- Becks sounds the alarm about a new Berkeley initiative to halt BRT:
Regardless of any issues one may have with AC Transit’s current BRT proposal, this is just bad planning. This initiative would mean that anytime the City wanted to convert lanes to transit-only lanes, the decision would have to be made by the Berkeley electorate. Even if the dedicated bus lane only extended one block into Berkeley from Oakland or another neighboring city, Berkeley residents would have the final say. Projects could be held up for months or even years if an election wasn’t approaching (I don’t see the city holding special elections for this issue).
- dto510 publicized an upcoming Chinatown meeting about downtown zoning. The meeting is tomorrow, and it’s still not posted on the city’s official zoning update page, nor have I recieved any notice of it from, well, anyone, including Nancy Nadel, who spoke so proudly of the downtown zoning update process on Thursday. Planning staff has already made it pretty clear that they aren’t interested in public input (or market realities) when developing the zoning code, but this is beyond the pale. They were explicitly instructed by the Zoning Update Committee to continue to solicit public input before coming back on the 16th, and their response is to hold one meeting and not tell anyone about it? Disgraceful.
- Are you reading Oakland Geology? I discovered it last week, thanks to new blog Brooklyn Avenue, and it’s already secured a spot on my favorite blogs list. You probably expect it to be all about the Hayward fault. Of course there’s some of that, but this blog is so much more. Started in October with the mission that “Oakland needs more awareness of the ground it lies upon,” the site features tons of beautiful photography, neat bits of local history, and a perspective on land use that generally doesn’t have much of a voice in our debates.
- Don’t miss the premier issue of CEDA’s new newsletter, Redeveloping Oakland, a new quarterly publication designed to share redevelopment success stories. The first issue isn’t particularly meaty, but does a nice job laying out our current redevelopment areas. I’m completely in favor of anything the City does to make information about local government more accessible and available to citizens, so I’m eagerly looking forward to future versions.
- The CEDA newsletter had an feature about Lion Creek Crossings, which reminded me of this New York Times story about Hope VI I’ve been meaning to link to for a while, and never got around to it. I adore Hope VI, and feel that replacing unsafe and unpleasant public housing with more integrated communities is among the best things we can do to help the less fortunate among us. Not everyone likes Hope VI – the projects have attracted a healthy amount of criticism, in both local and national spheres. As with everything, success depends heavily on the quality of local implementation and planning processes (PDF!).
- dto510 highlights some of the major problems with the downtown zoning proposal on FutureOakland:
Finally, restricting high-rise development to Broadway goes against two immutable forces: the market and the earth.
- I found myself in the unusual position of agreeing wholeheartedly with Jesse Douglas Allen-Taylor this week, who criticized the Chronicle for their sloppy coverage of the responses to the Army Base RFQ:
There are two things to note about the inclusion of the Wayans Brothers prominence in the Chronicle story about the response to RFQ of the Oakland Army Base. The first is that it is old news, reported—although prematurely at the time—eight months ago in the Chronicle. The second is that it is told entirely from the point of view of the Wayans Brothers, making it appear as if this is another “Oakland screwed up a development deal” thing.”
Allen-Taylor also points out how pathetic it is that the Express’s primary source of news now appears to be the SF Chronicle, which means that they’re frequently wrong (not that they need any help in that area).
- Can someone explain to me why I have to endure a flurry of newspaper stories and blogs about how Jerry Brown might run for Governor like every two months? He said in the newspaper the day after he was elected attorney general that he was open to another shot at the seat – why must people keep treating it like it’s exciting news?
- And on a cheery note – Friday afternoon I popped by City Hall to watch the ceremony honoring the McClymonds Warriors, our undeafeated basketball team, ranked third in the nation by MaxPreps. It was so sweet! I didn’t have my camera on me, but I snapped a few pictures with my cell phone.
They’re so cute! They looked both proud and overwhelmed with all the attention. Most exciting was seeing how many people came out to celebrate them. The whole event was just really heartwarming.