City Council meeting April 3

5 Apr

The city council meeting had a few interesting topics:

In February, 2011 the city council at the time autorized city staff to study the possibilty of closing Niles Canyon Roadd to restrict trucks over 10,000 pounds to help improve safety on Niles Canyon. The study found the exact opposite of what the council had been lead to believe. Apparently, the study revealed that large trucks are not involved in higher rate of accidents than other vehicles on Niles Canyon.
Key points:
Nile canyon road (state Route 84) shows that road is very safe and the speeds are about the posted limits. Staff recommends not stopping trucks. Traffic is a zero sum game on Niles canyon Rd. Any calming or delay will result in the traffic going elsewhere.
-straightening road could be done
-don’t recommend widening since it will just speed up traffic
-look at spot improvements at few areas on route 84
-limited applications of safety measures at key points

As expected, Vinnie Bacon came to speak. Here are a few blurbs from Bacon:
“Caltrans doesn’t care” “it’s not a safety project” “they (Caltrans)don’t care about environmental review”

The Climate Action Plan was attacked and scrapped by the council. Mayor Gus Morrison suggested to have study sessions to re-do the climate action plan. If you want to see examples of long winded council members check out the online video. Although planning Commissioner David Bonaccorsi voted to move the plan forward at planning commission, he came to council as a “private citizen” suggesting that the council scrap the plan. Leaf member Rich Godfrey and real estate agents felt that the plan lacked any metrics to determine continuous improvement.

As we get closer to election season, council members are eager to show how smart they are. There were two referrals from council members Chan and Natarajan and both were moved to proceed with further discussions.
Here are the referrals as written in the agenda:

COUNCILMEMBER CHAN REFERRAL: Energy efficient electric cars are
becoming more prominent in the Bay Area. Per our updated General
Plan, we have committed to building Electric Vehicle (EV) charging
stations and the associated infrastructure.
ABAG, the Bay Area Climate Collaborative (BACC), EV Communities
Alliance, and the Bay Air Quality Management District have developed
Ready, Set, Charge, California! A Guide to EV Ready Communities,
which provides CA public agencies with guidance on how to advance
community electric vehicle (EV) readiness. This guide
provides standardized policies, ordinances and
best-practices, providing a consistent framework for deployment of EVs
and EV infrastructure including information on signage, ADA compliance,
permitting and other key matters. The guidance will support local
governments enabling acceleration of electric vehicle adoption to deliver
cost savings to drivers, healthier communities, and safeguarded natural
resources. I am proposing that we use this resource to establish our own local EV
guidelines as appropriate.

2. VICE MAYOR NATARAJAN REFERRAL: As a follow up to the
culmination of initial consultant studies for the Warm Springs/South
Fremont area around the BART station, I would like for the Council to
consider as a next step the City’s participation in a National Technical
Advisory Panel of the Urban Land Institute (ULI).
ULI has panel options. I would recommend the three-day panel in order
to obtain a detailed analysis of the possibilities with a focus on design
and implementation strategies that will feed into the development of the
Community Plan. The fee for this program is around $60,000.
According to the ULI, the advisory services panels provide strategic
advice on land use and real estate development issues. Panels link
developers, public agencies, and other sponsors to the knowledge and
experience of ULI and its membership. Established in 1947, this feebased
program has completed over 600 panels, in 47 states, 12
countries, and 4 continents.
I would like staff to research the various options with ULI and report
back to Council


2 Responses to “City Council meeting April 3”

  1. bbox231 April 7, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    “As a follow up to the culmination of initial consultant studies …..I would like for the Council to consider…participation in a …. Advisory Panel … obtain a detailed analysis of the possibilities ”

    Wait a minute – – – – what did we learn from the “initial consultant studies” ?

    Why didn’t we get the “detailed analysis” we appear to need NOW – – – from the FIRST STUDY?????

    Here’s an idea, let’s take one, well planned swing of the “analysis” bat so we can the proceed to planning and EXECUTION – – – which is kinda the only thing that taxpayers ever benefit from.

    I think it’s swell that our staff members and their contracted consultants are making money hand over fist on all of this prep work. Our friend Anu would appear to be one they can rely upon to help stoke this kind of redundancy of time, effort and money.

    And, maybe I dont understand, maybe this is how things normally operate in the municipal sector. And, maybe I could be convinced of that . . . . when you’re flush with financing,

    But, isn’t this a perfect example of the kind of inefficiency that should have been eliminated LONG AGO, as a result of the dire economic condition we are reportedly in?

  2. bbox231 April 11, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    Deja vu . . . . .

    “I often wonder why a myriad of studies are initiated, but so little is resolved ….”

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