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Archive for the ‘planning’ Category

Oh Canada

Good to know that the US is not the only country in North America building train stations as giant park-and-ride lots:

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This will be the Place d’Orleans LRT station in Ottawa, as part of an ambitious $4.6 billion CAD expansion project. The westward and eastward extensions will be largely in a freeway median with park-and-ride lots. Further west is Moodie station, which will have connecting BRT:

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Looks pleasant, doesn’t it?

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The aparkment building

The good news is that more infill development is going up near BART. The bad news: it is extremely auto-centric:

Fremont has approved a plan to build 275 market-rate apartments on a vacant plot at the corner of Walnut Avenue and Liberty Street, a move meant to boost the city’s longtime effort to develop the area into a bustling downtown.

The apartment complex at 3515 Walnut Ave. will feature 2,245 square feet of ground floor retail and a six-story parking garage, according to a city staff report.

The Los Gatos arm of national developer Fore Property Co. is behind the project, which will include 59 studios, 125 one-bedroom units and 91 two-bedroom units ranging in size from 556 to 1,429 square-feet, wrapped around the parking garage on a 2.84-acre lot.

A 6-story parking garage for just 275 housing units. If you are wondering what that looks like, it will be similar to this ‘aparkment’ next door:

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Garage parking spaces require 160-200 sq-ft. Those 556 sq-ft studios could have been designed as 700+ sq-ft one-bedrooms — if not for the mandated parking. Here is the surrounding neighborhood, which hardly lacks parking:

 

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Now that Senator Wiener has re-introduced a watered-down housing bill, what are the chances the Nimbys get on-board? Not likely, to judge from these insane comments from Berkeley Mayor Arreguin:

In Berkeley the low-density residential neighborhood immediately around North Berkeley BART would automatically be up-zoned resulting in heights of up to 55 feet. This will create pressure on existing neighborhoods and will result in land speculation. There are historically low-income communities which do not meet the definition of “Sensitive Communities” who will face increased gentrification and displacement.

Ah yes, the millionaire slums of N. Berkeley…

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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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