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If it’s “Green” – It’s a Go

Dear Editor,

This weekend a Grand Opening is set for the new Shoreline/Westline Drive bike lane. The complete alteration of a perfectly acceptable neighborhood road cost a few bucks short of $1 million dollars with Alameda putting in $500K; federal and local agencies put in the rest.

Did the local residents demand this drastic change? Did they relentlessly lobby for it?

Neighborhood notices: Thousands of residents along Shoreline are working class with little time to attend meetings announced by small placards with small print on local intersections. The “community meetings” were directed affairs much like the coloring sheets handed out to kids in a restaurant (to keep them quiet). I attended all of the meetings to object to the plan in person but was told to put my comments on the information sheets placed on tables scattered around the meeting rooms. In reality the plan was a slam dunk. The “meetings” were management; not inclusion.

Bike Lane Premise: WE (bike supporters) have to get YOU out of your cars to make the world better or greener. If you live and work in Amsterdam this is an elegant and synergistic solution to moving around a quaint city full of narrow medieval roads. Selecting Shoreline/Westline by the two-wheel advocates was an exercise in annexation. What neighborhood is next on their wall chart?

I did a survey of traffic at the apex of Westline/Shoreline on Tuesday March 3rd, 2015. Samples were taken between 7:15 – 8:30 AM and 3:15 – 4:30 PM:

Cars/trucks = 1,187 Bikes = 50 (24 of which went via Crown Beach pedestrian path)

How can a 35 year resident of Shoreline/Westline not complain about:

  • Pristine nature views of the beach, Bay, wildlife obstructed by concrete abutments, plethora of traffic signs, bike racks, green roadway placards, etc.
  • Barely enough room to open a car door to enter/exit.
  • Weekend congestion of beach traffic compressed into 2 lanes instead of 4.
  • Fire/medical vehicles having obstructed access to time-critical responses.
  • Transformation of a quiet and peaceful environment into puzzlement of lane markers, reflectors, dividers, etc.

The bike lane is 8 feet wide and so is the pedestrian lane along the dunes. They could have put the bike lane alongside it. Considering the amount of money spent I have to presume the bike is the new elite transportation method that demands our attention.

— David Duffin, Alameda

2 comments to If it’s “Green” – It’s a Go

  • C Gottstein

    I read somewhere that the official mantra of urban planners is: “Plan-Fund-Develop”. Note the absence of a mechanism for community input. Once it is planned and funded, development inexorably follows, ensuring perpetual planner employment.

    “Barely enough room to open a car door”. Indeed. This is why there are NO new disabled parking spaces. The spaces are not wide enough to meet ADA standards, as they used to be!
    This is a giant step backwards, not moving forward.

    This Shoreline remodel virtually screams “Keep Out!” to the disabled who might want to enjoy the beach. There are multiple new obstacles to navigate, guaranteed to upset and stress out those pesky disabled so they will stay away. Are power chairs supposed to use the cycle track while manual chairs use the walkway, or vice-versa? And what happens when your Jazzy battery dies in the middle of the track? That does happen. In fact it happened to me ten years ago the first time I rode my Jazzy to the foot of Grand.

    Recently, when I stopped to back into one of the new parallel parking spaces, I immediately heard a chorus of horns behind me, because now all traffic in a lane must come to a dead stop to wait for someone parking or pulling out. There is no more room to go around.

    I can’t wait for summer when the Oakland crowds come to “enjoy” Crown Beach.

  • Maria

    Well said.

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