4:05 am

After the death of Wilma Chan there became the messy business of needing to fill her seat. Word is that the Board of Supervisors are looking to Wilma Chan’s staff to fill that vacated seat but, given the presence of Wilma Chan as the ONLY woman and the only person of Asian descent on that Board it would seem as though giving the role to a white male would be a rebuke to the legacy of a trailblazer such as Wilma Chan. I couldn’t, and won’t even try, to put it better than the Asian Pacific American Democratic Caucus of Alameda County:

(more…)

November 12, 2021

Word/action mismatch

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

I’m annoyed at the New York Times right now, but this still very good:

November 11, 2021

Aggressive over counting

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

I’m not sure who put out the public records request about accessory dwelling units in Alameda and it’s not clear if they did it to try to prove that the City is underestimating the number of possible ADUs to help meet the RHNA allocation but it was certainly a really enlightening with that context. As a reminder the City thinks around 480 ADUs will be built in the 8 years covered by the new Housing Element. That means they think we can average 60 units per year.

Based on this list, the average since 2019 has been a bit less than 60 units per year.

(more…)

November 10, 2021

Sometimes you feel like a nut

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

Just a tip for folks who may be receiving email updates of comments or something from this blog. Don’t reply in an email because you may be posting a reply to the blog. Essentially don’t do this:

November 9, 2021

Lost and unfounded, part 2

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:09 am

Just wanted to circle back and post the rest of that Open Government Commission discussion and vote which also includes an impassioned speech about not punishing people who are using the OGC to, I dunno, create unnecessary busy work for City Staff:

November 8, 2021

Setting boundaries

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

Tomorrow night, the School Board will be considering a recommendation to change middle school boundaries and make Junior Jets a non open enrollment school and, instead, serve as a neighborhood middle school for the West End.

From the staff report:

On October 26th staff presented a proposal to the Board of Education to create a new boundary for Encinal Jr./Sr. High School. Currently the Encinal middle school program (Jr. Jets) enrolls students exclusively through an open enrollment process.

The disadvantages of this process are:

  • Some of our most underserved populations reside on the west end.

  • The process of open enrollment does not allow students to attend a district middle school closest to their residence.

  • Families that do not navigate the open enrollment process attend Wood MS which leads to transportation issues and attendance challenges. (Two buses are needed to get to Wood from some neighborhoods in the west end)

With the remodel of Encinal, there is space to allow for the middle school program to withstand a boundary change, with a guarantee of attendance to all students who live within the school zone. The remodel created a building for the middle school program with designated outdoor space for 6th – 8th grade students.

I realize this is only possible because of the remodeling of Encinal, but this is a long overdue move. If families miss (or are unaware of) the open enrollment process for Junior Jets or, as in the past, there have been waitlists and limits on the enrollment some of the most under-served families may have no other option but to schlep their kids to Wood. Or they’ll elect to chose one of the many charter school option on the West End which are close than their “neighborhood” middle school.

(more…)

November 5, 2021

Lost and unfounded

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

So if you thought the agenda item on the Sweeney Park boosters was a fun time for the Open Government Commission but it was nothing compared to the complaint that was filed by Jay Garfinkle (I actually almost typed “Art”, but quickly backspaced).  His complaint was essentially centered around the fact that he thought that he should have had a page by page explanation of why certain sections of his public records request response was redacted and did not accept a blanket redaction on the cover page citing why certain sections were redacted.

Even after several explanations from both a commissioner and from the city attorney staffing the Open Government Commission it was clear that one Commissioner was super confused or maybe she wasn’t confused and was just being blissfully ignorant so that she could try to make a series of terrible motions that no one would provide a second for. 

The best part of that section of the meeting was the absolute boss contribution of the newest Commissioner on the OGC: Melodye Montgomery.  She is the newest appointee of Councilmember John Knox White who was left appointee-less after the resignation of commissioner Rasheed Shabazz.   She laid down a simple motion to deny the complaint as unfounded, dropping a velvet hammer on the proceedings.  

Here’s the video which I have watched twice because it’s hilarious.

(more…)

November 4, 2021

Mean streets

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:04 am

By now, if you are online at all, you will have heard that Alameda County Supervisor and Alameda resident Wilma Chan has died. And she died, folks, as a defenseless pedestrian doing something the majority of us do everyday: walking her dog.

I’m not in love with the passive voice in this tweet “struck and killed by a car” since it absolves the person behind the wheel in that car of responsibility. Here’s the blurb from the PD:

Just after 8:00 am, on Wednesday, November 3, the Alameda Police Department responded to the intersection of Shoreline Drive and Grand Street for a report of a collision involving a vehicle and a pedestrian. Upon arrival, officers located an unresponsive adult female in the roadway. The woman was transported by the Alameda Fire Department to a local hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. The driver of the vehicle, an adult female, remained on the scene and is cooperating with the investigation. At this time, the cause of the collision is yet to be determined. Out of respect for the family, we are not releasing information about the pedestrian. The investigation is ongoing and no additional information will be released at this time.

I’ll remind folks that that intersection is pretty close to Wood Middle School, 8:00 AM is pretty close to the time when kids are starting to head to school. This fatality could have been any number of people but the one terrible silver lining in this horrific tragedy is that the prominence of the person killed may finally get people’s attention to how dangerous the streets of Alameda are for people not wrapped around tons and tons of steel. And when there are attempts at building in safety for these folks perhaps we should be dismissing these or complaining that it’s taking too long to get from point A to point B in Alameda because of all the safety measures.

(more…)

November 3, 2021

Legal strategery

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

It sort of feels like the Open Government Commission may be THE spot for recalcitrant Alamedans to grind their axes against the City Council if they don’t get their way. On Monday because some Sweeney Park boosters didn’t get ALL the land they wanted from the railroad and are pissed that the City Council wouldn’t spent every single cent available to secure all the railroad land they decided that their next best option was to gum up some works at the Open Government Commission.

What was really strange about this showing was that the complainant on record was one Dorothy Freeman but during the meeting itself it was Paul Foreman doing nearly all the talking and all the heavy lifting for the complainant; including answering questions that may not have even been directed at the complainants in the first place.

It felt like a way for someone who may have had an “unfounded” ruling in his ledger bypass the possibility of receiving another “unfounded” ruling. As a reminder, if an individual hits a certain number of complaints which are determined to be unfounded they will be barred from filing any more complaints to the Open Government Commission for a designated period of time. I’m being lazy and not looking these numbers up but, like, you really don’t want to get an “unfounded” ruling. It means that the majority of the OGC thought that your complaint was, respectfully, full of shit.

(more…)

November 2, 2021

Spaces, but make them public

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

Another big item on the City Council’s agenda tonight is whether or not to put more money into the Park and Webster Street traffic calming and parklet programs to help merchants who have been struggling during the pandemic. I mean, I think it’s a great idea but you know there is always going to be someone somewhere who will oppose this coughtrishspencercough.

Staff is recommending that the re-striping on those streets be maintained for the next two years.

Staff recommends that the Park Street and Webster Street restriping be maintained and continue to be improved for at least the next two years.  During the next two years, changes should be made to improve the efficient and effective use of on-street parking, to add loading (yellow) zones, add a limited amount of short term parking (green zones), add parking for people with disabilities (blue zones), and improve transit speeds along Park Street and Webster Street.

Sixty-six percent (66%) of the respondents to the DABA business survey stated that they would like to see the street changes continue beyond 2021, with another 16% responding “maybe.”  Forty-eight percent (48%) agreed that “Park Street is now a more enjoyable space and there is less traffic noise.”  The WABA survey had only a limited number of business respondents, but WABA has stated that overall their businesses support the lane reconfiguration on Webster Street.

In the community survey, for both streets, a plurality (42-43%) of the 1,759 respondents stated that they support keeping the current reconfiguration; while about one third like the lane reduction, and also want to see safe bicycle facilities added to the street; and another third prefer to have the street returned to four lanes. 

Is it a little less pleasant to drive down Park Street? Sure. Is that a good thing? Absolutely. Honestly the easiest thing to do if you have to drive to Park Street is just to park in a garage and walk to wherever you’re going. You don’t HAVE to park right in front of the shop you are going to. More:

Traffic speeds are generally lower on Park Street and Webster Street as a result of the restriping. On Park Street, during the week, speeds dropped 14% from an average of 11.9 mph in 2019 to 10.3 mph in 2021.  The biggest reduction in speeds is in the afternoon commute direction (southbound) for the reconfigured section of Park Street (Lincoln to Encinal), with speeds now averaging 8.8 mph.  On Webster Street, average speeds are slower in some directions during some periods, but the average of all speeds (both directions, for all periods), from Central to Buena Vista Avenue, is the same in 2021 as it was in 2019 on weekdays: about 12.5 mph.    

A review of collision data for the two commercial streets does not reveal any significant changes in the frequency or severity of collisions since restriping. 

About 25% of community survey respondents reported that the streets feel safer since restriping.

(more…)
« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

Blog at WordPress.com.