Alameda residents living in the north Park Street district would do well to pay close attention to a clause in the City of Alameda’s Strategies for North of Lincoln Strategic Plan. Although City Design Collective, the authors of the plan talk in the report about giving Park Street north of Lincoln a make-over and eliminating much of the auto-oriented developments facing Park Street, they also recommend a new parking structure with close proximity of Buena Vista Avenue and Park Street (From Page 5):
New retail investment has been making headway near the intersection of Buena Vista Avenue and Park Street, including the Marketplace and proposed redevelopment of the Cavenaugh Motors site on the northeast corner. A new parking structure within close proximity of this ‘retail core’ could assist the City to attract more retail and mixed-use development. A parking structure may help enable the redevelopment of additional surface parking lots through the district.
Once again, the City of Alameda’s efforts are in conflict with themselves – the report talks about creating “an active pedestrian environment” and supporting “the Community’s Vision for pedestrian-oriented development” and creating “support for transit uses.” But then they go on to suggest a new parking structure for automobiles.
At the February 23rd Measure A forum, Brian Canepa, one of the planning board’s favored hired-gun experts, spoke about how subsidized parking greatly increases the number of automobiles on the road. So low-density Measure A compliant housing isn’t responsible for all the traffic – it’s the heavily subsidized (capital investment and operations costs) parking garages as exemplified by the Alameda Civic Center Parking Garage and this new proposal from City Design Collective.
What this report is really shooting for is intensification of use – residential, business and commercial – along Park Street, which high-density advocates claim is necessary to make public transit viable. But then City Design Collective goes ahead and gives away the lie by suggesting a new parking structure, because they know all the wild-eyed ideas about forcing everyone into public transit never work.