Category Archives: Transport

Ospotting #1: Better Bus Bench Ad contest

west o, saturday, 3.31.12

Caption contest. No wait… Better Bus Bench Ad contest. In the advertising industry, people refer to ads you make for yourself when you have no paying advertisers as house ads. And the bench above features one such “house ad.” Sometimes people refer to PSAs as house ads too, even though they are PSAs.

Now, I’m sure you, the smart Oakland blog reader, can come up with a better ad. Examples:

  • Don’t sit here. Moving targets are harder to hit than stationary ones.
  • Sit here. Moving targets are more tempting to hit than stationary ones.
  • Green is clean.
  • I don’t have to bother hunting for a parking spot.
  • Why pay for parking?
  • Sightsee and peoplewatch in Oakland. Only $2.10.
  • Save on gas, buy more greens. [whatever that means for you]

Until the death of online advertising commences, I don’t see bus bench ad agencies getting much business. Since I foresee that happening someday, now would be a good time to get into the bus bench ad business for pennies on the dollar.  Except…for the years of cleaning and repainting the benches while you wait.

On the other hand, this is a HUGE missed branding opportunity for AC Transit. Are you guys asleep at the wheel??  Oddly, I’ve never once seen an AC Transit advertisement for itself a la  SF MUNI or LA METRO.  Maybe the bus bench is the real life equivalent of the468x60 digital banner ad, and no one designs for it anymore…

* * *

On another note, some people recently started publishing awesome photo and transcribed audio interviews taken throughout Oakland. Let’s meet our neighbors, including Gregory and Bird. Thanks Sati and Saskia!

Now show me your engaging house ad concept. Hey DTO510 and Gene and 38th Notes

#OccupyOakland General Strike Recon 11/2

Photos below are from just before noon today along likely General Strike march route.

The port police are ready, OPD is ready. Make sure to stay visible to BART riders. Bring lots of water, energy bars, clothing (will be cold later!!), led flashlights… coordinate with your peeps by social media and RADIO. If police can check up on us with infiltrators, we can do same with police band radio checkups. Perhaps carry fingernail clippers in your back pocket to clip zipties. Onward!

Port police patrolling 7th Street, above.

Below you’ll find OPD squad cars, motorcycle patrolmen, City of Oakland Public Works trucks… all hands on deck today. For better or worse.

Very glad to see and hear today on KPFA that protestors demonstrated in front of all the BIG TAPEWORM BANKS I’ve railed against repeatedly here on my blog in 2008, 2009, 2010.

People are finally getting it.  How many Oakland “progressives” bank with these zombie banks which are sucking us dry?

Lest I repeat myself… big banks who received bailout “tarp” money 2008+:

  1. Bank of America/ Merril Lynch (more recently, $75 Trillion of derivatives moved to “Fed”/Treasury books!! unholy bailout of 2011!)
  2. Wells Fargo/Wachovia (drug money launderers, not to mention mortgage nonsense)
  3. J. P. Morgan Chase  / WaMu
  4. HSBC
  5. ING – another Euro bank we bailed out
  6. CitiBank – massive fail
  7. Societie Generale – FRENCH bank we bailed out due to their own risky “mortgage-backed securities” fraud schemes failing – to the tune of billions of dollars

The elites/oligarchs/plutocracy doesn’t count every vote. They buy votes. What they DO count is every DOLLAR. Move your Dollars!!

2:30PM Update: More great photos from today so far:

Aerial view of city hall plaza

Challenge Corporate Power banner (“skyscraper” format for you ad network folks)

Crowd at Bway/14th this morning

One of two streetlamp climbers hoisting anti-zombie bank banner by CHASE Bank this morning at Webster/20th

And… where is FRANK CHU??? (12 Galaxies)

 

Bitter Tea and Tasty Sandwiches: Yesterday’s MTC “You Choose Bay Area” Workshop and “Tea Party” Eruptions

Attended MTC’s second Oakland spring workshop for Bay Area future planning and visioning tonight, May 24th, 2011.  The visioning process is called “You Choose Bay Area” which is part of ABAG and MTC’s “One Bay Area” project.  You can “vote” on the type of sub/urban future you’d like to see at the YCBA site. The workshop was from 5:30-8:30pm with basic box sandwich dinners provided.  Ham, roast beef, tuna and chicken. Tea was also provided…though not by MTC. I’ll dive into that later.

The purpose of this event (like the oversubscribed May 19th workshop I missed) was for residents of Alameda County to tell the MTC what they’d like their future to be like: Business As Usual or new and different.  How to prioritize land use and transportation options, policies and incentives and tax money.  Everyone did that quite well, though some less civilly.

The night’s most memorable negative feature was the sizable and obnoxious contingent of all-white* folks mostly from Livermore, Alamo, Dublin and other 680/580 suburbs. Some people might call these people “Tea Partyers.”  They were variously very dismissive, distrustful, extremely rude/shrill/loud/uncouth, (think Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, Sarah Palin and ten of their dittohead friends in a room), ignorant about fossil fuel realities and were completely “antiMTC, public mass transit, planning, taxes, regulations and density. By re-arranging the letters in WASP, we get SAWP, or Super Angry White People. That’s what they were.

[*5/28/2011: At this point, let’s take a break and discuss race. I couldn’t help but notice that all the people who were loud, or anti-MTC/transit, happened to be white.  Does that mean the tensions in the room were due to race issues? In some people’s minds it very well could play a strong part. In a better read of the situation, it really boiled down to who was from newer  suburbs/exurbs, vs who was from older suburbs and urban cities.  Urban workshop participants were also largely white, but far more racially mixed (Asian, black, etc) given the more mixed demographics of the urban Bay Area.  I’m leaving the text as I wrote it, but keep this in mind. It’s more of a “inland vs coastal” sparring match. In microcosm, the US coasts vs the “heartland.” You can see charts of this I commissioned in 2008 for a city sustainability study.

Inlanders from the 680 valley were defending their car-based single family home way of life against decreased funding for them (which they’ve enjoyed for decades mind you), and increasing funding for less car-based, more “dense and convenient” ways of life.  I also have to note, based on the Bay Citizen story this week, that it is self-serving for Tea Party efforts to be led by a sales commission-based realtor… but still the main tension is over “The Economy, Stupid.” Also, there are no black UN (US) helicopters forcing people out of their SFHs and cars back into cities… economics alone do that. We’re in the “maturity and death” part of our society cycle right now. A new society will be born in the US by 2030. Now back to original post…]

You could say they were the ultimate version of that group of NIMBYs in North Oakland and Berkeley who frown upon any buildings taller than two stories or  Bus Rapid Transit. From talking to other people who tried to engage with them, and seeing their actions and hearing their words, I could see that they were there to get their point across to MTC (fine) but their manner of doing so was extremely rude. “Ghetto” would not be far from accurate. They were a riot. The irony! Continue reading

Breaking: Groundbreaking: MacArthur Transit Village parking garage

Are any of you going to this?

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345 Spear Street Suite 700 | San Francisco, CA 94105 US

When: Monday, May 23, 2011 from 1:45PM to 3:30PM

Where: 544 West MacArthur Blvd, Oakland

What: Groundbreaking for IKEA-style car filing cabinet in the sky. Will be prefaced by saying good-bye to the low-income Sleepy Hollow Motel and Rio Motel on the southern edge of the existing (massive) BART parking lot. I have lots of good memories of MacArthur BART having lived in Temescal for a while.  I won’t miss these motels much.

If you’re going, maybe I’ll see you there.

Let the Return of the Jedi, er Gentry, continue… I just hope that Union City’s BART station T-O-D redevelopment continues apace too… it’s slowed a bit lately. Continue reading

Behind Government Budget Problems

Sutro Baths Steps by sirgious
Sutro Baths Steps, a photo by sirgious on Flickr.

This month’s post by Gail the Actuary explains our country’s (and the world’s) economic situation better than I ever could, so here it is.

This obviously speaks for Oakland as well, since we’re one of hundreds of US cities built upon a once lustrous but increasingly potholed and cracked foundation of cheap (and now all burnt up) oil and gasoline.

We’ll need to find other means of social lubrication, and in the meantime, don’t be poor!

The ramifications touch every part of our society, and thus I’ve tagged this with all categories. Put on your systems thinking cap and get reading!

Fox Uptown update

Another local blog, Concrete Rumors, reports more detail about the relationship between Sunfield Development and the City of Oakland in firing up the Fox Uptown parking garage project.  Maybe it’s time for me to go interview Sunfield, whose head was interviewed by SFBG for their EB-5 story this week.

Disclaimer: I write for the other blog also.

San Pablo/19th parking lot under construction

No, it’s not multi-level. At least not in the Emeryville IKEA or SF Costco sense of multi-level. There won’t be hoards of middle class college kids hauling teflon pans and plastic encased sawdust-and-glue furniture home. Continue reading