Tag Archives: 880

Liveblog: Street and bicycle improvements Lake Merrit BART/Chinatown

What Lake Merritt/Chinatown junction could look like with enough pre-2007 level economic development. Photo by me near Tokyo circa 200?

Since VSmoothe is out to lunch and I’ve also been out to lunch… here’s transcript of tonight’s Planning Commission meeting about the Lake Merritt Specific Area Plan.  Good to see a lot of you Oakland blogospherians at the podium. By the way, this blog is mistitled a bit. It’s about redeveloping the Lake Merritt/Laney College/South Chinatown area, not just putting in street and bike improvements. But I’m not going to change the title now.  My smartass commentary below is inside [brackets].

Highlights:

  • pro-development/ economic boost people
  • safety, transportation and land use are (duh) major issues
  • no big vision other than defining Chinatown properly with Gate, branding, like other Chinatowns around the world. (in itself, a bit of a vision)  renaming Lake Merrit BART Station as Laney-Chinatown station or similar would be a big help.  Connectivity is lacking in the area for pedestrians, though not for cars and buses (the lake physically pushes central – east oakland traffic thru Chinatown, affecting residents)
  • plan should partly heal the scars of 1950s freeway and BART infrastructure “progress” — of which the urban fabric was torn apart, like 980 connector through “black wall street” west of uptown.
  • 880 is a major contributor to air pollution afflicting residents, and its dank underbelly is a block between Jack London and Lake Merritt BART as well as Old Town, Downtown, Chinatown.
  • large actors (Laney, BART) haven’t written strong comments yet except Alameda County, which was critical.
  • development should incorporate and fund community benefits — including pedestrian and cyclist safety (lighting, striping), two-way and narrower streets which nobody doubts, but also affordable housing of which there is contention between regular folks and developers
  • most people in favor of taller buildings for economic expediency, climate protection, fulfulling sb375 TOD growth mandate, funding of community benefits
  • for whatever reason city council wants SAP moved quickly to finish up by end of 2012 (in time for elections?)

Go back in time, live on KTOP:

http://www2.oaklandnet.com/Government/o/CityCouncil/s/VideoArchive/index.htm

Tonight’s city hall presentation is a nice follow-up to my previous post from March 2011 about the  Lake Merrit BART Station improvement plan area.

Liveblog:

7:20PM: Joint statement by Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce (Alan) and another business group: Plan needs revision to link BART/Laney area with Chinatown. Not be a barrier between the two. Mechanism for growing small biz. Needs to prioritize pedestrian level lighting, not just striping bike lanes. Desiring zoning for a multiplicity of businesses. (multi-use zoning) [completely agree with multi-use zoning] Chinatown Biz Community views development as: CC is vital part of Oakland not just a tourist spot. [agree] Contributes $MM sales tax revenue to city…

Continue reading

Lake-Chinatown wasteland remediation meeting notes

3/5/11

Notes from Lake Merritt BART station & BART HQ neighborhood design charette

New Oaktown Backgrounder: The area between the lake and the SFBay estuary has always been in flux but for the past several decades has felt like a sad environment with nobody outside. The main park in the area is habited by homeless and transients, though sometimes with children and tai chi practicing elderly too. Continue reading

Weekly comments: Weatherization First; JLS Update

What Jack London Sq looks like today: 1989 SF Ferry Plaza

  • Oakland’s “Cali First” solar incentive funding program to begin June 2010
  • Jack London Square coming up roses… at snail’s pace. (perchance what they mean by ‘slow food’? 😉

KenO Reporting from Uptown…

I read today that City of Oakland has finally approved city-financed residential homeowner solar installation. Whoopee, we are finally up to par with City of Berkeley’s BerkeleyFIRST solar residential loan program.

I want to stress that while I love wind-solar-geothermal, these are not the cheapest energy programs available.  The cheapest home heating/cooling energy we have is Conservation.  That means, adding foam insulation with high R-values to apartment and SFH walls, roofs, caulking and taping leaky doorframes and electric outlets, and adding double-pane windows. (A prime candidate crying for implementation of this is the up-in-the-air Thai restaurant Sawooei in El Cerrito. Their slumlord won’t fix the front door which doesn’t shut all the way, right next to a gas-burning furnace heater, not to mention install 2-pane windowage. Comedy for energy nerds!)  The point is to avoid needing to use energy in the first place. Continue reading