Tag Archives: ac transit

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…

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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

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…

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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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What we had before AC Transit busses: the future?

The only constant in life is change.

How did Oakland look before Government Motors (aka GM) and Standard Oil (aka Chevron/Exxon/Texaco…) had their way with it?  And will we ever get it back?  Other US cities have gotten their mojo back — Los Angeles, Denver, Phoenix and Charlotte to name a few.  Others are working on it — Detroit, Atlanta stand out in my mind.  Oakland can’t seem to get its transit act together although we DID have it together at one point.  Take a look after the jump.

Here’s a shot of today’s Sear’s and 20th Street “bus stop row” aka Thomas Berkeley Street between Broadway and Telegraph Ave, looking East.  Click below to see how 20th Street used to be.  (Hint: no bare Sears windows and blank walls!)

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Another fight on AC Transit; BRT meeting tonight

AC Transit, Oakland, “Safe and Clean” – bus fight

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Upcoming BusRapidTransit meetings

Repasted from email:

Full View
BRT Public Meetings in OaklandFrom: Samantha Robinson <s.robinson@circlepoint.com>

BRT_Oakland_Post card_Final.pdf (1725KB); BRT_Oakland_Bilingual_Chi.pdf (966KB); BRT_Oakland_Bilingual_Span.pdf (823KB)

Hi there,

The City of Oakland has planned 7 public meetings on BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) for the month of January; see www.oaklandbrt.com. The first meetings are next week! (The final meeting date is not yet on the Web site, but is in the PDFs attached.) Will you please help us spread the word?

Public attendance and feedback at these meetings is critical, as City Council will vote on the project in spring. See below for intro text and attached for PDF fliers. We appreciate any help you can give to encourage Oakland to speak up!

As an FYI, I am contacting other Oakland bloggers too– but I hope you have time to help spread the word.

Cheers, Sam

BRT Project Team

Oakland councilmembers need your input on the East Bay Bus Rapid Transit ( BRT ) Project, a proposed plan for improving transit along Telegraph Ave. and International Blvd. in Oakland. BRT is being used all over the world to make transit faster and more reliable by incorporating a variety of features such as bus-only lanes, real-time arrival information, signal priority, level boarding and more . Compared to the existing 1R service, BRT would be:

– Fast: 20% faster
– Frequent: Service every 5 minutes on weekdays
– Convenient: 50% more stops

Your councilmembers want to hear from you. Attend a meeting on BRT!

January 11, 6-8 pm, Fruitvale Senior Center
3301 E. 12th St., Ste. 201

January 12, 6-8 pm, Eastside Arts Alliance
2277 International Blvd.

January 21, 6-8 pm, East Oakland Youth Development Center
8200 International Blvd.

January 26, 6-8 pm, Faith Presbyterian Church
430 49th St.

January 27, 11am-1pm, Oakland City Hall, Hearing Room 2
1 Frank Ogawa Plaza

January 27, 5-7pm, Oakland City Hall, Hearing Room 4
1 Frank Ogawa Plaza

January 28, 6-8pm, St. Louis Bertrand Church
1410 100th Ave.

I’ve attached so that you can spread the word about these meetings. Please invite your community to these meetings– your councilmembers need Oakland’s input!

With any questions about BRT , please see http://www.oaklandbrt.com or call the BRT project manager Jim Cunradi (AC Transit) at 510-577-3371 .

Thanks, Sam
Samantha Robinson, Project Coordinator
s.robinson@circlepoint.com * 415.227.1100 x150

CirclePoint
135 Main Street, Suite 1600, San Francisco, CA 94105
Listening, learning, leading … for a better world.

CP must be ACT’s regional transportation consultant. Big bucks eh? 😉

All I have to say about BRT is, to paraphrase a regular bus rider I spoke with: It’s about f’in time!

Tell Oakland City Council to vote against BART’s $522 million airtrain to nowhere

Another load of debt, a slow $12 train to get to not even next to the terminal, and no economic development on the ground. Great work MTC and BART! Not. So, let’s get to it!

Below reposted from TransForm (great 501c3) email:

On Tuesday, October 6th, the Oakland City Council will vote on a resolution expressing opposition to the Oakland Airport Connector (OAC) project.

Two weeks ago the Oakland Public Works Committee questioned BART about the OAC and moved the resolution to the full Council because committee members have come to see that this project is bad for Oakland and bad for regional users of Oakland’s airport.

Make an immediate impact. Call your Council Member today, ask them to vote to oppose the OAC and FOR: (see numbers below)
A Stronger Economy: A bus rapid transit connector would have intermediate stops and would be affordable to all Oakland residents.
More Jobs: Reverting OAC funds back to transit agencies would create more jobs than building the OAC.
Better Transit: A bus rapid transit connector could be as fast as the OAC, AND the money saved would stop transit service cuts throughout the Bay Area.

Costs for the Connector have ballooned from the voter-approved $130 million in 2000 to $522 million. Riders are projected to pay up to $12 roundtrip (in addition to the price of a rider’s BART ticket) for a slow (possibly 27 mph), three-mile journey. All of the stops that would serve the local community have been eliminated, removing the economic development aspects of the project. Meanwhile, there is a fast, affordable alternative to the project.

After spending months trumpeting Oakland’s support of the OAC, BART is now saying that Oakland’s opinion doesn’t matter. Watch the video in which BART’s spokesperson says that. But Oakland is going to weigh in, and its voice will matter.

This vote is one of our last chances to stop the OAC and to secure a better connector, and we need your help!

There are three ways you can make your voice heard to the Oakland City Council:

Join us on Tuesday, October 6th at 7pm at Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza to speak in support of the Council’s resolution and in opposition to the current Connector. RSVP and spread the word on Facebook.
Call your Council Member to encourage him/her to support the resolution (find contact information below).
Email your Council Member to encourage him/her to support the resolution (find contact information below).

Tell the City Council, vote YES.

For more information on the Connector and TransForm’s proposed alternative, please visit http://www.OaklandAirportConnector.com or contact me directly.

Thanks for making a difference today for the future of Bay Area transportation.

Contact information for Oakland City Council:

Rebecca Kaplan, At-Large
RKaplan@oaklandnet.com or 510-238-7008

Council President Jane Brunner, District 1
JBrunner@oaklandnet.com or 510-238-7001

Patricia Kernighan, District 2
PKernighan@oaklandnet.com or 510-238-7002

Nancy Nadel, District 3
NNadel@oaklandnet.com or 510-238-7003

Jean Quan, District 4
JQuan@oaklandnet.com or 510-238-7004

Ignacio De La Fuente, District 5
IDeLaFuente@oaklandnet.com or 510-238-7005

Desley Brooks, District 6
DBrooks@oaklandnet.com or 510-238-7006

Larry Reid, District 7
LReid@oaklandnet.com or 510-238-7007