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Archive for October, 2018

With the passage of AB-2923, BART has new zoning powers to develop housing around it stations. So how is that process going…?

BART identifies funding to add over 800 parking spaces at the Antioch Station

With full funding identified, BART is moving ahead with plans to nearly double the amount of parking at the Antioch Station. Antioch Station currently has 1006 parking stalls. Another 800-plus spaces will be added under this plan.

“The response to the extension has been overwhelmingly positive, except for criticism about the lack of parking,” says BART Director Joel Keller, who represents East Contra Costa County. “We’ve made it a priority to ensure that every rider has access to the new service which takes drivers off the congested Highway 4 corridor.”

The plan calls for converting a plot of BART-owned land just east of the current lot into more than 800 additional parking spaces.

The current daily ridership for the Antioch Station is 3,050 while the forecasted ridership before its opening was 2,270 trips.

The proposed parking lot cost is $16.4 million. Funding sources include the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, BART, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the East Contra Costa Regional Fee and Financing Authority.

BART will now work on the environmental impact and design.

Approval by the BART Board is required with the plan expected to go before Directors in late 2018 or early 2019. Construction would begin in fall of 2019 with the new lot opening in fall of 2020.

BART directors representing the eastern suburbs are just not interested in doing transit-oriented development. This is the problem with AB-2923, as it gives BART zoning power that it is generally not interested in using.
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Canada could have spent $2.6 billion CAD on new transit or bike paths. Instead, it bailed out Chrysler:

The Liberal government has quietly written off a $2.6-billion auto-sector loan that was cobbled together to save Chrysler during the 2009 global economic meltdown.

The write-off, among the largest ever for a taxpayer-funded bailout, is buried in a volume of the 2018 Public Accounts of Canada, tabled in Parliament on Friday.

Canada’s auditor general has previously cited a lack of transparency over the bailouts. “We found it impossible to gain a complete picture of the assistance provided, the difference the assistance made to the viability of the companies, and the amounts recovered and lost,” Michael Ferguson said in his fall 2014 report.

At the time of the 2009 auto-sector bailouts in Canada and the United States, Chrysler was split in two: an “Old Chrysler” that went into bankruptcy and a “New Chrysler” that became viable and remains in operation today. Now called Fiat Chrysler, the international firm reported net profits of $4.3 billion US for 2017.

It will be interesting to see whether Chrysler continues operating the Canadian plants if Trump goes ahead with tariffs.

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The Santa Monica Beach Bike Path is a popular place for riding bikes. However, the city has now decided to prohibit bikeshare bikes from the path. To be clear: they are banning bikeshare bikes, but not regular bikes:

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Perhaps this is just a typo, as there is nothing (that I can find) in the administrative record about banning human-powered bikeshare from the bike path. But it is interesting to note that there are private bike rental firms along the path which benefit enormously from this rule.

 

 

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Can’t believe this guy is in charge of educating kids:

Hundreds of students from across Beverly Hills Unified School District streamed into Will Rogers Memorial Park Friday morning to protest the planned construction of a subway to the Westside, which will travel under Beverly Hills High School.

Kevin Allen, principal of El Rodeo School, said about 310 of 550 of his elementary school students were scheduled to show up, along with more than 45 parents.

“We just want Metro to come back to the table and work with us,” he said. “We worry about the safety of our kids.”

Allen said today was an opportunity to teach students about what it means to be a peaceful protestor. “Our students today are going to get a lesson on Rosa Parks,” he said.

 

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When voters in Santa Cruz approved the Measure S sales tax, they were told the funds would be used to “protect Santa Cruz’s quality of life” by maintaining essential city services and building a new central library. What they probably didn’t expect was for the funds to be hijacked by downtown merchants for the construction of a giant new parking garage:

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As you can see, the library has a huge parking garage tumor growing on top of it. The citizen’s group “Don’t Bury the Library” has been trying to put a stop to this nonsense, but lost on a 4-2 vote at a Sept. 11th City Council meeting:

All 114 seats in the council chamber were filled, and others listened outside via speakers in the plaza. Councilwomen Cynthia Chase, Martine Watkins and Richelle Noroyan and Mayor David Terrazas voted yes with Chase requesting an “indestructible” public bathroom open 24/7 as part of the project.

Councilman Chris Krohn and Councilwoman Sandy Brown voted no. They wanted to separate the library from the parking garage and spend a year on strategies to shrink car use downtown.

After the vote at nearly 10 p.m., Krohn told supporters, “We’ve got to get two people elected.”

The project would be largest for the city dollar-wise, according to city transportation manager Jim Burr, noting the cost estimate is from 2016.

Many speakers raised concerns.

“I was bamboozled,” said Col. Terry Maxwell, who had expected a remodel.

“We can make a darn good renovation with $28 million,” said Jean Brocklebank of the group Don’t Bury the Library.

“We’re talking about $75,000 per (parking) space,” said Rick Longinotti of the Campaign for Sustainable Transportation.

What does it say about a society that prioritizes car storage over book storage at its library?

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