Tag Archives: downtown oakland

interesting perspective on dto bids

http://darwinbondgraham.blogspot.com/2012/01/whose-streets.html

Discussion of Lake Merritt/Downtown business districts, security theater, public safety in the post-2007 era.

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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Fox Uptown Parking Garage: Terrible car onslaught or necessary amenity?

Sunfield Sustainable Development (“Sunfield”, “SSD”) plans to build a massive parking garage for the corner of San Pablo Avenue and 18th Street. Figure A. (click for large view)

Note that the currently green-fenced “empty uptown lot” between FOX Theater and the Uptown Apartments is empty, unlike in the illustration.

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(Updated: j/k! somewhat-see comments.) Slowness of taking public transit to OAK airport from downtown OAK

How embarrassing!

According to Google Maps, a trip from downtown Oakland via train/bus to the airport takes 1 hour, 15 minutes.

By car, the same trip takes 19 minutes.

That is a 6 times difference, not the usual 2-3 times difference.

What a waste of time, eh? You could easily BART all the way to SFO in the same amount of time.

What a sorry state of affairs. I guess the Oakland “peoplemover” for 1/2 billion dollars would have saved us this joke of a ride.

To be fair, driving to OAK would require a 15-20 minute car drop-off and shuttle ride to the terminal.

Taking a taxi would be faster as well… but so would bicycling! (49 minutes.) When you can bicycle faster than public transit, something is wrong.

Hence, this Yelp review:

“This place kicks ass.  I’m never going to take that stupid AirBart shit piece of crap anymore.  $7/day online, right outside of the airport, I swear the shuttle drivers are high on speed everyday cuz these shuttles run back and forth every minute.  They don’t even wait for the shuttle to get full.  They get you on, get your shit on, and they’re off!  And then they drop you off AT YOUR CAR!!

5 big bright stars!”

Boo! Franklin Wine Bar closes

Not that I ate there often but I always liked FSWB.

Every part of Oakland seems quite “tapped out” to me as far as drinking establishments… no matter what neighborhood you are in.  Liquor stores and sports bars (Dorsey’s Locker) for the lower class.  Pricier bars and lounges (Mimosa Champagne, Pican) for the languishing “upper-middle” and true upper classes.  Maybe it’s always been this way? (Some people argue there has never been a “Golden Era”, while every society and each generation thinks its past definitely was a Golden Era.)  Drinking is for everyone poor or not.  And undoubtedly, drinking is worse for you than marijuana, but to each his own.

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