East Bay

This category contains 61 posts

How the OAC fares: An updated financial outlook

BART’s Oakland Airport Connector now under construction may be soaring through the air above Hegenberger Road, but its projected operating budget lies much closer to the ground — so close that it’s digging a hole underground. Back in 2009, when BART was lining up all the local approvals it needed to obtain federal stimulus funding, … Continue reading

A hole in the Broadway-Valdez plan?

In Oakland, the Broadway-Valdez District Specific Plan has moved forward in fits and starts, but the desire remains to unlock the potential of vacant and underutilized parcels along Broadway Auto Row and reinvigorate the corridor — somehow. Whether this part of town ultimately fulfills its promise as the destination retail quarter that Oakland has lacked, … Continue reading

SB 375 and fair share

Before Senate Bill 375, the basic premise of California’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) was that each city in a region would be expected to absorb its “fair share” of the region’s projected housing need at all income levels.  Each city would theoretically undertake a planning process to ensure that it could accommodate its assigned … Continue reading

A short-lived attempt

Is the Oakland Airport Connector “too costly to stop,” as Matier & Ross wrote at the Chronicle?  BART director Robert Raburn, who was elected in part on an anti-OAC campaign in the very same district hosting the OAC, at least made an inquiry and tried to do something to stop it — but then immediately … Continue reading

Could parking policy benefit from more regional oversight?

This week, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency officially launches SFpark, a program that implements the type of demand-based pricing scheme advocated by Donald Shoup.  Through SFpark, both on-street and off-street supply in designated pilot areas, which include many of San Francisco’s busiest neighborhoods, will be priced dynamically to match demand.  SFpark’s pricing strategies are designed … Continue reading

West Dublin/Pleasanton BART: Tempering Great Expectations

On February 19, 2011, BART officially opened the 44th station in its system: The West Dublin/Pleasanton station, a $106 million project that bridges the long 10-mile gap between the Dublin/Pleasanton terminus and Castro Valley.  Like Dublin/Pleasanton, its sibling station 1.5 miles to the east, West Dublin/Pleasanton was built in the median of Interstate 580.  Pedestrian … Continue reading

Let them have parking lots

This week, the Oakland Planning Commission will consider a peculiar concoction brewed up by Planning Department staff called temporary conditional use permits (TCUPs).  As explained by the staff report (41 MB PDF), the purpose of the proposed TCUP program is to help property owners maintain the economic viability of their vacant parcels, by allowing them … Continue reading

A new direction for the BART Board of Directors: The choice is ours

If there is a silver lining to be found in the protracted Oakland Airport Connector debate and other BART drama that has ensued over the past couple of years, it’s that BART’s Board of Directors and the agency generally have been subject to an extra measure of public scrutiny.  There’s a related silver lining: candidates emerging to challenge lackluster incumbent directors.  And … Continue reading

First Bay Area HOT lane opens for business

The Bay Area’s first high-occupancy toll (HOT) lane, or “express lane,” opens today on southbound Interstate 680 over the Sunol Grade, between Highways 84 and 237 — a 14-mile stretch of freeway that includes 11 miles in Alameda County and 3 miles in Santa Clara County.  Carpools and high-occupancy vehicles on this segment of freeway … Continue reading

BART Board selects alignment for Livermore extension

This past year BART has been working its way through the environmental review process for the planned extension to Livermore.  The goals of this process were to select a preferred alignment alternative from among the many considered and to preserve necessary right-of-way.  A draft Program Environmental Impact Report was released last fall, which provided preliminary … Continue reading

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