We’re going to try something new.
Tonight the Hayward City Council will make its crucial vote approving or denying the Route 238 Corridor Improvement Project, the controversial $111 million road plan that will include a “mini-loop” of one-way streets through downtown. The meeting starts at 8 p.m. (right about now).
And because of great public interest and the other things the city has stuck on the agenda (i.e. a new city attorney), the meeting has the potential of lasting until next year (or at least until the early morning). So I’m going to try to blog it as it comes.
And I know this is late notice, but if you’re watching this on TV, contribute to the comment section and we’ll have a real time conversation!
8:15 p.m.: The council votes unanimously to adopt a resolution in support of Southland Mall workers, some of whom recently got pepper-sprayed. Ida Perez, speaking on behalf of her mom, Blanca, who has worked at the mall for 11 years, says: “They clean floors. They’re not the floors.” She also says: “City Hall is beautiful. I like this one the best.”
8:23 p.m.: The Route 238 part of the meeting has begun. City Manager Greg Jones warns: “You’re going to hear a lot of technical aspects.” But points out some general aspects: It will be a significant public investment, he says, and he says a $111 million infrastructure investment could also prompt the private sector to invest in the area.
8:26 p.m.: Public Works Director Bob Bauman reminds everyone that they are no longer considering one big part of the project: The expensive grade separation at Five Flags intersection. And he summarizes what’s in the final environmental impact report, that 338-page monster.
8:39 p.m. After lots of promised technical details, Bob Bauman shows the colorful pictures! And also a map, where the red colors signify “full takes.” (Which means the buildings on them would be torn down).
8:42: City Hall might be beautiful, but council chambers have no available electrical sockets. Which means, unfortunately, this “blogging the loop” might soon come to an untimely halt.
8:48: Not including those on the dais, there are about 70 people here, and a bunch of them have bright red “No loop” signs.