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Webster Tube reopened after fallen debris removed

The Webster Tube from Oakland to Alameda was shut down on Sunday after an 8-foot-by-8-foot chunk of decorative concrete fell onto the roadway about 6 p.m. According to Caltrans no one was injured, and the tube was reopened in time for this morning’s commute. Details here. Last Thursday, the parallel Posey Tube, which moves trafffic from Alameda to Oakland, was shut down for a bus accident.

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Like Alameda, Concord is planning for post-Navy development

I ran across this story today about development plans for the former Concord Naval Weapons Station. This from the news report:

The “clustered villages” concept calls for 28,900 people, 12,300 housing units, 26,500 jobs and about 3,200 acres of parkland and open space. That’s 64 percent of the base’s 5,028 inland acres, which is the part slated for development.

There’s a bit more detail here, and the Contra Costa Times—one of the parent publications of this blog—has a whole page devoted to the former Navy facility in Concord. You can read up about development at Alameda’s former base on Lauren Do‘s blog and, too, on Michele Ellson’s The Island.

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Bike Share Alameda?

One of the things that causes me confusion these days is how we Americans/Alamedans can absorb almost daily doses of really bad environmental news and do so little to alter our behaviors. Even here in liberal/relatively-environmentally-aware Alameda we seem to be resistant—sometimes even hostile—to modifying our transportation-related behavior. But, thinking outside of our regular boxes, there certainly are options. By way of example, Sunday’s New York Times had a piece about European bike-sharing programs:

In increasingly green-conscious Europe, there are said to be only two kinds of mayors: those who have a bicycle-sharing program and those who want one…In Barcelona, streets during rush hour are lined with commuters and errand-goers on the bright red bicycles of Bicing, the city’s program, which began 18 months ago. Bicing offers 6,000 bicycles from 375 stands, which are scattered every few blocks; the bikes seem to be in constant motion.

Though bike-sharing programs are taking off in Europe, in the United States Continue Reading

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Jeep driver on path reportedly deliberately killed pedestrian

It’s depressing and sad, but the Alameda Journal‘s Peter Hegarty is reporting that the driver who ran over 78-year-old George Marceline on the path that goes along the Bay near Shoreline Drive early Saturday morning did so on purpose. The driver, Dionisio Roxas Molina, 36, first claimed he had no memory of the incident and was admitted to the hospital for examination. Later, he said he did it on purpose and that he also tried to hit another pedestrian on his drive along the path as well.

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Alameda’s City Council does about face on park bike ban

John Knox White, an ardent government-watcher/participant, deserves credit for placing the shining light of words and logic on city council’s recent move to ban “muscle-powered” vehicles in our city’s parks. As various others have noted, the proposed law really did boggle the mind. But, mercifully, we’re now on to other challenges.

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No bikes, scooters, skateboards in Alameda parks?

Thanks are due to John Knox White who attended Tuesday night’s Alameda City Council meeting and reported on a municipal code change to ban ‘muscle-powered’ vehicles in city parks. In his post about the meeting (which I urge you to read in its entirety) he wrote:

The council must have been in quite a hurry to get to the budget last night because that’s the only excuse I can come up with for how the council could get into a discussion on banning skateboarding in a parking garage (not a terrible idea) and vote unanimously to ban bikes, skateboards, scooters and ALL muscular powered vehicles from all city parks unless the city puts up signs saying it’s “permitted.”

AND:

In the spirit of children’s entertainment, I’ll suggest the council call for a “do over” and bring this back whether a second reading is called for or not.

It would be hard not to think that this action was taken with undue haste. And it sounds like, procedure-wise, the law needs to come up for consideration a second time before it is finalized. Councilmember Frank Matarrese acknowledged flaws in the process. “The discussion around this first reading of the proposed ordinance missed some obvious points,” he wrote in an email. “So I think we have to focus back on the goal of putting safety rules into effect for our parking lots and the parking structure.” You can always email your city council.

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Just in: Video of car in Alameda-Oakland Estuary

Indeed, it is not each and every day that a car lands in the Alameda-Oakland Estuary. Here’s some video of the car and the Alameda Avenue homeowner under whose house the car is lodged. (The house is on the Oakland side of the estuary, just east of the Fruitvale Bridge.) My best guess is, come high tide, they’ll tow that car out.