Apologies for the light posting this week. It’s been tough to find time to write lately. I’ll be back in regular form next week, but for today, you guys get another links list.
The MTC meeting yesterday on the Oakland Airport Connector was depressing, although the outcome was not unexpected. After hours of public testimony, the Commission voted to allocate $140 million to the project, with only three nos – San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, and former San Mateo Mayor Sue Lempert. The majority of the Commission seemed to have finally conceded that the Airport Connector is a bad idea. Comment highlights included Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese saying the current service is totally adequate and Marin County Supervisor Steve Kinsey concluding that by moving forward with the Airport Connector, BART is building a “permanent leak” into the system. But inertia (their word, not mine) is stronger than reason when it comes to government spending, and the general consensus at the end of the day was that we should just go ahead and do it, no matter how bad a project it is, because we’ve been trying and failing to build it for such a long time.
Although this was a major step for BART, the battle on this isn’t over, and of course, me and other local bloggers will be keeping you updated on how you can help as opportunities arise.
And now onto the links. Not much new going on in Oakland since yesterday, but here are some articles from other places that I’ve enjoyed recently. Maybe you will too.
- Funding for bicycle infrastructure is a problem pretty much everywhere. Clark County, Washington thinks they may have found a solution – charging bicyclists to ride on their streets, and funneling the revenue back into trails. It doesn’t sound terribly well thought out from the article.
- I really admired Washington DC’s pioneering efforts to make city data publicly available online, but according to a new Washington Monthly article, the move towards greater transparency didn’t sit so well with certain city departments, limiting the utility of the project.
- Apparently, one of Pittsburg’s skyscrapers has lights on top that flash the city’s name in morse code. Neat, huh? Problem is, it spells the Pittsburg wrong.
- As Oakland sacrifices its parks to close budget deficits, Los Angeles has been doing the opposite, and has seen dramatic crime reductions in areas where park hours and recreational programming have been extended into the evenings.
- This has nothing to do with anything really, but I thought this article about making pools out of dumpsters was really cool.
- The Sunlight Foundation is kicking off a very ambitious project cataloging government data. I’m excited to track their progress.
Okay, that’s all for today. Enjoy!