It’s easy to feel down about transportation in Oakland lately, with BRT in jeopardy, the Council’s decision to roll back the parking meter hours at the expense of City services, and of course the Council’s short-sighted endorsement of the Oakland Airport Connector.
But dto510 reminds us that there actually is quite a bit to celebrate. Transit advocates have been begging the City to look seriously at parking for years, repeatedly and loudly requested a real parking study this Spring, and were of course, ignored at every turn. Well, thanks to the furor over the meter hours, we’re getting finally going to get one! The recently announced grant from the Air District to start a shuttle from Jack London Square to Uptown fulfills another of our longstanding wishes. And the controversy over the Airport Connector finally alerted the Council to just how much Oakland gets screwed by the MTC.
So things are actually looking up, and I encourage everyone to click through and read dto510′s full post. The concluding paragraph is my favorite, so I’ll share it with you guys here:
The twentieth anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake reminds us how great a difference we can make. Thanks to far-sighted San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos and dedicated West Oaklanders, highways were torn down, and in their place, vibrant communities now blossom. Enormous portions of West Oakland were basically uninhabitable before Mandela Parkway replaced the cursed Cypress Structure over the strident objections of CalTrans and regional business interests. Transit and bike-ped advocacy isn’t just about getting places, it’s about creating successful, healthy, and beautiful communities. There’s a rising tide of bicycle, pedestrian, and transit activism in Oakland, and it’s not only new groups like Walk Oakland Bike Oakland, but also shares a vision with long-standing advocates in fields as diverse as social justice, public safety, business, and neighborhood preservation. We can’t expect to win huge battles against free parking or BART waste right away, but the steps we’ve made this year are meaningful and form the foundation for future progress.
Thanks for the reminder, dto510.