Tag Archives: detroit

oakland’s near-term future: more day to day engagement, green zones

will be similar to detroit. but also similar to portions of LA/LB near their ports.

why detroit:

city budgets are on involuntary diet-and-sauna programs. tax and property tax collections are sucking wind.  for our land, air, water and bodies this is a good thing here in gluttony-USA. means we’re buying less junk and hopefully eating less crap. cuz the full time job isn’t there, which means the healthcare isn’t there to catch our fat heart attacked and diabetic asses.

direct democracy or getting our hands dirty by taking on city “dutiesa’ ourselves is not bad. it’s a way of muddling through the greater depression/collapse. by gardening. by battening hatches. by improving our own hoods. people are managing their common spaces already: planting flowers in medians (40th st), painting “slow – kids at play” images and words on streets (28th or 29th  st @ MLK), coming together in cohousing throughout the city or otherwise tidily mingling.

citizens are becoming city staff by volunteering for projects listed above and events (oaklavia, oakland marathon, etc) — and these are not new developments except for the percentage of volunteers and decline of sheer numbers of city staff doing productive work becoming more evident each year. (public gardening? analyzing OPD crime stats and posting them online?)

meanwhile, more ex-city employees start raking in guaranteed six figure pensions including health benefits for their families –  retirement salaries for life. even for fired ‘deadwood.’

why green zones:

green zones are physically defended areas of importance. important to people with money and power/physical force. areas of the primary economy: water, food, security, true “necessities.” or housing stock for our empire’s most valued citizens.

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Downtown Oakland needs its rail back

I am posting this today to coincide with V Smoothe’s post at ABO about Streetcars on Broadway.  Was going to add more detail before posting in the future at some unknown date.  On the other hand, I feel very discouraged that this will probably never happen which is why I didn’t post it sooner.  The idea of putting railcars back onto Oaktown streets is not original to me, although I didn’t know of other people’s opinions on this until today.  (Other than say people like Len or Vivek saying it probably wouldn’t happen.)  Streetcars are unlikely to return to Dolores, Valencia and Guerrero either.

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I wrote this post knowing that Detroit will rebuild/rebrand itself in the near future by bringing back “railroad tracks” and “trains” on city streets.  It will be a smaller city, but a city with streetcars again.

Downtown Oakland (aka theDTO) experienced glory in no small part because of our intra-city and inter-city rail systems.  We used to have good ground-level trains here. Being close to San Francisco’s earthquake-phobic gold and silver flippers helped as 1906 quake ‘fugees fled to the East Bay, hipster style but for different reasons. The World War Two economy also greatly aided Oakland’s ramping up, with Kaiser’s ship-building yards (yes, that Kaiser) and the Ford plant in Richmond among other things we used to make here.

It is probably more accurate to say Oakland’s glory was due to its strong, productive economy, and that streetcars were a symptom of its largess.

We have the 1R and 72R rapid AC Transit buses which are good, decent terrain for cycling, and BART for working in Fremont or SF, but a street car system would be Ooo-la-la! Much less jerky than busses, supportable sometimes with wind and solar and even those dang BloomEnergy BloomBoxes everyone’s yapping about today[weeks ago]. If Oakland ever gets a BloomBox fuel cell system, it should be installed right in the midst of EBMUD’s sewage treatment plant — plenty of “directed biogas” available there!  But back to today’s topic: Oakland and its former streetcar rail lines.

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