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Archive for the ‘planning’ Category

When a city gives away curbside parking, don’t be surprised if someone takes all the spots to operate a car rental business:

Ask anyone about parking on the 4700 block of North Kenmore Avenue in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. Multiple people attempting to park in the area told us that it was taking them 30 to 45 minutes to find a spot because every spot is taken by cars that are part of a resident that rents out cars to people similar to an Airbnb operation.

Ald. James Cappelman, 46th, lives on the same block of Kenmore. Even he had no clue why parking was so ridiculous until residents started complaining and he noticed this. “We saw many locked boxes with keys and I didn’t know what it was so thought this is strange,” he said.

The man accused of running the operation didn’t answer, but the alderman said he rents cars around 38 cars to people through an app called TURO. All with legal permits because the city has no limit.

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Redlining alive and well in America

Redlining, the illegal and discriminatory practice of fencing off neighborhoods, is alive and well in America:

Habitat for Humanity will be building a wall around affordable homes in Collier County. The nonprofit has gotten the go-ahead to build 116 new affordable homes in East Naples, as long as a concrete wall separates them from nearby communities.

The new homes would be completely surrounded by either lakes, preserves, or other land. But, nearby neighbors wanted more, so Habitat for Humanity agreed to built 8-foot concrete walls around parts of the neighborhood. Those walls would be connected by a chain-link fence.

“I’m not going to judge, but I’m just glad they’re going to have the wall for the other people who feel like their privacy is getting invaded,” neighbor Cynthia Ellis said.

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The TV graphic literally shows the fencing as a red line

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Priorities

Biking to the new Antioch BART station is nerve wracking, to say the least. The streets are designed for very high-speed car travel. So if transportation agencies have $16 million to spend on improving access to the station, where should it go? To parking of course:

Wright called the Hillcrest Slatten Ranch intersection near the eBART entrance “a death trap” for cyclists and urged officials to figure out a solution.

“I have been saying that for two years,” he said. “How do we get together (and solve the problem) before we have a cyclist that gets killed? We should be proactive in fixing it.”

Councilman Tony Tiscareno also said he is concerned about traffic, noting more development will be coming in the near vicinity.

“It’s encouraging that we are going to be able to see some more parking, but one of my biggest concerns is traffic and accessibility to that area.”

[BART Director] Keller said BART officials will look to see if better eBART access exists for cyclists in the area and report back to the city within 90 days.

So BART will “study” the bike access issue and report back..well that’s great. It should be noted that two-thirds of riders don’t drive to the station. The drivers are an entitled minority here.

And it’s not just bike/ped access. Keller says parking takes priority over new railcars:

Keller added that once parking is taken care of, BART will be working on purchasing additional cars to assist in overcrowding on trains.

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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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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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Steven Falk, City Manager of Lafayette, Calif., has had it with the Nimby’s in his town. Here are excerpts from his letter of resignation, which pulls no punches:

Scientists have learned about the earth’s atmosphere and concluded that human activity and carbon emissions are responsible for climate change. Seas are rising, oceans are warming, the atmosphere is warming, the land is warming, ice is melting, heat emergencies and wildfires and hurricanes are increasing, rainfall patterns are changing, and the ocean is becoming more acidic. The risks and consequences for humanity cannot be overstated.

All cities — even small ones — have a responsibility to address the most significant challenges of our time: climate change, income inequality, and housing affordability. I believe that adding multifamily housing at the BART station is the best way for Lafayette to do its part, and it has therefore become increasingly difficult for me to support, advocate for, or implement policies that would thwart transit density. My conscience won’t allow it.

Lafayette residents deserve a city manager who is better aligned with their priorities. I hereby resign the position of Lafayette City Manager, effective at the new year.

The Governor has yet to issue a decision on the BART housing bill (AB-2923). If the bill were to become law, then BART should definitely hire this guy to do the Lafayette TOD planning.

 

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Cupertino City Council held a 9 hour(!) public hearing for NIMBY’s to express their grievances over a proposed housing development. Here was one of the slides presented:

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